Sunday 26 August 2012


Goodness me. Faux Pas here, methinks.

Right now I wouldn't be shouting off about the UK welfare system. Remember that this is the system that, to save money, is employing medics to put sick people off benefits. I won't rehearse the arguments over and over again, but right now, if I were looking for something to brag about in the UK, it would most certainly not be anything to do with the UK welfare system.

Secondly and directly to do with the retirement pension, the UK's is the lowest by comparison to the average wage, of any country in Europe. Even the Daily Mail carped on about this (when Gordon Brown was the prime minister).

In short, our pensioners are treated worse than pensioners from any other European state. We can look forward to that situation being guaranteed, can we?

In Britain the state pension is not funded. There is no great vault of money waiting to be paid out. The National Insurance payments that you are making at the moment pay for the current crop of pensioners. When it comes time for you to take a pension, you will be dependent on the payments of a future generation of NI contributors. There isn't actually any real guarantee that you will be paid your pension. The Department of Work and Pensions is so on top of this situation that they declared themselves to be shocked that so many Baby Boomers would become 65 in 2012. gives you such confidence in them. They never thought to plan ahead, given that everyone's ate of birth is available to them.

Perhaps one of the reasons that the state retirement pension is so poor, is that once upon a time, the company pensions schemes in Britain were excellent. But then companies got greedy and abused their pension schemes and along came Gordon Brown with a sure-fire plan to sort them out... by taxing them... and in the process he ruined the company final salary pension system.

The result is that people now have pension savings which will buy an annuity. The amount that an annuity will buy has been steadily reducing over the years, mainly thanks to the incompetence of the UK financial regulators and the Bank of England and its quantitative easing solution to the financial crisis. (You remember QE; it's the one that doesn't work, but does put billions of pounds into the banks' vaults to serve up as bonuses and dividends.)

And finally, with interest rates at 0.5%, and inflation officially at 4% and really at 10%, clearly any money pensioners have put away for a rainy day (unless they managed to get it off to the British Virgin Isles) is losing value at a frightening rate.

So, thanks for the scary campaigning, but I'll take my chances that a Scottish Pensions Minister wouldn't tolerate for a second the idea that people in their 60s and 70s should have to choose between heating and eating and hundreds a year die of cold related illnesses. 

Worth a read.


  1. For me the economics of independence vs Status Quo have not been fully explored. Not least because until we know what the wording of the question is, it is impossible to fine tune the debate publically.

    As a Scottish fiscal autonomist, and unionist, the wording of the question really will heavily influence which side I'm more favourable to in the economics of independence debate.

    One thing is certain, I dislike the status quo as much as I fear independence.

  2. That all said, I should point out that stuff like pensions, inflation and debt all feature into what I mean by 'economics of independence'

    Just thought I should point that out, so you all realise my comment was relevent to Tris post :)

  3. Hi Dean... It's probably impossible in the current world and European, not to mention British economic position to know for certain what the situation will be in 2014.

    We certainly don't know what settlement would be made in agreement between the two countries.

    Figures from respected world organisations have shown that Scotland would be a rich country though. I've not heard anyone neutral say otherwise.

    My main point here was to highlight the stupidity of talking up welfare stability as a good reason for staying in the UK.

    It hardly has a proud recent history, nor does it have a very stable looking present or future. it that is the best that the No campaign can do, they should "put their thinking caps on" as Margaret Rutherford would say.

    But I did, of course, realise that your point was relevant to the always. :)

  4. Of course there is the VERY obvious case that if he had EVER had a Westminster government that ACTUALLY gave a damn about its people and in this case the people of Scotland we might be sitting much like Norway.

    I know that this article is related to the Norwegian Oil Fund, but this is the fund that Norway will be paying out its pensions from in the years to come for many, many, many years.

    It is SCANDALOUS that Messers Thatcher,Major, Blair and Brown screwed this country to the wall. ANY ONE with the SLIGHTEST inkling about economics would have been able to see that putting just a fraction of our Oil revenues into an Oil fund akin to Norway's then we would not be in the position we are today, from a pensions point of view.

    Any one who looks at the Norwegian Oil fund can only, in my view, be amazed that they have managed to amass an incredible £600 BILLION, yep that's right £600 Billion in this fund, a fund incidentally that has only be in existence for 16 years.

    Can you imagine what we could achieve for our pensions AND pensioners if only one, ANY one, of these dingbats who have been Prime Minister had actually got up off their butt and taken their thumbs out of their ass.

    As things stand the Norwegians have a fairly good standard of living, yes I know their have high prices but they also have high wages to match! Mean while in the world of deep deep deep sh*** we have Britain groveling along the bottom with dingbat after dingbat after dingbat let loose on the finances of this country and each one turning out to be an even WORSE disaster than the previous one.

    Bring on Independence. At least as an Independent country we will have First Minister and Finance ministers who WILL take the right decisions for Scotland but more importantly for the people of Scotland!

    It is not too late. We can still salvage the pensions disaster that we currently face as a result of Westminster incompetence BUT we can only do so from a stand point as an Independent country.

  5. aye and millions of pensions south of the border are guaranteed by Scotlands resources.
    The naw ye cannae dae it mob spewing out the lies

  6. tris

    I find the idea of as Party founded on a deep vicious hate of English(Westminster)rule.
    Who hate and revile masses of the Scottish peoples who do not vote nor support the snp.
    And claim an Independent Scotland would be a low tax economy.
    could or would treat all the Scottish peoples FAIRLY


    why dont you lot be honest own up to the hate you all show to any opposition to your
    attempt to destroy the UK.

    The case of Eire as shown on my blog has blown the extremists nats out of the water.

    the best Independence Scotland could achieve is to be a client state of the IMF and right wing economics..although this would suit Alex Salmonds snp


    your abdication of the moral choice toward paying paying more or less tax to fund social welfare.
    by the use of OIL just shows you lack any real concern of how the Scottish people will live under snp domination.
    you being prepared to spend the childrens of Scotland future in pursuit of an illusory fantasy.

    You tell us putting aside any Oil how the Scots pay for looking after each other without putting their hands in their own pockets.

  7. Niko seems proud to of been standing side by side with the Torys yesterday that he can keep regurgitating negative fairy/nonsense tales from that leaflet.

  8. Brilliant piece Arbroath. Heartfelt and utterly true.

    Oh for some governance in the UK over the last 60 years.

    I read somewhere that Scotland is the only country, state or region in the developed world with oil and no oil fund.

    Even in federal countries like the USA, the states that have oil have oil funds.

    The UK has funded unemployment, nuclear weaponry, punching above its weight in foreign affairs and wars, giving aid to countries that don't want it, or abuse it, and letting the rich off with their tax.

    All of these things may have been good for someone or other, but in general not for ordinary Scots.

  9. It's true, Anon. I guess that the taxes from oil will be helping to pay out the pensions.

    You'd think we could manage to do that for ourselves.

    The trouble with the nay sayers is that the won't quote figures here to back up their scaremongering.

    It's really easy to say (as correspondents on the blogs of the Daily Mail often do): "You'll be broke in two years and screaming to get back into the UK..."

    But where is the proof?

  10. Niko... what rubbish.

    Try comparing like with like

    Scotland and Norway are far nearer each other than Scotland and Eire.

  11. CH: I'm off to see if the All Tories Together team have actually set up stall in Dundee or if it has been postponed again. Their ad was a little misleading with its two dates... but who knows, they may have turned up.

    I'm going to ask them to explain some of the things they say are "better together".

    Like for example...why it's so advantageous to Mrs McTumpshie that we have embassies in more than 200 countries, most of which the average person couldn't locate on a map;

    why it is better for us to be on the security council...what benefit I get from that;

    how these banks that were rescued could be called Scottish when one of them is the Halifax (which I seem to remember is in Yorkshire) Bank of Scotland, and the other is a truly international company, admittedly run from Edinburgh, but regulated, or not, by the numpties in London;

    why is punching above our weight in military terms in the world, to our advantage...

    I'll be interested to know what they come up with. It will probably be some local councillors or the one parliamentary relic of the Labour party McGovern.

    I shall pose as a genuinely confused, not very bright bloke... some would say not much posing will be involved... (Niko probably).

