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Savers vs borrowers: what an unfair fight

Four years of ultra-low interest rates have battered savers but made life easy for borrowers. Independent pension expert Ros Altmann says it's all wrong.

 

by Michelle McGagh on Mar 04, 2013 at 17:00

Savers vs borrowers: what an unfair fight

Ros Altmann, an independent pensions expert, has produced figures which show how the financial crisis has rewarded borrowers at the expense of savers.

In the past four years savers have been punished as the Bank of England has held its base, short-term rate of interest at an historic low of 0.5% in order to avoid a depression.

Long-term interest rates have also been kept artificially low by the Bank’s policy of ‘quantitative easing’ in which it has created £375 billion of money and used it to buy government bonds, or gilts, as a way of stimulating the economy.

There is speculation that signs of recent economic weakness will prompt the Bank to extend QE by at least another £25 billion this week.

Meanwhile the speed with which banks and building societies have cut savings rates and pulled savings accounts has jumped alarmingly since the government launched its Funding for Lending Scheme last August.

The £80 billion the government has set aside to encourage new lending had the unfortunate effect of making lenders uninterested in savers whose money they would traditionally have wanted in order to lend on to borrowers.

Altmann has calculated what the impact of all this has been on a saver with £100,000 and a borrower with a £100,000 mortgage.

Someone with £100,000 in a cash ISA in 2008 would have lost £2,790 a year in income, or £232.50 a month, by now.

Those who locked their money away into fixed rate bonds have fared worse, losing £2630 a year, or £253 a month, according to her sums.

The average fixed rate cash ISA offered a rate of 4.81% in March 2008 but by January 2013 that had reduced to 2.02%. Rates on fixed rate bonds have dropped from 4.95% to 1.91% over the same period.

The dwindling savings rates leave savers little choice but to move more money into a riskier but potentially higher growth stocks and shares ISA if they want to achieve a real return on their money after inflation.

On the flip-side, homeowners have seen the cost of borrowing tumble. The average two-year fixed rate mortgage for a borrower with a 25% deposit has fallen from 5.8% in March 2008 to 3.06% in January 2013, a monthly gain of £255. Borrowers who have automatically moved on to their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) when their mortgage deal ended have benefited from a fall in rates from 7.24% to 4.4% over the same period, a monthly gain of £237.

Altmann said: ‘Low rates have been disastrous for millions of savers. The real value of their income and capital has fallen as inflation has remained above target.’

She challenged the economic beliefs behind the pro-borrowing stance of the government.

‘Academic models predict that, as rates fall, the economy will recover because banks should lend more, giving firms and households easier access to credit to expand their businesses, buy homes or other goods and services, and boost economic activity. However, I believe the negative side-effects of low rates have been underestimated and have actually prevented recovery,’ said Altmann.

‘Low interest rates act like a tax increase on millions of savers and pensioners by reducing their income. Low short-rates cut the income of savers and low long-term rates reduce pensions and annuities.’

She added: ‘Those who have behaved responsibly, lived within their means and tried to provide for themselves are being penalised in order to help borrowers and banks, many of whom borrowed or lent too much.’

116 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Keith Cobby

Mar 04, 2013 at 15:57

All of this has been obvious from the beginning of the financial crisis. I don't think the Government/BoE have tried very hard to cover up what they are doing. They are stealthily transferring money from savers to borrowers.

The Government /BoE can never be trusted to look after your money. Over the centuries money on deposit and 'invested' in Gilts has been devalued.

You are on your own - always. Wake up savers!

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Graham Walker

Mar 04, 2013 at 17:25

Well Ross a degree in rocket science isn't forthcoming for this revelation is it. This is a perpetuation of the biggest Ponzi scheme on the planet, GOVERNMENT BORROWING!! The talk is now of negative interest rates for deposits which has been the case in both Switzerland and Japan so don't raise your eyebrows.

The biggest paradox ( read p*sser) is that we paid our mortgage of by 50 despite rubbish final years on endowments, we also saved, invested and put money in pensions, all the things that the Government say they want you to do to prepare for long retirement and a self sustaining old age AND WHERE IS THE BENEFIT WHAT A MIXED MESSAGE!!?? So at 58 I had to join the borrowers club again and took out the largest mortgage I have had in my life to put money to the crap returns we were getting on our savings to buy a block of buy- to-let's which are at least netting just under 5% to try and make some income rather than having to be a 'Fred at B&Q' sorry Fred, but I worked long hard and continuously and despite being made redundant twice never took a penny from the state. OLDER PEOPLE AND SAVERS WHERE IS OUR VOICE AND REPRESENTATION?!

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peter hart

Mar 04, 2013 at 17:26

You are right. You have to look after yourself.

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geoffrey mulford

Mar 04, 2013 at 17:37

The reason we are in a recession is down to money hoarding. I feel sorry for saver with less than 100 thousand who get low rates however unless some one some where starts spending we are going to stay in rescission for ever borrowing more money and spending is not the answer.

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Anthony O' Grady

Mar 04, 2013 at 17:37

Ros is spot on. The crisis was caused by too much borrowing to fund consumption. And now the Govt is artificially driving down mortgage rates.....to fund more borrowing and consumption. That's how to run an economy, yeah borrow and consume. Sod savings and production!

The only problem is that QE isn't working, and as Bruce Stout has said if the printing presses carry on fiat currencies will eventually gain confetti status.

The real cure is too painful for Govts, who are essentially spineless and gutless, to contemplate. They only believe in short termism, because re-election is their priority. If the prudent suffer and. He profligate gain, the Govt couldn't" care a s@@@t

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wonderdelight

Mar 04, 2013 at 17:39

Graham, I guess that's what they want us to do, move the money into other assets. The problem is , that's not always the best option.

One thing is clear;

1-the system is broken when you have working people relying in benefits

2-wages are out if sync over the last 15 years when compared to inflation by 30%

3-wages rises were subsidised my government working tax credits to artificially keep wages low

4-Government fed money into housing, through rentals, wages through benefits to create a system only sustainable by government.

Now we have a situation where policy has created a higher cost of living , not maintainable without more benefits. Housing has fallen but being kept high. Wages not rising being kept low. Finally inflation is high, prob 7% not 3% which means we are being stuffed. They remove inflationary items from basket to keep it low.

In a nutshell, they have created a system and society totally reliant on others which is wrong.

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wonderdelight

Mar 04, 2013 at 17:44

Geoff, look at Germany, they spend yes, but spend money they own and have most of the time. You create an economy built of solid income stream. The Problem here,Europe and America, we've seen one of the biggest credit booms, free money, life as a free ride. You can't ask the consumer to spend money in the UK when most if the time it's been borrowed money. That's the problem, some at spending, prob those real people who can, nothing wrong in that, so maybe we need to rebalance the demand and accept that's how it is. You have to start bottom up, spend what you have and build from there.

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Clive B

Mar 04, 2013 at 17:51

@ wonderdelight

"wages rises were subsidised my government working tax credits to artificially keep wages low"

I read an article the other week, explaining how government(s) in the past saw wages weren't keeping up with prices and decided to top up wages with tax credits and the like.

