Download Debating Pensions: Self-Interest, Citizenship & the Common by Frank Field PDF

By Frank Field

Until eventually lately, pensions coverage was once an issue sure to ship most folk to sleep. yet falling inventory markets, opposed tax adjustments, reduce rates of interest, altering expectancies approximately inflation, falling birthrates and elevated lifestyles expectancy have all helped to place it on the best of the coverage schedule. Frank box, a welfare reform specialist and one among this country's such a lot fertile thinkers, proposes a common secure pension (UPP). these in paintings will be forced to give a contribution in the direction of a brand new pension scheme, in go back for which they'd be assured an source of revenue in retirement which might elevate them away from means-tested advantages. The UPP could have a redistributive point, simply because merits will be paid at a flat fee, yet contributions will be relating to profits. in addition, these taking good care of a baby less than 5 or for a ailing or disabled individual will be handled as though they have been in paid employment. As an reduction to public debate, Frank Field's suggestion is attacked by means of David Willetts and Philip sales space for its redistributive aspect, and via Kirk Mann for departing from the assumption of collective tasks. Stephen driving force argues that the government's pension coverage moves a stability among concentrating on the terrible and making plans for the long run. Frank box has the ultimate in a cogent rejoinder.

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Additional resources for Debating Pensions: Self-Interest, Citizenship & the Common Good

Example text

We all want to see more funded pensions. The Government says its strategic objective is to move from 60 per cent of pensioners’ incomes coming from the state and 40 per cent from the private sector to the reverse, with 60 per cent of pensioners’ incomes coming from funding and 40 per cent from the state. That is an admirable strategic objective and I warmly endorse it. The trouble is that the Government’s policies are inconsistent with its strategy. In fact they are taking us in the opposite direction, as Frank Field’s essay so clearly demonstrates.

This was a slogan taken up by the media to symbolise what in Government would be a fundamental change in Labour’s welfare strategy. From the 1960s onwards, and maybe earlier, Labour increasingly held a view of human nature at variance with the facts. Human nature was either written out of the political script entirely, or it was cast in a totally benign role. Both stances were dangerous to the successful operation of welfare in particular and the wellbeing of society in general. ‘Thinking the unthinkable’ put into practice was to mean reconnecting Labour with its voters.

And in a modern democracy people will not accept widespread poverty in their retirement. They will vote for parties that offer them yet more benefits to make up for the funded pension savings that they do not have. So we will get into a vicious spiral of yet more means-tested state benefits and yet more penalties for people who have built up their own funded pension savings. This is the spiral in which we are now trapped and from which we have to escape. We all want to see more funded pensions.

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