I haven’t blogged in ages, so I’ve decided to be contentious / outrageous for the month of march. this is this first post – the views expressed, may not even represent my own, never mind anyone associated with me, etc…
So after some stumbling, stuttering and well general headless chickening, the government has decided it might, maybe depending on if it’s right, step in and pass retrospective laws to strip t
he former RBS chairman of his £600,000+ a year pension. yippie? right?
I’m not convinced, I think it’s terribly shaky ground to start taking people’s pension of them – especially changing the terms of a pension scheme, so you can take revenge on somebody after the fact. just think about it this has two possible problems:
- the government will decide that, in general pensions for X are to high and having sent this precedent change a pension scheme for a whole swathe of people, no matter if they have 38 years in the scheme, because they are in the derided scheme of the day – you can’t change the terms of pensions – it under-minds the whole premise.
- attacking peoples pensions will become an accepted way of getting revenge for perceived problems they might have been involved in during their career. Yes you might think their is a clear cut case with the RBS man, but think about it – he hasn’t actually broken any laws, committed any crimes, or acted beyond his remit, he just is perceived to be the person who messed it all up, if we can take this sort of action based on moral – no let’s say populist opinion, isn’t that dangerous-when you retire do you want the value of your pension going to a public vote based on what you did – before you answer remember the electorate have a 6 month memory, you will have a 40 year career.
So as you can see, it might seem simple, it certainly is a vote keeper (there is no winning votes in this anymore) but it’s really not the simplest wisest thing in the world.
Once there was someone – probably on radio 4 – who said you should always think about laws that are passed, not in the context of the current government are interpreting it, but how it could be interpreted by future governments just because you trust the current lot, doesn’t mean the next lot won’t exploit it.