Positive thinking in a negative world

joseph-heller

The Catch 22 UK Pension Reforms

I got a well deserved carpeting the other day from a friend, because I do at times have a bit of a negative attitude. Let’s face it, nobody really enjoys the company of negative people. They are without doubt a huge pain in the B and end up holding themselves back and drag their friends and associates down with them. My New Years resolution is and remains to adopt a positive mindset, no matter what.

I thought long and hard about what was going wrong. I even rewrote the homepage of my Blog to reflect the new positive reality and cut out the Cheri Blair jokes, for fear of being regarded as a bit of ‘One foot in the grave’ Victor Mildrew character. (You can still find the banjo player joke if you know where to look).

Was I getting depressed  because the future really is that bleak? I looked around and realized that I have been incredibly fortunate compared to many.

That must mean that the problem is purely psychological and by rights I should be walking around with a huge grin on my face. The trouble is that I get easily wound up by things that are going on around me that I am powerless to do anything about.

A good example is the UK government’s proposals for pension reform. A whole generation has lived high on the hog and off the backs of those now entering the work place. It is expecting that the tax payer and current employers are going to pick up the tab for those overly generous pensions, which include the ludicrous ‘golden goodbye’ final salary schemes. Workers today will now have to work longer and harder to pay for the greed of their predecessors and their own considerable diminished retirement funds. It is the living embodiment of Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch 22’, where the number of dangerous missions required before you are allowed to return from the war zone is increased after every flight. Now I am trying to be positive about this, but it is clearly a stitch up!

The reality is that you may never reach retirement, as you stand a good chance of dying before you ever collect what you have worked and paid for. Even if you survive to a ripe old age, you can look forward to a probable retirement in poverty. As for the Liverpool Pathway, you do not have to have a brain the size of a planet to see that this is not unconnected. Obviously letting people die of starvation and neglect in hospital is going to be cheaper than treating them or paying for their pensions.

What is next? What is going to happen with an ageing population and fewer jobs to pay for their healthcare and retirement? Those that have their hands on the levers of power, will not be suffering the effects of such iniquitous regimes. I don’t know if the Liverpool Pathway forms part of private healthcare schemes, but my guess is that it does not. Will Fred the Shred, retired MD of the Bank of Scotland, be troubled by these reforms? He more or less brought the UK banking system to it’s knees, but I doubt that he will be feeling too much pain. The same with education, we need only pay the minimum the mob are willing to let us get away with. Why is it that the UK has the worlds 6th largest economy and yet there is no money for teachers, healthcare or retirement?

Talking of which, there is going to be another royal baby, HOORAAAY!!!. 🙂

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have the solution to either the demographic time-bomb or love royal babies.

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