Now, I'm sure that was well intentioned, as there were/are people who find prices rising faster than their wages. If the government hadn't intervened, more people would have been in this state (a "bad" thing), but eventually sellers would have to drop their prices (a "good" thing) or have less customers and firms would have suffered wage inflation pressure.

Side effect of the tax credits was to remove pressure on sellers to reduce prices, because they were effectively subsidised by the government. Same for wages.

End result (imo): tax credits achieved little other than raising our taxes.

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P A Williams

Mar 04, 2013 at 18:12

Graham Walker - you are absolutely right and this started with New BLDY Labour - Messrs Brown and Blair who were the most deceitful socialist robbers in recent history. There has been and still is, if you listen to the Lib Dems policy and labour, a massive social experiment underway. This started with flooding the country with immigants, then bolstering the public sector with people on benefits and conditions only the most senior private sector employees can match, then you have secured masses of new socialist voters who can be kept sweet with tax credits and perks like free bus passess. These voters will keep you in power for ever - thats what these politicians thought .

Problem is these policies don't work in a global free market economy. Look at the UKs education standards - our 16 year olds now 29th in the world league table for maths, only two UK Universities in the top 10, now. Look at the loss of city jobs 317,000 in twelve months. Fact - the best people leave or move their wealth elsewhere. The UK is on a downward slop, look at our energy policy - lights out in 15 years now as power plant shut down, starting next year. There are examples everywhere you look of permanent economic and social decline.

We need a massive economic and social shift to survive and I just cannot see any of the current, here today and gone tomorrow politicians with the brains or talent to make this happen.

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Alan Tonks

Mar 04, 2013 at 18:42

Why state the obvious Ros, it really doesn’t need the Brain of Britain to realise we the savers are being ripped off.

This will not change either, whilst we have brain dead economists at the helm.

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Thrugelmir

Mar 04, 2013 at 19:24

One day people are going to wake up and find there property worth considerably less. Then borrowing today to pay back tomorrow won't look so clever. There's a train coming down the tracks as many lost the art of personal financial management some years ago. That includes these self appointed so called experts.

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Hole Puncher

Mar 04, 2013 at 19:26

How can we right the wrong? No parties in this country wants to help the savers. what can the savers do??

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Should Know Better

Mar 04, 2013 at 19:37

What all appear to have overlooked is the massive profit margins the banks work on exacerbated by gearing. We would all be better off if everyone tightened their belts. It is wrong to expect the same profits in a recession.

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Richard Neilson

Mar 04, 2013 at 19:41

Keith I think the money is really being transfered from the savers to the banks.

The borrowers will pay through the nose once inflation takes hold and the banksters will be laughing again.

Time we saw some of them in jail if only to postpone the rioting

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Tony Peterson

Mar 04, 2013 at 20:28

If savers are offered returns on cash below the rate of inflation (as they have been for over four years) they have only themselves to blame if they allow themselves to be ripped off in real terms. Nobody is forcing them into cash deposits, cash ISAs, bonds or premium bonds.

Over those four years the income and capital growth generated by my surplus has been growing by around 20%. And equities still have (as I read the tea leaves) a great deal of growth left in them.

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susiesss

Mar 04, 2013 at 20:34

'Bank of England base rate held at 0.5% to avoid depression'

This could not be further from the truth, I am really depressed, seem to have been hit with every thing bad, useless income on savings, unable to claim any help because the government assumes we are earning 10% interest when calculating benefits, having to wait an extra 3years 6 months to get my state pension and the final straw the new standard pension rate will not come in until April 2017 if it goes ahead and I will miss that by being born two months too early!!!!

OOOOH yes I am depressed alright

Good news yesterday though, I am not affected by the increase in prescription charges as I now have a long term illness.

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Michael Stevens

Mar 04, 2013 at 20:54

Stop moming. What about a Stock and Shires ISA. Mine have done very well.

Increased in value and a great income.

Pension, my AXA weath pension fund has Increased by 50% in four years andIi am going to take 25% tax free cash

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Househunter2

Mar 04, 2013 at 21:00

Moving control of inflation to the BofE was meant to protect Savers, but we've just got the same old British erosion again. I really think I need to move my money now, out of Britain to places that usually protect money. Asian IT's/Funds and even European IT's/Funds. I'm hoping the Germans won't stand for blatant devaluation of their currency.

If my money goes abroad, how will that help the UK economy? What if all other UK Savers do the same?

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Anthony O' Grady

Mar 04, 2013 at 21:18

Stay balanced, and don't let the bas@@@ds force you to invest in something you wouldn't ordinarily be comfortable with. All of a sudden everyone's bullish on equities, mmm just like they were in 2007 after a similar 4 year bull market (sorry bear market rally). Back then I took some advice....if you're going to panic, panic early, and I sold.

Now here we are in 2013, and according to those with vested interests, the worst is over. I d

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Anthony O' Grady

Mar 04, 2013 at 21:20

Sorry, somebody shot me as I was finishing. I've been patched up now, but I really can't be arsed finishing my point, if I actually ever had one.

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Anthony O' Grady

Mar 04, 2013 at 21:24

Oh yes, put all of your money in personal assets trust and let Sebastian Lyon do the rest, god love him.

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Prof Eman

Mar 04, 2013 at 21:35

Tony Peterson

Not everyone wants to operate on the basis of tea leaves.

Some want a balanced portfolio which includes savings and a fair return on them.

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geoffrey mulford

Mar 04, 2013 at 21:39

Househunter2 You cant move your money abroad. you can swap your money for a different currency but the person you swap with will then have your stirling and will put it in a bank.

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Thrugelmir

Mar 04, 2013 at 21:47

"What all appear to have overlooked is the massive profit margins the banks work on exacerbated by gearing. ."

Banks made money by selling PPI. Not loans. Margins are merely slowly returning to real levels.

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dogdays

Mar 04, 2013 at 22:34

Its a pity that government has failed to realise that its only by investing real money for profit that increased general levels of prosperity can be achieved. By holding down levels of return by by creating (printing) then lending it cheaply to the banks they short circuit the system. This idea can only fail and further destroy the hopes of all levels of society, whilst driving the economy further into the mire

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wonderdelight

Mar 04, 2013 at 22:38

Bank margins are like market maker margins , when times are good margins are small , times bad margins are big. What's happening here, is we're paying towards the damaged through lack of interest. It's all a big game.

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clive chafer

Mar 04, 2013 at 23:02

Of course, you are absolutely right Ros. What a shambles. I am surprised that the Government hasn't suggested adding to the process by confiscating all savers' money then giving it to borrowers. It is happening more gradually at present but I daresay Mr. Carney will have ways of speeding it up!

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Mar 05, 2013 at 00:20

Once again, Ros Altmann is correct in what she says and it needs to be said often and loudly.

But how do we right this wrong?

If all politicians think it easy to ignore the problem, how do we shake them out of their complacency?

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wonderdelight

Mar 05, 2013 at 07:05

How about this ? Create a people's union , get people to vote with their feet, offer min interest rate on savings on real inflation else we all take our money out.

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Tony Peterson

Mar 05, 2013 at 07:22

Prof Eman

What people want and what they get is two different things.

Cash saving, today, is the height of idiocy.

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Nigel Milton alias ShareDetective.com

Mar 05, 2013 at 09:34

I very much agree with Ross and many of the other comments - it is a transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers of which unfortunately I am in the former category - as Warren Buffett pointed out this time last year ”Bonds promoted as offering risk-free returns are now priced to deliver return-free risk.” - in other words Warren Buffett does not like ”currency-based investments” e.g. bonds - nor “unproductive” assets, the major one he sees as gold - instead he prefers investing in “productive assets“, such as “businesses, farms, or real estate“ - As The Share Detective naturally I concur. Stocks and shares are riskier. But you can be rewarded for taking more risk. My personal portfolio is up by over 30% on average since Christmas. And, also I have dumped the majority of funds I was invested in - I am now around 97% self-invested in shares plus still hold a big wodge of investment cash to be on the safe side and to take advantage of new investment opportunities. These days you have to rely on self-help. Governments are not there to help you and never have been. They are there to re-distribute wealth. As Winston Churchill once said "there is no such thing as a good tax". And as Ronald Reagan rightly pointed out... "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

Quantitative easing is just another form of stealth tax on the responsible person - the saver - being done to help bail out those that have over-stretched themselves and that cannot afford to service their level of borrowing. If interest rates returned to the norm thousands upon thousands of overstretched borrowers would "go to the wall". The Government is desperate to avoid such a scenario.

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wonderdelight

Mar 05, 2013 at 10:20

@Dissavowed, for a momentum say you were being harsh, but then again everything you say it's true. It's all fake, that's the problem, everything is and has always been leveraged. Nothing has cn aged and ever will unless there is a revolution. The bank lend 9:1 ratio. For every hundred pounds we give them, they lend out £900 and make money out of thin air by clicking the keys and numbers in. goldsmith story is a good video on YouTube. But we all know that, sad fact is, we are on our own and one must learn to play the game early on. If y work pay as little as you can or just don't bother and live off benefits. Anything in between get screwed. This country has also offered fair too much money to everyone, which is why we have big problems.

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Nigel Milton alias ShareDetective.com

Mar 05, 2013 at 10:25

I very much agree with Ross and many of the other comments - it is a transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers of which unfortunately I am in the former category - as Warren Buffett pointed out this time last year ”Bonds promoted as offering risk-free returns are now priced to deliver return-free risk.” - in other words Warren Buffett does not like ”currency-based investments” e.g. bonds - nor “unproductive” assets, the major one he sees as gold - instead he prefers investing in “productive assets“, such as “businesses, farms, or real estate“ - As The Share Detective naturally I concur. Stocks and shares are riskier. But you can be rewarded for taking more risk. My personal portfolio is up by over 30% on average since Christmas. And, also I have dumped the majority of funds I was invested in - I am now around 97% self-invested in shares plus still hold a big wodge of investment cash to be on the safe side and to take advantage of new investment opportunities. These days you have to rely on self-help. Governments are not there to help you and never have been. They are there to re-distribute wealth. As Winston Churchill once said "there is no such thing as a good tax". And as Ronald Reagan rightly pointed out... "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

Quantitative easing is just another form of stealth tax on the responsible person - the saver - being done to help bail out those that have over-stretched themselves and that cannot afford to service their level of borrowing. If interest rates returned to the norm thousands upon thousands of overstretched borrowers would "go to the wall". The Government is desperate to avoid such a scenario.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 10:48

Ros Altman says its all wrong.

But this is what the low waged, deregulated freemarket does, and its a system that the British electorate have constantly voted for, for decades.

Savers against homeowners, it's a divisery system, but nobody gives a damn about the politics of it, as long as savers are able to clamber for that interest on their savings, they dont give a damn about the mortgage payer worrying about ever higher interest rates.

If my information is correct, the Europeans dont have our scamble to take on a mortgage, their housing culture is safer and fairer than ours, if anybody can verify this for me i would be obliged. Let just accept the deregulated free market for what it is, and if we dont like it, we can always consolidate and change the system, cant we ?

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 11:09

P.A. Williams, New Labour embraced Thatcher's deregulated free market policies from 1997. The real issue here is that the British have been content to rip each each other off for over 30 years under Thatcher's system.

Immigrants are always the scape goat for us Brits.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 11:20

Wonderdelight. We have had Thatcher's low waged, short term, insecure, deregulated foree market since the 80's because the British electorate kept voting for it care of our non democratic "first past the post" voting system.

Britain this past 30 odd years has become a welfare State culture caused by having no social housing policy in this 30 plus year period.

Now the Tory lead coalition are using Labour's deficit as a cover to reduce/remove the welfare State because the Tory right wing dont believe in welfare, or the role of the State. And as a result of cuts, food banks are opening right across Britain for people to get food because they cant afford to buy food. Welcome to Dickensian Britain, 21st century.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 11:22

Anonymous 1 , The Tories want to this system. It keeps people in their place.

The right wing Tories are and will always be, arrogant and elitist. And they are helped by a compliant British BBC media.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 11:37

Since the 80's the banks have replaced the role of the state in our low waged, low income tax economy culture. This is the real problem.

P.S. The banks were deregulated by Margaret Thatcher way back in the 1980's, New Labour under Tony Blair merely continued Thatcher's free market deregulation.

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Should Know Better

Mar 05, 2013 at 11:49

Compare the rates of interest charged on borrowing with that paid on deposits bearing in mind that banks can lend more than they borrow eg 10% on an overdraft 1% on a credit balance...thats not a bad narging ok margin may not be the right word.....

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Should Know Better

Mar 05, 2013 at 11:50

apologies for typo should be margin not narging

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 12:10

I dont see what this has to do with my postings.

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Anthony O' Grady

Mar 05, 2013 at 12:32

The pertinent point is that QE coupled with negative real interest rates isn't working, and never will. Cut spending (properly) cut taxes, particularly business taxes,ramp up interest rates, let the blood flow, and start again once all of the garbage has been flushed out of the system.

Saving is a good thing to do and people shouldn't be discouraged from doing it, or for that matter pushed into asset classes that they wouldn't normally consider. Put money away when you can, cut up your credit cards, and either pay cash or do without. Anyone notice how hard it is to use a credit card in Germany?

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wonderdelight

Mar 05, 2013 at 12:32

@Michael Thompson, lets be careful about politics and who we blame here. We are talking about the banking system and people's needs and the ability to lend money without a care in the world. Until Tories allowed the sale of council homes, many rented and few owned a home anyway. As today, Tories ar offering homes for sale as cheapest option, I don't agree with it especially when I have to work and pay the full price but that's life.

