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Europe now !

Roger · 27 · 1476

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The UK has started to acknowedge the problem by increasing the qualifying age for State pensions but much more needs to be done - certainly the trimming of public service pensions will have to be tackled.

When I retired, the average public service pension was 8k per year.

Actually, I take a completely different approach on this. What is needed is more pensions and how to fund them. What's the point of pitiful pensions, where the recipients then need state support just to get by. That costs billions. That money should be used in different ways. There are still more reforms to public sector pensions to come, long term plans created by Labour and then added to by the Tories. Retirement age has raised, final salary pensions being changed to average earnings pensions, civil servants now pay conts to their pensions which will gradually increase (local authority and many others have always contributed) and the fact is that some schemes are better than others cost wise.


Online Roger

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Hi Caller, your figure of GBP8K pa sounds low to me but I daresay, all lengths of service are included. Thanks for drawing attention to all those excellent reforms which are much needed - the burden of Pensions has to be borne in future by a smaller Bank of taxpayers. And a pat on the UK back for moving towards a more realistic situation without, so far, anarchy in the streets . . .

Actually I agree with you that a higher % of personal income needs to be diverted into Pensions during working lives to attain a better provision and this will inevitably mean less expenditure in other directions for younger Folks, (struggling to pay high house prices and rentals).

Without getting specific, some early retirement pensions, particularly senior ones, are too generous IMO and that will need to be addressed. But it seems the UK is on it's way to reform. I hope this will continue without mayhem !
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


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Hi Caller, your figure of GBP8K pa sounds low to me but I daresay, all lengths of service are included. Thanks for drawing attention to all those excellent reforms which are much needed

This is 9 years old now, but helps explain some of the issues and confusion over public sector pensions. I doubt much has changed.

https://fullfact.org/news/what-average-public-sector-pension/

Also I see Judges and Teachers (I believe) won a case against the Govt. changing final salary pension schemes to average salary ones, so that probably means that won't now happen in the format currently planned, but they'll tweak it and rearrange it in due course.

Contrary to general belief, most public sector unions are actually quite sensible and understand the pressure local authority in particular are under. Where I worked, I was actually a test case! After my 1st redundancy, I secured further employment at 4 levels lower than my current grade (I had created the role and wrote the JD and PS), there were no restrictions about how far you dropped. The significance? Because I was in the same line of work, I was able to retain the salary of my previous grade pre-redundancy,, then after 2 years it dropped by x% but would have taken about 5 years for me to drop down to my new grade. The unions agreed that once the then current cuts had ended, they would agree to someone like myself only being able to apply for re-deployment at up to 2 grades lower. And so it came to pass.


Online Roger

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Austria is one of my favourite places, (skiing, scenery, oh and Gluvine). I remember maybe 15 years ago in the Hotel Mitterrregger in Kaprun, near Zell Am Zee, 7.30 am in the morning, a crowd of Guys in Nazi uniforms, gathering under our 1st floor window, and playing/singing. I'm guessing it was Hitler's birthday or something like that. Our great European Friends deeply complicit in the 3rd Reich. I apologise if this comes over 'passe' but, just watched, 'The Sorrow and the Pity', about Vichy France. A new film discussed in the DT :-

"In July 1943, Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer and devout Catholic, was sentenced to death for refusing to fight for the Nazis. Two months later, and just hours before Jägerstätter was marched to his execution, Father Albert Jochmann visited Jägerstätter’s cell. Upon the cell table, as Fr Jochmann reminded him, was a document that, if signed, would allow Jägerstätter to leave prison and join the army.

But even under the shadow of the guillotine, Jägerstätter refused to surrender his faith to Nazism. “I cannot and may not take an oath in favour of a government that is fighting an unjust war,” Jägerstätter said. Fr Jochmann would later call Jägerstätter "the only saint that I have ever met in my lifetime
.” "

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/hidden-life-true-story-austrian-rebel-farmer-died-defying-hitler/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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4 thoughts on news from Europe :-

In France, I see that Macron's pension reforms have finally passed into Law despite massive opposition from the "Yellow Vests'. Well done Macron for having the fortitude to see that through - many other Western nations will have to address the same matter of expensive and entrenched public service pensions, in due course. 

A terrible situation on the EU's borders as Turkey no longer restrains refugees. Scenes from Greece illustrate clearly that Europe is 100% correct in resisting another flood of Immigration. Who would want this mob entering 'Europe' ? As an aside, apparently the 'refugees' on this front line are just 2% from Syria, most are Afghan and Pakistani . . . . . plus 3,500,000 million refugees from the Syrian civil war with nowhere to go atm. An unspeakable tragedy - Syria was once a well developed and sophisticated society - how long will it be before these people can return to rebuild or will they even want to ? A Friend suggested that Russia and America should each accept half the Refugees in view of their 'help' in the situation. One despairs   :'(

Creaking EU economies (e.g. Italy already on it's financial knees before Corona) somehow have to bridge a Budget gap - the North EU States abhor the idea of bailing out the 'Euro-imprisoned' South EU States so how can this Budget stand-off end ?

I have a solution to help Boris's trade negotiations with the EU. Fishing is the start point but in International Law, these are UK waters. The figure of Euro 39 billion comes to mind for the UK to charge the EU, for fishing in UK waters, with a quota reducing by 30% in 2021 and a further 20% in 2022, reducing thereafter by 10% pa for another 4 years - leaving a residual 10% of current levels ongoing, (offsetting shell fish catches etc,. by the UK in EU waters). Job done !    ;)

The EU Countries have a lot to sort out and so does the UK. Interesting times.   
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Last week I noticed Ursula van der Leyen posturing about the need for a unified EU approach to tackle Corona virus - 6 weeks too late ?   >:(

A Pal has been posting this elsewhere . . .

"The EU waste of space - Last month, when COVID-19 began spreading rapidly in Italy, the country appealed for help via the Emergency Response Coordination Centre. “We asked for supplies of medical equipment, and the European Commission forwarded the appeal to the member states,” Italy’s permanent representative to the EU, Maurizio Massari, told me. “But it didn’t work.” So far, not a single EU member state has sent Italy the needed supplies. That’s tragic for a country with 21,157 coronavirus infections and 1,441 deaths as of March 14, and with medical staff working under severe shortages of supplies.

However China .... In the meantime, a partial and flawed savior has arrived. Close to midnight on March 12, a Chinese aircraft landed in Rome carrying nine medical experts and 31 tons of medical supplies including intensive care unit equipment, medical protective equipment, and antiviral drugs. Around the same time, a Chinese truck arrived in Italy bringing more than 230 boxes of medical equipment. It was less than Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi had promised Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio of Italy in a phone call on Tuesday, but two days after the phone call the supplies were on their way
."

MMMmmmmmm
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 06:59:43 AM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Michel Barnier has got Corona virus and says he is fine. Some of his Advisors visted London last week

Although is a right s** of a b, just have to wish him well. AND hope he retires before taking further part in duffing up the UK   ;)

Get well soon Michel (never thought I'd say that) . . .
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein