[Re: Auto-enrolment will fail unless it fosters a broader savings culture, yesterday]
The main reason why we’ve seen a decline in long-term savings is government interference in the economy, and a similar lack of willingness to tackle the scourge of inflation. Most savings have lost their real value over time, partly due to repeated bouts of quantitative easing, and high costs are piled on pensions administrators. Britain used to have one of the most successful pensions industries in the world. But now the government clamours for us all to save for retirement, but cuts away the ground from beneath our feet when we try to do so. Auto-enrolment won’t plug the gap.
Ros Altmann is right to point out that, without radical pension reform, many investing in private pensions will fail to see any benefit. What she fails to mention is that this is exactly what the pensions minister is planning to introduce. His plans for a flat rate pension, and the simplicity it would bring to the entire pensions system, have been welcomed by both the chancellor in his last Budget and the pensions industry more generally.
Altmann criticises pensions means testing. But, it’s simply not tenable to allow rich pensioners the same benefits as the poor. Government finances won’t allow it.
Catalonia’s independence could push Spain out of the Eurozone. But, if Spain can’t afford membership, it should leave anyway.
China is creating a new economy the size of Greece every twelve and a half weeks. That puts the Eurozone crisis into perspective.
It’s a sad situation when “the UK economy shrank less than thought” is a positive headline.
Nick Clegg describes the majority of British voters, who oppose the EU, as “insular, chauvinistic and short-sighted.”