Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Double standards

A couple of days ago Vince Cable, who I regard as one of the outstanding Liberal Democrat front bench politicians, embarrassed the government by revealing the mess up with public sector pensions. This was of course originally a conservative cock up but happily carried on by labour. What is interesting and alarming is how quickly the minister concerned came forward and said no one would be asked to pay back the over payments. Apparently this is a mistake that could date back 30yrs. So increases on the over payments have been compounded over that period. Public sector pensions are largely inflation proof and the majority are the better off pensioners. It was a different story last year when anomalies were discovered in pension credit over payments which were clawed back in a very aggressive way (although when the outcry became loud enough the aggression eased). These were largely very poor individuals without any other source of income. What a shabby pensions service we have.
I would like to know what the government are going to do about the thousands of people who they are deliberately under paying pensions to. I refer of course to all those pensioners caught in the Pensions Protection Fund trap who are being slowly stripped of their pensions by Brown & Co. Will we eventually see the people responsible for the mess fired and who will foot the bill? My guess is no one will be fired, the tax payer will foot the bill and PPF pensioners can go starve.
When Turner looked at pensions I thought that perhaps we might see a light at the end of the tunnel but all that seems to have happened is the mess gets worse.

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