Blog Archives

Austerity 7: “Governments are balancing budgets on the backs of the poor” (John Grisham)

1. State Pensions

2.6 million women born in the 1950s will ‘lose out’ because of changes to pension law: “while corporations and the richest individuals receive tax breaks”

WASPIs (Women against state pension inequality) protest outside Parliament. Their aim: to achieve fair transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s, for whom the state pension age is being raised from 60 to 66 by 2020.Photo: WASPI Campaign/Twitter

A Bournville reader draws attention to an article in Welfare Weekly reporting the findings of a new analysis by the Labour Party which reveals that tens of thousands of Theresa May’s constituents will be adversely affected by her decision to bring forward changes to the state pension age. The state pension age for men and women will be equal at 65 at the end of 2018, before rising to 66 in 2020 and then 67 in 2028. This will then rise again to 68 between 2037 and 2039, meaning those born between 1970 and 1978 will be made to wait an extra year before becoming eligible to claim.

Data obtained by Labour from the House of Commons Library finds that nearly 37 million people in total will be affected, including 56,547 people in Theresa May’s constituency of Maidenhead. 61,753 people who are under the age of 47 will be hit by the changes in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s constituency of Runnymede and Weybridge. 59,290 people will also be affected in the Work and Pension Secretary David Gauke’s constituency of South West Hertfordshire.

A BBC video clip showed that an outline given by MP Guy Opperman (right, Work and Pensions) of government measures to assist older people back into work, including apprenticeships and retraining received a mixed reception.

Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Debbie Abrahams, said: “Thanks to the Tories increasing the state pension age, 36.9m people will be forced to work longer, at the same time that evidence indicates life expectancy has stalled in some places and is reducing in others.” She called on Tory MPs to “explain to the tens of thousands of people in their constituencies why the burden of Tory austerity is being pushed on them, while corporations and the richest individuals receive tax breaks.”

Abrahams added: “Theresa May should answer her 56,547 constituents, and the 36.9m people across Britain, whose hard-earned retirements are being postponed because of her Government.”

Labour is to begin a “national state pension tour” to draw attention to how many people will be affected and voice their opposition to the policy.





Better to harness society’s idle resources while removing the mechanisms of corporate malfeasance

yeomin noonSo writes Yeomin Yoon, Professor of Finance and International Business, who teaches international finance, financial and economic analysis and a course in global business at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

His educational philosophy is that every class is to some degree a class in ethics.

In the FT he recently discussed the advent of the electronic marketplace which currently offer shopping carts, e-catalogs, and support services such as order placing, payment and fulfilment.

The electronic markets supplanting companies as the organising force behind economic exchange will probably bring more benefits than costs to society, in his opinion:

Reduce corporate tax breaks, subsidies and political pressure

“The expected demise of corporations as the dominant economic institution driving exchange should be welcomed, as it would reduce corporate political pressure which distorts democratic processes; and corporate welfare in the form of tax breaks and subsidies deforming the course of the economy.

“Adam Smith, who warned in The Wealth of Nations that “negligence and profusion” would inevitably result when businesses are organised as corporations, would applaud the onset of a more automated economy — one that better harnesses society’s idle resources while removing the mechanisms of corporate malfeasance”.