  12. Be careful they don't seduce you into unionism on your foray tris, good luck.

  13. I don't know what meds your on Niko but....


    I see you managed to escape the rabbitesque bolt hole your keeper was digging for you. Just goes to show what happens when you drag the keeper along for a wee photo shoot, ALL HELL BREAKS LOSE!

    In future when your bolt hole keeper disappears do everyone a favour, stay curled up in your wee Labour financed bolt hole.

    By the way what the HELL has Eire got to do with the price of cheese?

    Last time I checked Eire did NOT have any OIL! Why on earth would I want to compare Scotland to Eire, a country with NO oil, when my piece was pointing out the comparison between Scotland and NORWAY, TWO countries who discovered oil AT THE SAME TIME IN THE AREA! Surely doing a comparison between TWO countries who have IDENTICAL income opportunities, from the oil fields of the NORTH SEA is much more relevant than comparing a country WITH oil and a country WITHOUT oil!

  14. The Nat extremist liars hung by their own word which they now TRY to disown.......

    AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would become part of a northern European "arc of prosperity", the Scottish National Party promised yesterday.

    Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, claimed that Ireland, Iceland and Norway demonstrated that small independent countries were amongst the richest in the world.

    Mr Salmond said that all three "young countries" had become independent in the 20th century and moved from being less prosperous than Scotland to being more economically successful.

    Making his case for reduced business taxation, the SNP leader said that all three of these northern European nations had lower corporation taxes than Scotland had as part of the UK.

    Norway, the second most prosperous country in the world, charged businesses 28 per cent corporation tax. Ireland, the fifth richest country, had a rate of 12.5 per cent and in Iceland, the sixth in the world prosperity league, the rate was 18 per cent.

    He cited Iceland's increase in spending on research and development, Norway's creation of a 110.9 billion "future generations fund" and Ireland's booming financial sector as examples that an independent Scotland should follow.

    Ireland's booming financial sector as examples that an independent Scotland should follow.

    Come on you Nats you can run but you cant hide from Alexs own words.

  15. Where are these countries now, Niko?

    Ireland's financial mess was exactly the same as that of the UK. A mixture of greed and lack of control, collusion and ignorance.

    You speak as if the Uk was in a shining situation, whereas it has a double dip recession, the others are in growth.

    Better Together my butt.

    Incidentally, I dunno where the better together team was this afternoon... a lot better together in the pub maybe, because there was no sign of them in teh City Square in Dundee, which is where they were supposed to be.

    I was looking forward to asking McGovern to explain in what way 240 embassies made life better for me; and how exactly I benefited from being a member of the Security Council, except of course having the pleasure of paying extra tax to keep their weapons of mass destruction for them, and buy new ones every 15 years.

    I certainly can't remember a trip to New York to enjoy the fruits of all the money we spend on this farce, specially when, when they don't do what our boss (POTUS) says, we ignore them anyway.

  16. It looks like it was just another photo call, pity as you could of signed there pledge R U Bonkers(it is a genuine surname).

    Niko is as financially illiterate as the rest of his bunch of Tory lovers.

  17. Niko since NS Oil was discovered it has bankrolled London/UK producing nearly 3 million barrels a day and it is now just over 1 million and the UK economy is falling faster.

    [KR332] Keiser Report: Debt Bomb

    Spend a useful 30 mins and learn something real instead of trolling Bitter Together nonsense.

  18. Aye CH... I'd have loved to put my questions to that miserable looking lot. Is that McGovern I see in the front there... He'd have been fun.

  19. Good links guys.... :)

  20. Abi

    ecnomy of Eire at 35th place
    UK at 21st even under Cameron
    and as for health and education.

    Nuff said!

  21. Who the hell is Abi?

    Any one got any ideas?

    Looks like Niko has been hitting the vino a wee bit early tonight. :lol:

  22. LOL... it's not even close is it?

  23. What you mean he disnae drink of the vino?

    Well I'm certain that he's been drinking something. Maybe he's been mixing his drinks AND his meds! :LOL:

  24. No, of course he partakes...he's Scottish (even if he's a unionist).

    No I mean Abi and Arbroath aren't close.

  25. Well not in the REAL world anyway Tris.

    Perhaps it does in the alternate world that he shares with the BITTER TOGETHER gang. :LOL: