Anorak News | A Grey Area

A Grey Area

by | 12th, October 2004

‘IF the old are forcibly put out to pasture, the Government is accused of ageism; if they’re made to work until they’ve got one foot and half a leg in the grave, it’s accused of placing them in thrall of the gathering crisis in pensions.

‘Slowly! We’ve got to make this last for another 30 years’

With pensions the big political issue of the moment, the Independent covers its front page with a welter of facts and figures about pensions.

Did you know, for instance, that 18% of the British population are currently over pension age, a figure that will rise to 25% in 2040?

Did you know that you should place 12% of your earnings aside if you start saving for your pension at the age of 25?

Did you know that, if you lined up all the pensioners end to end, they would form the longest and most miserable Post Office queue in the world?

These are the facts the Indy believes are the vital wake-up call the country and its readers need – and will earn it some press award for front-page design.

The only trouble is talk of pensions induces an almost catatonic state in anyone listening in.

Pensions either seem a long way off – see the Indy’s non-saving 25-year-old – or arrive when you no longer have the vigour to fight and improve your lot.

Perhaps it’d be better if the Government diverted some of the £30 billion its spending on an IT system for the NHS to the old and retired?

The Times says that the NHS national programme for IT was to cost £6bn when conceived in 2002 but, what with this being Government money, it will now cost around £24 billion more.

Which would fill a large chunk of the £57 billion gap the Government has noticed between how much people are saving and how much they need to live on in retirement.

The rest could be made up with money saved from not invading countries that may or may not want to annihilate us in 45 minutes…’

Posted: 12th, October 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink