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Making money is pointless unless the cash is well used

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 24, 2012

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It is quite extraordinary, in these enlightened days of universal equality, that our right-of-centre coalition government should counter-democratically introduce a discriminatory "Workplace Pensions" tax for some future Brownite Chancellor of the Exchequer to plunder whenever he, or more likely she, feels inclined.

Had successive Chancellors not raided our so-called National Insurance, since the Second World War, there would now be less need to pay out of current taxation for the NHS, State pensions and even help for people wounded in a succession of unnecessary wars, because millions of men and women have died from smoking, asbestosis or stomach ulcers etc, before claiming very much for their government "saved" contributions.

I know because 40 years ago, I went in business with the British Tobacco Company and they studied the effect of smoking on the UK Exchequer to find that tobacco will never become illegal because it shortens lives.

The Government gets to keep the unclaimed pensions which ought to have been used for other sick, wounded and mentally ill people, while those hurt when behaving dangerously should have paid, in instalments, for their own repairs.

Workplace Pensions seem much like all the other sneaky little tricks intended primarily to nail people's feet to the floor and increase their dependence on this nanny-state, a nanny who will rob them blind, so long as nobody notices. As the name implies, it is yet another discrimination between the workers and their employers which is bound to bind people into lowlier positions by discouraging them from growing-up and adventuring into the world of work as self-employed.

The Government persecutes the ordinary self-employed because it fears that some eloquent Watt Tyler might emerge and marshal their disparate ranks of thinking people into something more cohesive and put to shame the dithering, blundering idiots salivating at the prospect of power, which they can only get through false party obedience for most of their lives, before taking a chance and poking their heads above the political parapet.

With very high levels of unemployment, you would think the self-employed is the one group the government should be encouraging. Almost any idiot can work in an office or a factory if they are told what to do, but it takes guts and brains to do what Messrs Dyson, Branson and Fiennes have done for the nation, probably because the prospect of being told what to do by some jobsworth idiot was unappealing.

As for the shareholders, they can hold shares for a fraction of a second, so you can hardly say they own the business, any more than the greedy market traders who sell shares short, to make things even tougher for those who make real wealth, instead of lots of money, which is worthless unless spending it also has a socially beneficial collateral result.

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  • protempore  |  September 26 2012, 1:38AM

    Well of course the UK government have practised discrimination for years. The theft of the rightful up-rating for 4% of UK state pensioners is a national scandle, to uprate the state pensions of 96% but freeze the 4% is blatent discrimination. All have paid into the NI fund under the same terms, all should be paid under the same terms. The frozen state pensions is a disgrace but they carry on ignoring the plight of the UK 's most vulnerable seniors who are unable to live on a pension with no annual cost of living increases. If you are surprised to learn of this injustice it's because the DWP keep it a secret and Steve Webb does not even mention the frozen issue when he talks about the white paper due out soon. When tackled on the subject the DWP and Webb just tell lies, they have no credibility whatsoever. My advice is do not trust any pension plan that involves the DWP or the government. Our mandatory payments into the NI fund clearly mean nothing if one retires to, according to the DWP, a "wrong" country.

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  • RobtheFox  |  September 25 2012, 9:05AM

    The writer is somewhat misinformed. Although there is an ongoing "raid " on the National Insurance Fund it is actually ring fenced and currently in surplus of £33.587 billion. The scheme itself has not had to be topped up from other sources in decades. Secondly State Pensions are paid from this Fund and not from General Taxation. Thirdly less than 1% of NI contributions is set aside for the NHS. Th surplus in the NI Fund is held by the Debt Management Office but, being ring fenced, is still the 'property' of the NI Fund. The government is permitted to borrow from the DMO and has to pay interest which, in turn, is paid to the NI Fund. The NI Scheme and Fund was set up to meet legitimate claims made upon it; the principle ones being unemployment benefit (jobseeker's allowance), sickness benefit and, of course, the State Retirement Pension. It is in this last item, the retirement Pension, that the most serious and discriminatory raid takes place. Retirement pensioners in the UK, the EU and such countries as the USA and the Phillipines get their pension uprated every year. However, 4% of the total UK retired citizenship are denied this. Those living for example in Australia, Canada, Thailand and even the Falkland Islands have their pension frozen at the level at which it first becomes paybale in the host country. Thus a centenarian who, after a lifetimes work in the UK, retired to live with her only surviving relative - her daughter - in Australia. Her FULL pension was £6.20 per week then and now, because of this inquity of freezing, she gets ...£6.20 per week. Fair? Just? I don't think so - and there are 550,000 British citizens being discriminated against in like fashion. There is no legal justification for this; the European court of Human rights did not, as many think, make it illegal to pay pension increases world wide. There is no moral justification, either. When working these people contributed to the NI Scheme on the same terms and conditions as everyone else and now should be able to withdraw on the same terms and conditions as everyone else. There is no financial justification...the NI Fund carries a surplus as shown earlier and, as pensions are already payable world wide, there is no administrative justification for treating these vulnerable individuals as second class citizens. I have no idea whether the auto enrolment scheme is a good scheme or just another government ploy to raise more money or, indeed, whether it will be subject to castration by a Brownite embryo (political colour is irrelevant!). To anyone getting involved in the scheme may I warn you to look very closely at what it entails; if you have doubts check them out first. Remember, that the vast majority of frozen pensioners had no prior warning of the policy. Despite fifteen years of correspondence with the International Pensions Service both while in the UK and after emigrating the first official notification came five weeks after I had retired. Look very carefully...as they say if it looks to good to be true then it probably is!

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