Wednesday 17 July 2002

Here we go again

So Gordon Brown piles regulation after regulation on business, creates a nightmare welfare state described as "the last throw in the politics of central control" and increases taxation on pension funds by £5 billion per year. No surprise, then, that the stock market is in free fall. Companies understandably respond by closing defined-benefit pension schemes - the alternative for many would be bankruptcy. People with personal pensions find that their funds are declining along with annuity rates. There's no such problem for the fat cats in local government. They will keep their final salary, early retirement, inflation linked pensions - financed by the rest of us. Recent declines in their pension funds will be made up by council-tax payers. This is outrageous. As the Scotsman editorial rightly says:
If local authority workers want parity in wages, they may have to accept parity in pensions.
Why are the oppositon parties not raising hell about this?