The real topic here is one of want and consumption which is not just relating to buying a house. We can see this today, many parents both work, and those lucky enough to have well paid jobs, still both work, wanting 5 holidays a year while dumping kids off to inlays and their parents. Too many want too much, which is not a bad thing so long as. It's balanced. My parents were immigrants, worked the moment they arrived and pay their dues, many immigrants, but also people, English and alike, do very little and those who do work are in the take. It's a fact this country is a lot harder than it once was, part of that is due to the broken social system the governments have created through the benfits system but also worki g tax credits. It's fudged life as we know it today, its kept wages too low when they should have been rising. A lot of pain is coming and the discontent may come sooner than we think. One thing for sure the free ride everyone had of free money, cheap money won't go on forever, its pay back time. It's a question whose is dealing te cards and what the new rules are in this new game. Tories selling homes is not the source of th problem, Maggoe have people the chance to live a dream and that dream oddly is still wanted. Sadly renting will become a norm once again and so what, ineurope many rent and don't own. Think of it like this, owning a home, which in the end you've handed 80% of the value back to th government is not a great idea. You see, we neve actually own our home, our car, the crown own it all. I pay my mortgage out of taxed income, I die, then pay 40% more out of that taxed income, so you could easily if high rate tax payer lose 80% to this country.

One final note, Labour you may think was great, but they did sod all other than blow the surplus and end all the money through the good times. Like we teach children to save for a rainy day, this country ignored that, hence why people don't save and are broke, like this country, broke, as people grew into the me me selfish life. Labour could have build social housing, did they, labour made it easier to rent homes by bring in the short hold tenancy agreement into play, Labour could have raised the tax allowance so real wage increases with inflation would make since 1997 65k high rate tax, not 40+K. 40K+ is nothing today, its like 25K if you take 70% inflation since 1997. You see they stuffed is country up good and proper and read the waveform free money.

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Hole Puncher

Mar 05, 2013 at 13:21

Borrowers has long run out of money - they have already lived beyond their means.

The savers have money to spend (offer something that the economy needs), but they need to know that their money is "safe" and the value of their money is stable before they feel like spending. When the whole system / policies are set up to steal from / undermine savers, savers will react by trying very hard to preserve and protect their hard earned cash instead of spend it.

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Tony Peterson

Mar 05, 2013 at 13:45

I despair of the grasp on reality that some posters exhibit.

Cash, in the UK now, is simply scraps of coloured paper with a lying promise printed on them.

Governments continually collude in the debasement of the purchasing power these scraps of paper confer.

Over my lifetime more than 99% of the value of the pound sterling has been wiped out by successive governments. The equivalent of 1p (we called it thruppence) would buy more in my childhood than a pound now buys.

So hoarding these depreciating tokens is lunacy. Savers of cash almost deserve to be robbed, like those who insist they have won lotteries in which they never bought tickets.

You are far better off swapping those trinkets for anything that confers ownership of income producing assets. Shares, land, houses. Not cash.

Wake up to reality. Stop being stupid. Don't save cash.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 13:47

wonderdelight, There is a lot of truth in what you say. If you dont mind me asking, are you a Tory voter and supporter. ?

New Labour were not Labour because Tony Blair embraced Thatcher's right wing free market dogma for 13 years years without any social housing policy, at least, not a universal social housing policy.

Margaret Thatcher's council house sale was opportunist, and she didnt build any more council houses hence our housing crisis today.

The only people responsible for the state of Britain today are Tory supporters. And general political apathy among the British public. We British do not have the working class solidarity of the French, German's or Greeks, we are easily devided by right wing career politicians who's only objective is power.

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Jonathan

Mar 05, 2013 at 13:50

The Bank of England printing money and causing monetary inflation whilst keeping interest rates at record lows is like an additional undeclared tax on savers. Anyone with a savings account for the last 6 years has probably lost about 20% of the real value of their savings. And the governor of the Bank of England gets no abuse for this massive robbery of value.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 14:56

/////////////"""""""P A WilliamsMar 04, 2013 at 18:12

Graham Walker - you are absolutely right and this started with New BLDY Labour - Messrs Brown and Blair who were the most deceitful socialist robbers in recent history. There has been and still is, if you listen to the Lib Dems policy and labour, a massive social experiment underway. This started with flooding the country with immigants, then bolstering the public sector with people on benefits and conditions only the most senior private sector employees can match, then you have secured masses of new socialist voters who can be kept sweet with tax credits and perks like free bus passess. These voters will keep you in power for ever - thats what these politicians thought .

Problem is these policies don't work in a global free market economy. Look at the UKs education standards - our 16 year olds now 29th in the world league table for maths, only two UK Universities in the top 10, now. Look at the loss of city jobs 317,000 in twelve months. Fact - the best people leave or move their wealth elsewhere. The UK is on a downward slop, look at our energy policy - lights out in 15 years now as power plant shut down, starting next year. There are examples everywhere you look of permanent economic and social decline.

We need a massive economic and social shift to survive and I just cannot see any of the current, here today and gone tomorrow politicians with the brains or talent to make this happen..............................

We have had right wing politicians running Britain since Thatcher, the free market has ruled.

New Labour werent Labour. New Labour were psuedo Thatcherism.

Immigants arent the problem,. Immigrants are a scapegoat for a largely politically ignorant British public

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jo soap

Mar 05, 2013 at 15:54

Hehehehehe, Michael Thompson,,,, you are a dick but at least you gave me a laugh with your nonsensical rant,,,,, i bet all your fat mates down the pub fink yur realy cleffer

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nickane

Mar 05, 2013 at 16:23

Anyone approaching pension age who has 100k in savings and no borrowings almost certainly owns their home outright. They will have bought that house long before prices became silly.

Anyone with a 100k mortgage likely overpaid for that house (in historical terms) and bought it off someone from the very generation on whose behalf Ros Altmann is petitioning. The lower interest rates were as much to bail out people who overpaid for their houses as they were the banks.

It seems perfectly logical for the government to reward the latter group at the expense of the former. Any pensioner who needs more capital can always sell their home at record high prices and downsize to a property more appropriate for a pensioner.

The real scandal here is the younger generations (20-40), who haven't bought a home yet, will have to pay those exorbitant house prices, but aren't being offered those sorts of mortgage rates and even have to save for a 15% deposit that is alone almost as much as houses cost a generation ago, all whilst earning barely any interest on what little capital they have amassed so far.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 16:42

jo soap, there's one thing for sure, you aint. "LOL"

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Michael Thompson

Mar 05, 2013 at 16:44

""The real scandal here is the younger generations (20-40), who haven't bought a home yet, will have to pay those exorbitant house prices, but aren't being offered those sorts of mortgage rates and even have to save for a 15% deposit that is alone almost as much as houses cost a generation ago, all whilst earning barely any interest on what little capital they have amassed so far.""

Well I didnt vote for the PM who stopped building council houses 30 years ago, that's for sure.

