/ Tory Group 2020 policies

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Blizzard - on 06 Jan 2013
I know we generally seem to be moving backwards in the UK, but:

Along with the welfare reforms
Abolishing Retriement Age
Paying lower benefits in the North
Lengthening the school day to help working parents
Getting more disabled people working
Making mortgage repayment periods longer
The current HS2 rail plan that wont help rail commuters simply burden existing commuters with higher fares to fund its construction

And Cameron stating that he wants to lead the UK into 2020??? How with such popular policies that will hit most of us will he manage it?
IanC - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

How does abolishing the compulsory retirement age hit anyone but employers?
MG - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to IanC: And what's wrong with longer mortgages, if people want them.?
Blizzard - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

Getting people to work even longer (when there are fewer job opportunities in reality compared to our predecessors), personally I dont fancy the notion of working til I get old, then dropping dead a few years into retirement cos my body has had it.

Getting people into debt for longer periods of time to pay for overpriced housing? Yeah right. Maybe you are happy about both of these issues, personally I am not.
MG - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Getting people to work even longer (when there are fewer job opportunities in reality compared to our predecessors), personally I dont fancy the notion of working til I get old, then dropping dead a few years into retirement cos my body has had it.
>

So who should pay for oyur food then?


> Getting people into debt for longer periods of time to pay for overpriced housing? Yeah right. Maybe you are happy about both of these issues, personally I am not.

Well rent then.

Blizzard - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

People really are personalising and generalizing on here. What if I dont pay rent? And what if I lived in a community, that perhaps had different values to some of you on here. I get the impression that some of you were born 'true blue on the political spectrum'
Tyler - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

> Making mortgage repayment periods longer

What's changed here? Is there a new policy?
wynaptomos - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard: I'm certainly no apologist for Cameron but I do think that we should give him credit for at least trying to face up to some of these big issues while Labour tended to bury it's head in the sand when they were in power with issues such as pensions.

To answer your question though, I think it's a massive ask for him to remain in power until 2020 and we are more likely to see a period when the government changes every term.
MG - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard: Then presumbly you would have no mortgage so whats the problem?
Rob Exile Ward on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: To me it is absurd that with the incredible increases in productivity we have enjoyed over the last few years, together with the pressure on scarce resources to manufacture goods that are of only the most marginal benefit, and the huge number of unemployed that there are, that we don't put 2 and 2 together and agree to work less, share work out more, consume less and enjoy more free time - and life.

Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> I know we generally seem to be moving backwards in the UK, but:
>
>
> And Cameron stating that he wants to lead the UK into 2020??? How with such popular policies that will hit most of us will he manage it?

He won't. The electorate, not understanding that we have all been living in a fools' paradise off borrowed money for the past couple of decades and not accepting that this has to end and there have to be big changes and will generally be worse off, will vote for the opposition that promises they have a special secret policy switch that will make us all rich. Of course the only reason the Tories won't press the switch is because they are horrid.

Dax H - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> I know we generally seem to be moving backwards in the UK, but:
>
> Along with the welfare reforms
you know my thoughts on this from the other thread

> Abolishing Retriement Age
should people not be able to chose to work or retire? , forcing people out at 65 is age discrimination.

> Paying lower benefits in the North
benefits should cover food and shelter only and that is cheaper in the north than the south.

> Lengthening the school day to help working parents
according to the BBC news today this has been a success and has lead to children being happier and getting better results and it helps parents with child care costs.

> Getting more disabled people working
what is wrong with helping disabled people who are capable of working get jobs and the self respect that comes with that.

> Making mortgage repayment periods longer
my only opinion on this is that people should learn to live to their needs, I live in a small house in a scruffy area because it is easy to afford rather than struggle in a bigger house in a better area.

> The current HS2 rail plan that wont help rail commuters simply burden existing commuters with higher fares to fund its construction
our transport infrastructure is very out of date and needs modernisation, I dont know enough about the new rail plan to comment though.
>
> And Cameron stating that he wants to lead the UK into 2020??? How with such popular policies that will hit most of us will he manage it?
or we could have labour who want to carry on borrowing more to get us out of debt as a continuation of what they did when they were in power.

Coel Hellier - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

> personally I dont fancy the notion of working til I get old, then dropping dead a few years into
> retirement cos my body has had it.

