As chaos continues all around, spare a thought for less glamourous scandals than ID cards, police mergers and the arrest of the government’s Middle East Envoy (at a time when a fresh war is breaking out between Israel and Lebanon).
Pensions are boring, no one understands the things and we all ignore them. They are, however, rather important. This, therefore, is somewhat interesting – especially following the recent proposals to raise the age of retirement:
“Trusting in the Pensions Promise (March 2006), related to the official information produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the security of occupational pension schemes. The Ombudsman found that the information was inaccurate, incomplete, unclear and inconsistent and that having relied on this information, some people in schemes that had wound up with insufficient assets to meet their obligations were experiencing hardship and distress. In a move without precedent the DWP has not accepted the Ombudsman’s findings or recommendations, and its response continues to be negative.“
So, while Lord Levy was prancing round tennis courts begging for cash, while Prescott was off playing cowboy with gambling magnates, and while billions of pounds were being set aside for a pointless ID scheme, bad government advice has screwed a bunch of pensioners – at precisely the time our dear overlords started making noises about how we all need to save more for our old age as we can no longer rely on the state. And, of course, the official response is – as usual – denial. Charming.