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Graham Walker

Mar 05, 2013 at 17:25

Hi Tony Peterson, I did an early posting on this string. I note your observation. However cash should be part of a balanced portfolio. We have property, both buy to let, holiday cottages, and an overweighted principal residence for our needs. We also have some items of art, and other material but collectible items. Despite 26 years in The City ending up as a director ( not full board) of an investment bank, also my background is as an economist. It will come as a surprise to you then we have substantial cash in the bank holdings, our fund investments are in cash funds and all my realised AVC's are in........you guessed it cash! Whilst I can only agree the QE is the biggest dilution of cash values as Governments of whatever colour or geography effectively are inflating their way out of massive debt and deficits. The fact is that I have been so disconcerted (understatement) by the fundamentals that have pervaded the markets for the last five years manufactured by too much light touch regulation globally that I felt capital conservation, even at the expense of the inevitable depreciation of the cash asset....but still a positive and informed choice. The other consideration that at times like this 'cash may still be King' it is now that assets can be bought cheap and you need cash to do that.

And by the way Jo Soap....your the dick!,,

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Hole Puncher

Mar 06, 2013 at 08:40

@Graham Walker, well put it and couldn't agree with you more.

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jo soap

Mar 06, 2013 at 12:57

So Graham you were not `full board`, what were you then, half board or just bed and breakfast ? Whatever, you`re a smug basa that`s for sure. (of course you may just be a dreamer )

By the way it`s ` You`re` not `Your` (the dick) for your really smart put down, heheheeh

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Michael Thompson

Mar 06, 2013 at 15:22

The bottom line is that the British Tory electorate have constantly voted for the right wing free market for over 30 years.

Ross Altman must know that the deregulated free market is by its very ideological nature, divisery !

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Rijswijk

Mar 10, 2013 at 09:21

http://fofoa.blogspot.nl/2012/06/debtors-and-savers-2012.html

debtors vs savers: it is of all times.

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peter hart

Mar 10, 2013 at 09:56

I reckon my cats are to blame for most of the problems we are suffering from at the moment.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 10:40

Well peter hart, at least that's preferable to those who continually use immigrants and immigration as the scapegoat for society's ills.

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walkup

Mar 10, 2013 at 10:52

The trouble with the moaners and groaners is that they want high interest rates and low risk and blame the government of the day that they can't have it. Their idea of maximum risk is a cash ISA. Hardly one of them has thought of buying 100% into a S+S ISA every year, sticking it into a blue-chip stock and picking up 4%+ tax free dividend. Oh no, too much risk for them so on they go, whine, whine, whine.

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Paul Eden

Mar 10, 2013 at 11:11

The Drax power station is being converted from coal to wood chip - imported from the USA. The cost will be between two and three times greater to generate this power station. These extra costs will be fed in to our electricity bills, just as the higher costs of wind turbines and solar have.

The coalition is doing a thorough job of it aren't they? Higher energy bills, lower savings and pension returns - a double whammy. And Mr Cameron believes this austerity programme and QE are not responsible for the absence of growth. What have people left to spend on? No wonder growth is gone out of our sights.

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Daniel Victor

Mar 10, 2013 at 11:20

Sadly,this is unlikely to change - because the biggest borrower of all - the government - controls short-term interest rates.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 11:31

Paul Eden, the Tories in the coalition are ideologically removing the role of the State and the welfare State, because the right wing Tories dont believe in either, and the BBC media are compliant.

If this was happening in France or Germany, there would be riots, but in Britain, nothing. We do get the government's we deserve.

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jo soap

Mar 10, 2013 at 12:46

yeah let`s get back to the good old days of British Leyland and instead of making the State smaller enlarge it until there is no more unemployment and take back the money being stolen from us in the private sector.

Elect Bob Crowe as El Presidente ( a better spoken and more educated person is not to be found) and we`ll have a fair society for all....

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 12:58

jo soap. The Torys are busy creating mass unemployment across Britain as they ideologically reduce the State in favour of privatisation and charities. Are you happy with this, as food banks open across Britain ?

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jo soap

Mar 10, 2013 at 13:20

No, they are getting rid of `non-jobs`, positions created by the Labour government. Have a look and see what size government was at the time of Empire.

I suggest that you, sir, were a paper pusher conned into thinking that what you were doing was imperative.

Yes `ideologically` i would reduce the number of people dependant on me, the taxpayer and find them other jobs.

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peter hart

Mar 10, 2013 at 13:54

The trouble is Michael my cats are immigrants. Part Burmese part Siamese aka Tonkinese. Worse still my wife is part Welsh.

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Prof Eman

Mar 10, 2013 at 14:29

jo soap

... and find them other jobs.

Precisely the problem. Tell us how to do that.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 14:29

joe soup, we havent had a "Labour" government since the 70's. "New" Labour were Thatcherite.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 14:31

""Yes `ideologically` i would reduce the number of people dependant on me, the taxpayer and find them other jobs"".

joe soap, what do you do for a living ?

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Keith Snell

Mar 10, 2013 at 15:29

The list of comments is almost the longest I have seen, I have even found out that I am an idiot for saving cash. My SIPP still has cash in it, some of my ISAs still have cash in them and my saving account always has cash in it however derisory the interest rate. If this makes me an idiot investor I will continue with my idiocy. It was clear from day 1 in 2008 that those of us who saved and invested for our retirement years would lose out most. However, saving and investing has no government to do it for us, so if you wish to join the long queue of non investors go ahead clearly there are now many of them laughing all the way to the governments empty coffers.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 15:41

Keith Snell, the point is made by the OP that high interest rates help the saver, but hurt the mortgage payer, which means we have a devisery system on our hands. But we wont care, until its ourselves that loses our own house.

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jo soap

Mar 10, 2013 at 15:53

well apparently there have been a number of jobs created in the private sector in the last year, was it a million ? Do you think if we hadn`t invited the over two million foreigners in that the 1.5 million unemployed would take up these vacancies, no? Neither do i but maybe some of them would.

If you think sneaky Wilson or Happy Jim were good old `for the people` socialists well you don`t know your history.

Sold my business and retired at the age of 48 partly because i was sick paying 40% to a goverment to support feckless moaners who always blame others for their position in life and partly because i had enough to live the lifestyle i wanted.

Before you start i was orphaned at the age of 9 and have neitherr envied nor blamed anyone, no silver spoon here.

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Prof Eman

Mar 10, 2013 at 16:14

Jo soap

No of jobs created in the private sector in the last year, was it a million?

What sort of jobs are they, ones paying to little to live on and making little if any impact on gdp?

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 16:34

I am all for returning the role of the state to this country. The private sector is a Tory obsession.

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jo soap

Mar 10, 2013 at 16:49

i think what you havn`t realised or accepted is that we`ve been overpaying ourselves too much for too long and you dyed in the wool socialists should be the first to accept that hard working Chinese< Indians etc. have as much right to a decent standard of living or at least a standard equivalent to ours so we`re maybe dividing up the worlds wealth differently now.

So maybe the jobs are low paid but they should be better paid than the dole and read that which ever way you want.

As for us all working for the state in our little grey uniforms with some being `more equal than others`,,,, yeah a loser would say that, i won`t even go down the road of asking you to look for a successful socialist state.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 17:04

Oh dear god, jo soap, another fool thinking Russia is England.

Tell me, are you happy with the tax payers propping up low wages in Britain ?

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Michael Thompson

Mar 10, 2013 at 17:17

Jo Soap, A question. Are you a Tory ?

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Prof Eman

Mar 11, 2013 at 00:08

Jo Soap

...that wee have been overpaying ourselves too much for too long....

I think a lot of people would agree with that, especially the top 10%, definitely the top 1% of earners.

Ever heard of "We are the 99."

PS I am not a socialist, unless anyone who does not agree with your views is.

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Johnill

Mar 11, 2013 at 03:25

It is about time we pensioners set up a new Political party.THE PENSIONERS AND SAVERS PARTY.

Why should we vote for Conservatives, Labour or Lib Dems?

They most certainly do not give a toss for us.

It is time we had a fair Government.

Come back Guy Fawkes, all is forgiven.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 11, 2013 at 10:48

Johnnill, IUve been saying the same for years, but apathy rules. I stood as an Independent for Parliament in 2005 on pensioners issues, Im standing again as an Independent on pensioners issues, against a residing Lib-Dem, also I have a web site dedicated to how badly pensioners have been treated in this country since the pensions and earnings link was cuit by Margaret Thatcher in 1980, over 30 years ago, and by the way, we havent had a Labour Government since the 70's because New Labour adopted Margaret Thatcher's free market.

Please read the following.

Millions of elderly people in Britain are having to choose between eating and heating their homes because the UK's State pension is so low, and what's more the BBC media are sweeping this issue under the carpet.

The basic state pension for single pensioners is just £107. 45p a week, and this is following a 30, 40, and 50 year working life contributing to the system both taxes and NI contribution which were mandatory.

The State pension used to increase with British male average earnings, or inflation whichever the higher to protect its value prior to 1979, but when Thatcher took office, in 1980 she broke to state pensions link with male average earnings, and the state pension has decreased in value ever since, being linked to inflation, and New Labour under Blair and Brown continued Thatcher's pension policy.

All pensioners are being denied a decent state pension as a right.

Means testing pensioners is not just an evil, it is a crime, to quote Gordon Brown prior to the 1997 general election.

Means testing pensioners is costing 15 to 20 times more of tax payers money than the restoration of the earnings link, and as more and more people reach retirement age means testing costs will spiral, and state pension costs will dwindle.

The low state pension in this country has nothing to do with cost, it is ideologically right wing dogma.

Pension Credit is a means test, and pensioners should not have to endure means testing for more money.

The basic state pension should be increased universally.

Suffice to say that Margaret Thatcher broke the link that kept the state pensions increasing with male average earnings in 1980, almost 30 years ago, and linked the state pension to inflation, that's when the state pension level started to dwindle, and means testing became the norm.

I began standing and being counted on "behalf" of pensioners, over 20 years ago, and I'm still not a pensioner.

I never would have believed that 20 years on, this crisis for our elderly people would still exist, and I remain shocked that the British seem totally apathetic to the plight of our elderly people.

1 in 5 from 12 million pensioners live in poverty in this country, having to choose between heating their homes and buying food, there are also millions of pensioners who suffer untimely deaths each winter because of hypothermia related illness, due to the above reasons.

Means testing pensioners is not the answer to providing our elderly people with decent living standards without means testing, particularly as they have spent a 30, 40, and 50 year working life on lower wages than today, paying into the system both taxes and NI contributions.

A decent state pension is their "right".

In future years, today's young people who will not have been able to save for a private pension due to long term unemployment,/ and/or low wages, and there for will be in the same, if not worse destitution as their parents and grandparents are in today.

What is needed to reverse Government policy since the 80's, is a mass consolidation of 60 million British people to stand and be counted on behalf of 12 million pensioners for a decent increase in the basic State pension, re- linked to male average earnings as it was under traditional Labour in the 70's. And the abolition of the council tax, the means test, and State subsidy of Utilities.

This is what I have been trying to achieve for all British pensioners for over 20 years.

If things do not change in this country, today's young people have got all this to come

I have a website dedicated to how badly Britain's pensioners have been treated since the 80's, the reasons/s why ?, and the desperate need for young people to be made aware and join the 30 year fight for better State pensions for our elderly people. There is also a petition on my site that needs signatures, and it's on the same issue. My site is free to join, and free to comment on all postings http://pvc322.forumotion.co.uk

Thank you.

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Prof Eman

Mar 11, 2013 at 11:58

Michael Thompson

Not the best time to shout about pensions when more and more families are being driven into poverty. However a parliamentary group representing pensioners rights does not seem a bad idea.

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jo soap

Mar 11, 2013 at 12:18

Oh my God, here am i thinking the standard of our politians couldn`t get any lower and another moron throws his cap in the ring.

Can`t and wouldn`t blame anyone for not voting for this inept Tory party but how with any conscience could you vote Labour. Remember it was Gordon Brown who single handedly eviserated the private pension. I agree fully that pensioners should be given a fair crack but the question is how do we do it. Any ejit that says tax the rich more doesn`t know what they`re talking about unless you think that to become rich one must be stupid and accept what is handed to you, no what would happen is that the aspiring middle classes would be hit, the rich never. Also what about our struggling young. Personally i can`t remember, in my life time, it ever being so hard on the young, so do you want to tax them, the ones who have jobs that is, even more ?

They talk about NET immigration but don`t mention the worthy young britons leaving our shores to be replaced by who, another set of voters as far as the political class are concerned.

M T take your head out of your backside for a minute and smell the coffee !

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Michael Thompson

Mar 11, 2013 at 12:25

Prof Eman,

The elderly people of this country have seen their State pension plummet in real terms since Thatcher broke the link with earnings over 30 years ago, yet the able bodied British have done nothing.

'Ive been in the pensioners corner for over 20 years, I began campaigning in my late 30's. And the British largely have stayed silent.

Yes families are being driven into penury by the very same ideology that cut the pensions and earnings link. IE the Tory right wing.

If you have read the above posting of mine, you will have read about the winter deaths among UK pensioners. So you tell me when you think its a good to raise the issue of how badly we treat our elderly people in this country and fight for them ?. How many more elderly people have to die and or starve to death before we as a nation stand and be counted ?

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Michael Thompson

Mar 11, 2013 at 12:33

Jo soap, """""Oh my God, here am i thinking the standard of our politians couldn`t get any lower and another moron throws his cap in the ring.

Can`t and wouldn`t blame anyone for not voting for this inept Tory party but how with any conscience could you vote Labour. Remember it was Gordon Brown who single handedly eviserated the private pension. I agree fully that pensioners should be given a fair crack but the question is how do we do it. Any ejit that says tax the rich more doesn`t know what they`re talking about unless you think that to become rich one must be stupid and accept what is handed to you, no what would happen is that the aspiring middle classes would be hit, the rich never. Also what about our struggling young. Personally i can`t remember, in my life time, it ever being so hard on the young, so do you want to tax them, the ones who have jobs that is, even more ?

They talk about NET immigration but don`t mention the worthy young britons leaving our shores to be replaced by who, another set of voters as far as the political class are concerned.

M T take your head out of your backside for a minute and smell the coffee !"""

New Labour ere Thatcherite through and threw. And it was Thatcher who broke the State pensions link with earnings.

The last time Britain had a "Labour" government was in the 70's.

And regarding funding our pensioners a decent State pension. The fact that we can go war war in the far east, plus uphold third world countries via tax payers money, yet we are told than an increase in the State pension is not affordable, is utter rubbish

My head is indeed clearly higher than your out of the sand. And I'm prepared to back my beliefs by standing as an Independent for Parliament. Are you ?

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Michael Thompson

Mar 11, 2013 at 12:34

joe soap, "" I agree fully that pensioners should be given a fair crack but the question is how do we do it"".

The question is, how would you do it. ?

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jo soap

Mar 11, 2013 at 12:48

There are a lot of things i dislike in this life but up near the top are do-gooders and liberals, neither of whom achieve what it is they set out to achieve and more often than not the complete opposite. I don`t think that all Labour politians are bad just that few have the intellect to match their fervour and as i think it was Malcom Muggeridge who said " go about turning off lights while thinking they are turning them on" or something along those lines. A little education can be a dangerous thing and you Michael are barely out of Kindergarden.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 11, 2013 at 13:01

JO SOAP, I'm probably older than you are, and you still havent answered my question, which in my view, means you couldnt care less. Are you a Tory ?

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jo soap

Mar 11, 2013 at 13:32

I thought it was impolite to ask ones political affiliations then again it sounds more like an accusation than a question.

"DON`T TELL HIM YOUR NAME PIKE" Is this how it`s going to be when you get into power..... `YOU VILL ANSER ZE QUESTION ` really and truthfully would you vote for someone like you ?

No, i think i must be older than you as usually one grows out of left wing nonsense apart that is from old lags like Skinner, anothers leadership that we thankfully escaped from.

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Graham Walker

Mar 11, 2013 at 16:12

Well Jo Soap (Jo as in 'the man in the street' and Soap as in Rhyming Slang for dope, how appropriate. I note your posts continue to be as reliably inconsistently vague and inconclusive all the way through! Careful you don't fall of that illogical soap box. Orphaned at 9 and sold the hot dog stand at 48 probably explains a lot. If your not a smug basa with a fish and chip supper on each shoulder then I don't know who is. Any chance of you adding anything meaningful to this thread? So, just of to have another dream about what to do with my money.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 11, 2013 at 17:31

I should think jo soap, that you would be shamed to be a Tory today.

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peter hart

Mar 11, 2013 at 17:37

Graham buy a Porsche like me. Not at all practical and you will get a bit of abuse but you can go quite quickly.

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peter hart

Mar 11, 2013 at 17:38

I should add no speeding points yet! My wife said she wont take the points.

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jo soap

Mar 11, 2013 at 17:40

Smug, well yes a bit but at least not a `slum landlord`. While tempted when the stock market was in turmoil i at least had the decency not to be so selfish as to add to the problem as a `buy to let` thereby keeping house prices higher than they would or should be, in fact in collabaration with the banks. You are not in the same boat as some of those here, you`re in the `i don`t give a toss for anyone` boat.

Well Landlord Walker i don`t think your place is here on this board, havn`t you got a young couple to be throwing out of their hovel ? (and it doesn`t matter if it`s not `slums` that you own the principle is the same)

There MT is that socialist enough for you ?

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walkup

Mar 11, 2013 at 18:06

I am reminded of that old Aussie joke 'How can you tell its a Pommie plane that has just landed? Answer:' Because there is still the noise of a deep whine coming from the plane after the engines have been switched off'.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 11, 2013 at 18:32

walkup, I couldnt agree more. But that's all we do, whine. Ask us to get up off our backsides, that's a different story,

Yes im a Pommie.

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Prof Eman

Mar 11, 2013 at 20:02

MT

I admire you for your beliefs and fighting spirit.

After all our democracy is based on pressure groups and lobbying. A few MP's to add to the equation of pensioners would not go amiss.

Nevertheless chasing things when the pensions horse has bolted in current circumstances seems to me a dream not achievable.

Perhaps what we should really concentrate on is the maintenance of the value of pensions in the future rather than dwell on the past.

PS Which area are you standing in, might vote for you.

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Graham Walker

Mar 11, 2013 at 20:15

Well 'soap' you just don't get it do you? Property is just another asset class, in fact for the ordinary Jo it is the most common and accessible one as by the same token the increase in residential property prices, encouraged by succesive Govts and over easy credit gave everyone their own piece of leverage heaven. I raped a major builder back in 09 without a second thought after they had all been putting prices up 'on the hoof' for the last six years, again, and then couldn't afford to finish these. So that is eight more properties for people to live it that now can't get a mortgage or the capital together to find a 5% deposit despite Govt intervention on that too, as well as the Finance for lending initiative which the fin inst then deserted the savers wholesale and put their whore noses into the trough and we got screwed again! The properties yield 5.5% most of the young people in them couldn't even get a mortgage at that rate, let alone raise the deposit, pay the services charges if they owned them, plus the maintenance costs. If you want a travesty look at the profits the exploitative utility providers are making on effectively a captive not a free market due to blatant price fixing. Well, we have a saying here, 'you can't educate pork' so I shall stop trying. Your confusion over the fact that high property prices are supported and promoted by buy to let is popular but inconsistent with a free market view. D you rant the same when wheat and rice prices are ramped by futures traders and 92% of FX trades are now done by 'locals' speculating for a quick gamble as Arsenal and Man U aren't playing this week? You can't have it both ways, QE is wholesale interventionism, bailing the banks was the same, the fact is that Govts of all nations are trying to avoid financial and therefore social collapse. In Barcelona at the moment and I have to say for a country with wholesale and 40% youth unemployment the streets seem to be cleaner and better managed here that at home with people cleaning them with hand brooms and they don't look like Romanians to me, also the place doesn't feel as though it is 'for sale' either. This recession is hitting the underclass harder than anyone, whilst we in the 'squeezed middle' struggle to put petrol in our Porsches. Not sure where that leaves us other than just as confused but I agree still sitting on our smug backsides however we got there, moaning and without any positive, assertive action to control it as the Lib Dems lurch to the left looking for ground not occupied by the other two groups of tw*ts as on lot try to shun of their historic identity and Cameron tries to find it! Shambles!

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Prof Eman

Mar 11, 2013 at 23:50

Graham Walker and others

I am not sure that we are in fact dealing with just bunches of tw*ts. There are some very clever people amongst them, some of the best degrees from some of the top universities.

The problem is short termism, where winning the next election is more important than effective management of the economy for the long term. The real tw*ts are the people who voted for FPTP, who have now got what they voted for. It is no surprise to me that Lord Ashcroft has been trying to predict and ascertain what the voting position is, and attempting to identify the least that can be done to achieve a Conservative victory at the next General Election. Basically it means maintaining their 33% of the electorate, bugg*r the rest.

My nett conclusion is that we will now have a carrot and stick philosophy installed in swing areas to work on the 33% project.

