In response to the allegations by the No campaign that Scottish pensioners would be worse off with independence, I would like to present the following facts:
As things stand, our UK pension is the second lowest in Europe and the spate of postponements, made and proposed, suggest it will be paid on a “this year, next year, sometime never” basis.
Former Chancellor and prime minister Gordon Brown’s raid on private pensions has just about killed off final salary schemes and his abolition of the 10 per cent tax rate means pensioners, along with everyone else, are taxed at the higher rate.
Where a pensioner, over a lifetime’s work, has sought prudently to build up a little nest egg, for investment purposes, of say £20 a week for 40 years producing around £40,000, because of the outrageously low interest rates on offer, for the last five years or so, the income expected has shrunk, from £2,000 a year to a risible £600, if they are lucky.
It is small comfort to know that this is designed to bale out those who borrowed money for overvalued property they couldn’t really afford, from banks which didn’t have the funds in the first place.
For anyone who thinks £40,000 is a lot of money, let me point out that this sum was the estimated cost of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.
It is also 4 per cent of the donation made to the No campaign by the author, JK Rowling.
Perhaps most interesting of all, it is 0.0004 per cent of what the UK government is spending/misspending, every hour.
Joseph G Miller