General Election June 8

What can we do to change the minds of decision makers and people in general to actually do something about preparing for the forthcoming economic/energy crises (the ones after this one!)?

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johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

Brexit causes all sort of potential problems for the economy particularly depending what sort of Brexit.
Little John
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Post by Little John »

clv101 wrote:The triple lock on pensions HAS to go. It's simply indefensible that pensioners are guaranteed to see their incomes rise in real terms, no matter what. In my opinion it is morally indefensible for pensioners to become wealthier (on the back of the taxpayer) whilst young workers get poorer. There was reasonable argument for the triple lock a decade+ ago - but no more.

While I'm at it, it's also indefensible in my opinion for the state pension, and pensioner benefits like winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, TV licence etc not to be means tested. We are currently literally giving thousands of pounds of public money to millionaires - on the bases of their age. This is wrong.
Hang on a minute. If working people have been legally coerced into paying into the state pension pot, their entire working lives, they are entitled to claim that money back.

It's THEIR money.

There is a legitimate argument to be had about big the contributions-based pension needs to be. But, there is no legitimate argument that can be made in term of means testing of it. And I say that as no lover of the idea of millionaires being entitled to the 156 per week of that contributions based pension. However, those millionaires, as a percentage of the total number in receipt of that pension, will be minuscule.
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

Little John wrote:
clv101 wrote:The triple lock on pensions HAS to go. It's simply indefensible that pensioners are guaranteed to see their incomes rise in real terms, no matter what. In my opinion it is morally indefensible for pensioners to become wealthier (on the back of the taxpayer) whilst young workers get poorer. There was reasonable argument for the triple lock a decade+ ago - but no more.

While I'm at it, it's also indefensible in my opinion for the state pension, and pensioner benefits like winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, TV licence etc not to be means tested. We are currently literally giving thousands of pounds of public money to millionaires - on the bases of their age. This is wrong.
Hang on a minute. If working people have been legally coerced into paying into the state pension pot, their entire working lives, they are entitled to claim that money back.

It's THEIR money.

There is a legitimate argument to be had about big the contributions-based pension needs to be. But, there is no legitimate argument that can be made in term of means testing of it. And I say that as no lover of the idea of millionaires being entitled to the 156 per week of that contributions based pension. However, those millionaires, as a percentage of the total number in receipt of that pension, will be minuscule.
You might have a point there Steve, if there was 'state pension pot'. There isn't. Those NI payments folk made all the working lives were spent as fast as they were collected on public services (including the previous generation's state pensions). The electorate would NEVER have voted for public spending cuts required to build up trillion pound NI 'pension pot'.

We need to get rid of the idea that folk pay NI as some kind of special tax that funds their pension. It doesn't. All taxation goes into one pot and it's all (plus a bit more!) spent every single year. If folk have been led to believe that there's a pension pot somewhere in the city with 'THEIR money' in it, they have been mislead by successive government and have every right to be angry.

We need to see the state pension as the public service or welfare payment it is - and test for its payment accordingly.
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Post by Little John »

I am well aware that people's money has been stolen from the pension they have dutifully paid into. However, so long as that issue is not addressed and politicians are not sent to prison for theft, since this is what would assuredly happen to anybody who had perpetrated such a theft from a private pension, then people are entitled to the state pension they were promised.

The reality on the ground, of course, is that it is not going to be as big as they were promised due to that theft, as well as the broader issue of our entire system of money creation being based on the lie of perpetual growth. But, that is a separate issue to the means testing of it. There is NO justification that can be made for means testing a contributions based pension that people were legally coerced into paying toward over the entirely of their working life
Last edited by Little John on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

clv101 wrote:You might have a point there Steve, if there was 'state pension pot'. There isn't. Those NI payments folk made all the working lives were spent as fast as they were collected on public services (including the previous generation's state pensions). The electorate would NEVER have voted for public spending cuts required to build up trillion pound NI 'pension pot'.

We need to get rid of the idea that folk pay NI as some kind of special tax that funds their pension. It doesn't. All taxation goes into one pot and it's all (plus a bit more!) spent every single year. If folk have been led to believe that there's a pension pot somewhere in the city with 'THEIR money' in it, they have been mislead by successive government and have every right to be angry.

We need to see the state pension as the public service or welfare payment it is - and test for its payment accordingly.
Some of this is valid, but not all of it.
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

Little John wrote:There is NO justification that can be made for means testing a contributions based pension that people were legally coerced into paying toward over the entirely of their working life
It's the concept of a 'contributions based pension' that I take issue with. That term suggests the state pension is related to your actual contributions. It isn't. It's related to the number of years you have made the required contribution (or had the state pretend you did like when not working but in receipt of child benefit for example), not the actual contributions themselves.

My justification for means testing comes from me thinking of the state pension as a public service / welfare payment. All the talk about pension pots, NI contributions etc is a con in my view. Just because no one has gone to jail for misdirecting people doesn't change the reality of situation (many people's understanding of their state pension is not aligned with reality) , that the triple lock is both economically unaffordable and morally unjustifiable in my view.
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Post by Little John »

clv101 wrote:
Little John wrote:There is NO justification that can be made for means testing a contributions based pension that people were legally coerced into paying toward over the entirely of their working life
It's the concept of a 'contributions based pension' that I take issue with. That term suggests the state pension is related to your actual contributions. It isn't. It's related to the number of years you have made the required contribution (or had the state pretend you did like when not working but in receipt of child benefit for example), not the actual contributions themselves.

My justification for means testing comes from me thinking of the state pension as a public service / welfare payment. All the talk about pension pots, NI contributions etc is a con in my view. Just because no one has gone to jail for misdirecting people doesn't change the reality of situation (many people's understanding of their state pension is not aligned with reality) , that the triple lock is both economically unaffordable and morally unjustifiable in my view.
The issue of the triple lock and means testing are two different issues. Stop trying to conflate them
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

Sorry, I'm not trying to conflate them. I think both are relevant and I'm just sharing my opinions.
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Post by cubes »

I was surprised to find that there actually is a National Insurance Fund ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Insurance_Fund ) - guess where the excess goes? Lent to the government!
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Post by OrraLoon »

Mark wrote:My prediction, for what it's worth:

Tories - small increase in seats, mainly at the expense of Labour - increase due to May being seen as most credible leader for Brexit negotiations
Labour - further shrinkage into their heartlands due to no clear message on Brexit and Corbyn factor
LibDems - reasonable increase due to attracting remainers, mainly at the expense of Tories. Not enough seats to alter overall balance
SNP - small losses - mostly to Tories
UKIP - no seats - oblivion
Greens - small increase, but nothing significant
I'd find it difficult to improve on that. I just hope that the SNP dump their EuroUnionist ideology a.s.a.p. to limit the damage (in this daft unreformable 'British' system) and boost the majority for Yes in IndyRef2.
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Post by emordnilap »

clv101 wrote:While I'm at it, it's also indefensible in my opinion for the state pension, and pensioner benefits like winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, TV licence etc not to be means tested. We are currently literally giving thousands of pounds of public money to millionaires - on the bases of their age. This is wrong.
And the same should be applied to farmers, with a maximum £100,000 subsidy.
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

Well, I had just boarded a narrowboat for a week's holiday when the news broke - just got home...

I think this is the most difficult election to predict in my lifetime. Too many sub-plots. Some things are a dead cert though:

1) Libdems will pick up quite a few seats from the tories in areas where there was either a strong remain vote, or where there was a 50/50 split at the referendum and the tories have only a slim majority over the LDs. 30 seats, +- 10.

2) SNP support will falter in Scotland, but not much. Maybe lose 5 seats.

3) Tories will take some more seats off Labour. Maybe 30 seats.

My guess at an overall result: slightly increased tory majority, libdems gaining about the same amount that Labour loses. Tories will still struggle to get Brexit through because of the number of MPs of all parties who don't agree on their strategy (or on Brexit at all). Labour will be plunged into another crisis, regardless of whether or not Corbyn goes.
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Post by cubes »

It'll be interesting to see if the result of the local elections changes some people's voting intentions in the general election imo. Not sure it will but some people may be shocked into voting against the tories.
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Post by Lord Beria3 »

I think everybody here is over complicating this.

The Tories, in virtually every poll for months, have a strong lead of between 15 to 20 odd in the polls.

The most likely outcome is that the Tories will win a big majority in the general election, barring no massive disaster.

Its the same with the French election. Macron has a 10% lead for months now against Le Pen - he will probably win with a comfortable majority.

I appreciate that it is fashionable to say that polls are useless but they are not.

The polls just before the Brexit vote were pretty much 50 - 50 and the result was within the margin of error (plus 3% or so).

Ditto the US elections - Trump was only a few % points behind Clinton in the polls and he won through key states in the Rust Belt.

So, even if the polls are over-estimating the Tory lead by say 3%, that still provides them with at least a 13% lead over Labour which would give them a big majority in the Commons.
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Post by clv101 »

The polls are suggesting the Tories will pick up a larger share of the popular vote than Blair did in '97 and Labour less than Major. 20 years on this could be as much of a landslide as that.

Key factors seem to be the collapse of UKIP, to Conservative's advantage and Labour's difficulties with respect to their Brexit messaging and Corbyn. LibDems are sure to pick up some more, but the more I hear from Farron the less optimistic I feel for them. He's not a patch on Clegg.

Having the local elections a month before the general is really interesting. Turnout should be higher than otherwise expected due to general election campaigning and the results (better than any poll) are bound to have an influence on the GE.

I wonder if the locals could be so bad for Labour that Corbyn actually quits a month before the GE, and it's fought with an interim leader with the promise of a 'reboot' and new leadership elections (not featuring Corbyn). I wouldn't be surprised if that scenario delivered a better GE result than if Corbyn remained leader.
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