Sad is it not?

But people have only themselves to blame.

I have given up on a fair society, but still maintain hope for a fairer society.

We have had Plan A, which is a disaster, Plan B which cannot be adopted, Plan C which some are luke warm about, Plan D next? Or even Plan E of Prof Eman which I have considered within my various citywire Posts, starting with Money v Making Stuff?

The mind boggles.

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walkup

Mar 12, 2013 at 00:51

Hey! This is turning out to be a genuine Spice Girls thread! 'What I Want, What I Really Really Want' organised by The People's Popular Front For The Liberation Of Pensions or would that be The United People's Front For The Liberation Of Pensions? BTW, I've just had to burn my free travel pass in order to keep warm.

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Graham Walker

Mar 12, 2013 at 08:44

Prof Eman, there is a great line in the film 'as Good As it Gets' it goes "I'm drowning here and your describing the water" , we know what the problems are, yes policies geared more towards the electoral cycle than the economic one, loss of the means of production to emerging economies etc. the question is, what are we/ can we do about it...really? Or this becomes a series of rants by a group of individuals with no common policy or direction. Whilst the voice of say, pensioners and savers remains divided and un focused nothing will change. The trouble is nobody 's voices are really heard, unless there are riots on the streets and then a commission and another bunch of 'welfare' jobs are created to find why this bunch of apparently disaffected individuals riot, other than because they find they can and they can get 'free stuff'. As Clinton capped the phrase, It is the economy stupid. Plan A is the, as yet option the Tories adopted after they looked in the Treasury Coffers after the Blair/Brown/Balls idiots left having excercised Clause 4 through the back door achieving the 'full employment' objective by achieving a level of state employment in some regions that exceeded that in Mother Russia at the height of Communism. If you read Robin Cook's autobiography it says that there was no real desire to reform Parliament and you can see that resistance today, turkey's still don't vote for Christmas. Great minds, great universities yes, but that really is another way of saying the new face of the old establishment playing the 'great game' not only with borders (look at Iraq and Libya) but also with another social experiment doomed to fail as we see the corrupt nature of politicians whether it is the lying Huhne, cash for questions or honours for donations. The whole system is bent in every way as it has been for all time because of the flawed nature of ourselves, whether it is hubris, greed or power it sets those that have it, and they must to want to achieve those positions, above everyone else and then they act like it and then lie when found out. The Government has the ball and the economy is their playground, they are the biggest debtor, and yes, they will sacrifice the saver and the pensioner to play by their rules, as they inflate their way out of debt by QE and what is effectively a greater level of state and private sector pay control than we have seen in decades. I go back to my original point (getting bored and boring now) I applaud those with the nuance and guts to play the market and stock or sector pick to gain those significant returns, but it is true, your horizons change as you get older, I am sixty now, don't want to face life with no option but sitting in my own p*ss and sh*t in a state care home so don't want to risk capital. IS IT THAT MUCH TO ASK FOR A RETURN ON THE SAVING THAT WE WERE ENCOURAGED TO MAKE THAT WE CAN AT LEAST GET A RETURN THAT REFLECTS INFLATION?! What about a pensioners bond where the 'surplus' return can be used to contribute towards care costs. There is no innovation Osbourne looks like a scared rabbit trapped in the headlights and he is. No money, no options, no plan, no ideas....still a shambles, so I think another beer and tapas before my wife kills me for waiting time doing this personal rant. Love from Spain GW

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Michael Thompson

Mar 12, 2013 at 10:04

Graham Walker, what's the State pension amount for the elderly in Spain. ?

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peter hart

Mar 12, 2013 at 10:04

More to the point. If a man speaks in a forest and no woman hears him is he still wrong?

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Michael Thompson

Mar 12, 2013 at 10:54

He is if hes'e a Tory.

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jo soap

Mar 12, 2013 at 13:41

God you are an old dullard MT. Empty vessels and all that. This is how so called socialists get elected as they appeal to those even more stupid than themselves. I think there should be IQ tests for the right to vote, the electorate would be cut in half, prob roughly on a North South devide.

Now think before you write MT. It may sound witty in your head but believe me it`s not.

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Michael Thompson

Mar 12, 2013 at 14:01

jo soap, So far you havent had the guts to admit you are a Tory ?

And probably an old duffer Tory like Alf Garnet. Yes, empty barrels do indeed make the loudest noises.

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peter hart

Mar 12, 2013 at 14:36

Now look here Jo, my wife said you can't even spell the word "divide".

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jo soap

Mar 12, 2013 at 15:08

Well give your wife my apologies, she is indeed right (or should that be reet)

Did she tell you to write in and was that before or after you made the tea ?

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Prof Eman

Mar 12, 2013 at 16:05

Graham Walker and others

Graham enjoy your stay in Barcelona, could be your last one.

Just come across - Pound slumps as triple dip 'almost certain.' by our Chris Marshall.

Especially when one considers that our economic system has grown resistant to QE, similarly as we are growing immune to penicillin. A case of new drugs required?

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Jonathan

Mar 12, 2013 at 16:33

Prof,

Unlike penicillin, QE is highly addictive as it allows the government to borrow with barely any interest on the deficit. They also know they can just pass the debt to the next incumbent party so they hold little ownership of the debt. Just look at the massive mess that Labour left us in when they left last time. I sometimes wonder if a 5 year democracy really is the best solution.

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peter hart

Mar 12, 2013 at 16:36

Sadly I am not allowed to make the tea. Apparently it is beyond my capabilities.

My wife had never heard of your pseudonym so she went to look it up. British slang for a person who is regarded as unintelligent and imposed upon as a stooge or scapegoat. Sounds a bit like Cleggers. Are you Cleggers?

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Thrugelmir

Mar 12, 2013 at 18:27

"The elderly people of this country have seen their State pension plummet in real terms since Thatcher broke the link with earnings over 30 years ago, yet the able bodied British have done nothing."

Gordon Brown destroyed my pension savings to fund the extension of the Welfare State. Something I will never forget. As I saved hard personally out of choice.

Shame others don't learn to manage their money properly. That's the real issue.

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Prof Eman

Mar 12, 2013 at 22:56

Thrugelmir

Shame others don't learn to manage their money properly.

As to most things a bell shape applies to managing your money. Some are extremely good at it, some notoriously bad, and nobody can predict the future.

Everyone good with money is a dream not to be realised.

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Hole Puncher

Mar 18, 2013 at 08:50

Cyprus has taken this unfair fight to a higher level.

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Jonathan

Mar 18, 2013 at 10:22

Hole Puncher

Anyone who has left their saving in a UK savings account for the last 5 years has taken haircut in real terms of about 20%.

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Tony Peterson

Mar 18, 2013 at 10:54

Jonathan

Anyone who has left their saving in a UK savings account for the last 5 years deserves the haircut they have taken.

There has been no lack of evidence that the Treasury and the Bank of England are happy to collude in further debasement of our national currency, and have every intention of continuing so to do.

There are alternatives, like dividends that grow with inflation and better.

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