Well this was the reality for everyone until very recently. What is the realistic alternative? If we have people supported by others from ages 0 to 18 (or increasingly 21 or 22 with a gap year), and they then retire at 65 and live to ~ 85, then that is ~ 43 years working and ~ 42 years not working. Then you factor in the unemployed and the disabled and others unable to work, and you quickly realise that everything doesn't add up.

It seems to me reasonable that the age when the state starts supporting older people should rise in line with increasing life expectancy. If you want to retire earlier than that, and have 20 years when you're still fit, healthy and active, then surely you should be expected to fund it?

Put it this way, if you are still fit, healthy and active, why should it be other adults' task to support you?
didntcomelast on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to wynaptomos:As a public sector worker and as a police officer, a sector which has come under three seperate reviews lately as a result of the current government, I don't think this government has given due consideration to pensions. There is a lot of talk about a public sector black hole and gold plated pensions, however they are jsut attention grabbing headlines and it is only when you start to scratch below the surface questions arise.
The police service currently have two pension schemes, we changed from a 30yr scheme to a 35yr scheme several years ago as we were aware that there were issues regarding pension defecits and changes had to be made. Officers on the older 1987 scheme pay over 13% of their monthly salary into the pension scheme, yes police officers are reasonably well paid but, 13% each month is a sizable contribution in todays terms. This is the highest contribution of any of the public sectors.
The threatened black hole would only really manifest itself if all of the pensions were claimed at once. We police officers tend not to last very long after retirement anyway so claiming our 'gold plated' pensions doesn't last very long anyway.
Its a sad fact that this government bases a lot of their policies on an ideological basis rather than proven need.
The Police fedreration provided and can still provide the government with a set of alternative figures which would have saved the government and essentially you and me at least the same amount of tax, yet this was dismissed out of hand. Read into that what you will.
Blizzard - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

What if you are not fit and healthy? What if you are disabled and struggle with many types of employer?

Despite the Disability Discrimintion Act it would hardly defend me,especially based on my track record and if I was 'straight' about my disability.

My perception is that the baby boomers seemed to have had a great life, with more opportunities than we currently have, they have retired at 65 on full pensions ( the ones I know) other people are a slave to the system and seem to live to work. There is a poor work life balance in the UK. I dont know any unemployed scroungers.

I do know a few disabled people, one who actually works but she is due to leave the UK to live abroad and continue claiming benefits. (Her father is a millionaire) Should I be the one to grass on her?

If I were Cameron and a multi millionaire, it would be easy to spout off policy, cos these policies dont directly affect our ivory tower politicians.
Eric9Points - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

I doubt the Tories will be in power after the next election so what they're promising to do is a huge irrelevance.

After using their usual tactic of vilifying anyone on benefit it seems that their cuts will adversely affect groups of people they claim to admire and are presumably hoping will vote for them, teachers, nurses and soldiers:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/05/soldiers-nurses-teachers-benefit-curbs

If they were looking for any votes from that demographic at the next election then I'm afraid they're going to be disappointed.

Compare their vilification of the poor to their mealy mouthed whingeing when announcing cuts to child benefits for the rich, yes people earning over 50 grand a year are rich in my view, explaining how difficult changes must regretably be made blah, blah, blah... Pissing off the middle class of the SE of England must have left Ed Miliband thinking that Christmas had come twice: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9641766/Child-benefit-cuts-may-be-illegal.html

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/janetdaley/100187034/child-benefit-cuts-illegal-or-just-immoral/

The same middle class voters who will now be forking out 9K per year for their children's higher education..

If Levenson's report gets kicked into the long grass then they can expect to reap what they sow.

Not to mention all those brave words about banking reform.

..and what of Europe? Anyone got the faintest idea what the Conservative party wants to do about the EU? No, neither do I and their belligerent equivocation is simply losing us the friends and influence we had built up over the last two decades. Either lead or shut up but don't sit in the back row grumbling about your European neighbours.

..and what has happened to his stated aim of rebalancing the UK economy and boosting our manufacturing sector? We're investing or about to invest billions in wind turbines and a new generation of nuclear power stations..made mainly by French companies as far as I can see. Thanks David that's a load of skills and jobs that could have been created in Britain if you'd done what you'd said you were going to do.

No, think about it. If David couldn't get a majority against a deeply unpopular and accident prone Prime minister at the last election then he's not going going to get a majority after five years of fudge and muddle.

Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

Funny isn't it. We blame politicians for doing things just for votes andy hen they do difficult things because thy think they need doing they get blamed for that. Oh, sorry, I forgot, they do it just because they are nasty.
Tyler - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to tony forster:


In reply to tony forster:

> The police service currently have two pension schemes, we changed from a 30yr scheme to a 35yr scheme several years ago as we were aware that there were issues regarding pension defecits and changes had to be made. Officers on the older 1987 scheme pay over 13% of their monthly salary into the pension scheme, yes police officers are reasonably well paid but, 13% each month is a sizable contribution in todays terms. This is the highest contribution of any of the public sectors.
> The threatened black hole would only really manifest itself if all of the pensions were claimed at once.

You're being a bit disingenuous because the contribution for the current scheme is 11%. For this you can join at 25 and retire at 55 on 2/3 of your final salary. 'Fat cats' aside I doubt there are many who wouldn't swap with you.

> The Police fedreration provided and can still provide the government with a set of alternative figures which would have saved the government and essentially you and me at least the same amount of tax, yet this was dismissed out of hand. Read into that what you will.

I guess from this the Police federation know of some way of making this pension even better for the beneficiaries whilst still remaining affordable? This always puzzles me as I can never understand how the public sector can make these pensions figures work yet the private sector can't get anywhere near? Why don't the financial institutions who run my pension offer something similar? If they offered me 15% sacrifice and similar terms I'd bite their hand off, that extra 4% would be pure profit (a 27% margin on employee contributions, not bad even if they made nothing on employer contributions).
Tyler - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

> My perception is that the baby boomers seemed to have had a great life, with more opportunities than we currently have, they have retired at 65 on full pensions ( the ones I know) other people are a slave to the system and seem to live to work. There is a poor work life balance in the UK.

Is your point that final salary pensions are affordable and we should all get them or that they are unaffordable and therefore need to change?
Coel Hellier - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> it seems that their cuts will adversely affect groups of people they claim to admire ...

Perhaps you could explain how to recover from a 170 Billion per year deficit without doing that?

> ... yes people earning over 50 grand a year are rich in my view,

So you agree with the Tory policy on this?

> Anyone got the faintest idea what the Conservative party wants to do about the EU?

Sure. What they'd like is a status semi-detached from the "core" that is headed for "ever closer union", and thus with the UK participating in the free market and free trade, and opting into other policies as they see fit, but not being forced to participate in everything related to the "ever closer union". It's no secret that they want that!

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Coel Hellier - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Tyler:

> You're being a bit disingenuous because the contribution for the current scheme is 11%. For this you can
> join at 25 and retire at 55 on 2/3 of your final salary. 'Fat cats' aside I doubt there are many who
> wouldn't swap with you.

You're right, the terms and conditions of the police are very generous. I'd have to work to age 80 to get a 2/3rds-salary pension, and my pension deal is way better than is offered by nearly all the private sector nowadays.
Blizzard - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Tyler:

That some people have luckily been awarded them, me and many others of you out there will not have any pension provision. I do think that final salary pensions are a luxury, and unaffordable due to the extended longevity of our population. There needs to be some change. Its probable that the change is that they are no longer awarded, and we will simply have to survive on less money when we are old.
Tyler - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

OK, I thought your original post was against the abolishment of a statutory retirement age
Bimble on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> [...]
> what is wrong with helping disabled people who are capable of working get jobs and the self respect that comes with that.

Try telling that to a family friend who is paralysed completely, moves around in a wheelchair with a computer operated by his mouth, can just about speak legibly, yet has been told he's fit to go back to work again & will be losing his benefits.
Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> Try telling that to a family friend who is paralysed completely, moves around in a wheelchair with a computer operated by his mouth, can just about speak legibly, yet has been told he's fit to go back to work again & will be losing his benefits.

With all due respect that is a bureaucratic fxck up not a policy. Quite obviously there has to be some test of people's right to disability benefits and quite obviously this person should get them. That somehow the system screwed up does not mean the basic idea of testing is wrong.
Bimble on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

No, using ATOS who have repeatedly shown their assessments are ridiculously incorrect is wrong, as is paying them 400m to carry out said tests.
Dax H - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> Try telling that to a family friend who is paralysed completely, moves around in a wheelchair with a computer operated by his mouth, can just about speak legibly, yet has been told he's fit to go back to work again & will be losing his benefits.

No problem with supporting people who genuinely need it and whoever assessed your friend should be sacked for gross misconduct.

Coel Hellier - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

> Try telling that to a family friend who is paralysed completely, moves around in a wheelchair
> with a computer operated by his mouth, can just about speak legibly, yet has been told he's fit to
> go back to work again & will be losing his benefits.

If this case is genuine, why aren't the Labour party and the media trumpeting it around all over the place, as they usually would in such cases?
Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> No, using ATOS who have repeatedly shown their assessments are ridiculously incorrect is wrong, as is paying them 400m to carry out said tests.

So are you objecting to the concept of testing or the method?

I agree the methods seem simplistic. How would do we do it cheaply and effectively on a large scale so that funds are diverted to the correct recipients?
stroppygob - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> Try telling that to a family friend who is paralysed completely, moves around in a wheelchair with a computer operated by his mouth, can just about speak legibly, yet has been told he's fit to go back to work again & will be losing his benefits.

You try telling that to my mate's girlfriend's hairdressers cousin who heard down the pub about a guy who has no arms, no legs, is blind, deaf, and dumb, has an IQ of 5 and who is in a persistive vegetative state who has been told he has to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before he goes to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when he gets home, his Dad and our mother will kill him and dance about on his grave singing Hallelujah.
Robert Durran - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> Abolishing Retriement Age
> Paying lower benefits in the North
> Lengthening the school day to help working parents
> Getting more disabled people working
> Making mortgage repayment periods longer
> The current HS2 rail plan that wont help rail commuters simply burden existing commuters with higher fares to fund its construction

Difficult to argue with any of that. Except the longer school day, but then I'm a teacher. Actually, it won't effect me anyway up here in the Peoples' Republic of Scotland under Chairman Salmond.
Bimble on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Because it was a recent judgement and we are still putting the story together. And yes, I'm sure the local Labour MPs will be most interested in using it to score some lovely political points. Such is politics, eh...
Bimble on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to TryfAndy)
> [...]
>
> So are you objecting to the concept of testing or the method?
>
> I agree the methods seem simplistic. How would do we do it cheaply and effectively on a large scale so that funds are diverted to the correct recipients?

The method more than anything; a faceless tick-box assessment system that doesn't actually take it into account any real assessments done by medical professionals. If people are fit to work, then fair enough, but it should be ascertained by a doctor, not points derived from a questionnaire.
Dax H - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: Maybe they are holding Stephen hawking up as an example of working with a disability and are expecting the same from your friend.

As I said if it is true the assessor needs sacking on the spot.
Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> The method more than anything; a faceless tick-box assessment system that doesn't actually take it into account any real assessments done by medical professionals. If people are fit to work, then fair enough, but it should be ascertained by a doctor, not points derived from a questionnaire.


There are problems with that as well eg.it can harm doctor/patient relationships and is very time consuming. Anyway, we agree testing should be one but done better. Lame the ciil servants for creating a lousy framework.
Frankly I can't see how a tick box or any other method except rolling dice could have refused this person so it still just sounds like a screw up.
IanC - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Getting people to work even longer (when there are fewer job opportunities in reality compared to our predecessors), personally I dont fancy the notion of working til I get old, then dropping dead a few years into retirement cos my body has had it.


Well at least with the retirement age abolished you could choose to work longer should you wish rather than effectively being fired for being old.

Rob Exile Ward on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to IanC: Abolishing the retirement age was a kick in the teeth for small businesses. Nobody sacks people who are doing a good job, whatever their age; abolishing the retirement age just made it that much harder to get rid of people who weren't.
birdie num num - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
Num Num isn't the least bit bothered with longer school days. Num Num doesn't go to school.
MG - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Tyler)
>
> [...]
>
> You're right, the terms and conditions of the police are very generous. I'd have to work to age 80 to get a 2/3rds-salary pension,

That's a very disingenuous statement! You will get a large lump sum as well as 50% salary at 65 which adds up to the equivalent of 2/3rds salary. Still very good of course.
Jimbo W on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> If this case is genuine, why aren't the Labour party and the media trumpeting it around all over the place, as they usually would in such cases?

There are such cases in the media frequently. I read the sat guardian and watch the occ channel4 news and I've read about 3 such cases. I've also heard of a couple of examples on the today program. There was one case in this sat guardian of a guy who has had two lobotomies:
http://m.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/04/disability-claimants-work-assessments-atos
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stp - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:

> benefits should cover food and shelter only and that is cheaper in the north than the south.

I think food is pretty much the same from chain supermakets - where most buy from. I've no doubt restaurants are more pricy in London but somewhat irrelevant.

The cost of housing can vary massively from one part of a city to another.


> or we could have labour who want to carry on borrowing more to get us out of debt as a continuation of what they did when they were in power.

The debt stuff is just an excuse. The current Tory plans are exactly the same as they've been for decades: punish the poor, help the rich. (Don't forget they've already cut taxes for the richest sector.)
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to stp:
> (In reply to Dax H)
>
> [...]
>
> The debt stuff is just an excuse. The current Tory plans are exactly the same as they've been for decades: punish the poor, help the rich. (Don't forget they've already cut taxes for the richest sector.)

Another ostrich. All you are doing is refusing to engage with the issues because it is too hard and the decisions to be made are very difficult. It is, as I said above, much easier to make yourself good by convincing yourself that anyone who addresses the issues is bad.

The debt stuff is not just an excuse. It is a real issue that needs addressing.
And is it beyond your imagination that there might be an alternative way of helping people out of poverty than channelling an ever increasing amount of funds from one set of people, through the State, to another to another set of people? It hasn't worked very well so far but are you so clever and on such a high moral plane that you know it the only way and that any alternative idea reflects an evil mind?

EeeByGum - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> Nobody sacks people who are doing a good job, whatever their age; abolishing the retirement age just made it that much harder to get rid of people who weren't.

But surely businesses don't keep ineffective employees whatever their age? You are basically saying that the old retirement age was a convenient way of getting rid of ineffective staff if they happened to be 65? No doubt those same businesses are littered with ineffective younger employees?

It is not difficult to get rid of people. It just requires a bit of organisation on the part of the employer - something a lot of employers seem incapable of doing.
off-duty - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to tony forster)
>
>
> In reply to tony forster:
>
> [...]
>
> You're being a bit disingenuous because the contribution for twhere rrent scheme is 11%. For this you can join at 25 and retire at 55 on 2/3 of your final salary. 'Fat cats' aside I doubt there are many who wouldn't swap with you.
>

Comments like this are extremely tiresome. Your facts are wrong
Were you to have joined the police after 2006 you would currently be paying 10.5% which is rising to 13.8% (i believe). For this you would be working 35 years and recieving a half final salary pension.
Had the pension been unchanged you would be paying 9.5%.
The current changes are also extending the time required to serve so that in order to recieve pension you will have to serve till 60, otherwise you will be waiting till 67. (Not withstanding that the average age of recruits is 27 - so they won't be getting a full pension at 60 anyway)
Bear in mind that the pyramid nature of policing is such that the majority stay at constable rank - that means 35 years of fighting drunks on street corners on a Friday night.


>
> I guess from this the Police federation know of some way of making this pension even better for the beneficiaries whilst still remaining affordable? This always puzzles me as I can never understand how the public sector can make these pensions figures work yet the private sector can't get anywhere near? Why don't the financial institutions who run my pension offer something similar? If they offered me 15% sacrifice and similar terms I'd bite their hand off, that extra 4% would be pure profit (a 27% margin on employee contributions, not bad even if they made nothing on employer contributions).

Not sure where you get the employer contribution from. Part of the problem is that the government haven't been making one, but simply used current contributions to pay past pensioners.

Don't get me wrong though - I accept its still a good pension. It was part of the reason I joined, and why I accepted the restrictions on my private life, the crappy shifts, the horrible bits and the good parts.
If you want to change a huge part of the package then there will be knock on effects. The police service - even as the most virulent police hater believes it to be - will get worse.
Good luck with that.
Rob Exile Ward on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: 'It just requires a bit of organisation on the part of the employer - something a lot of employers seem incapable of doing.'

Which in turn requires a bit of time, over and above the 70 - 80 hrs a week many (small) employers spend working to make sure they can meet the salary bill - something a lot of employees don't seem to appreciate.

I do take your point, I had the situation a year or two ago when we were prepared to tolerate a deteriorating worker for the last few months of her career, for the sake of goodwill etc, then blow me the legislation changed and I had to sack her. Ill feeling and bitterness all round.
IanC - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to IanC) Abolishing the retirement age was a kick in the teeth for small businesses. Nobody sacks people who are doing a good job, whatever their age; abolishing the retirement age just made it that much harder to get rid of people who weren't.

I agree, just trying to point out that the change isn't about forcing people to work longer but allowing them too. In reality I agree, deadwood has to be fired rather than allowed to retire, extra stress (and costs) for all.

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