Friday, December 02, 2005

My pension or my life?

Will this government please make up its mind about my pension?

Naturally, I work in government (where else did you expect to find a liberal bureaucrat?) and I've been watching the public debate about my financial future with some interest. First the government proposes that I work until I'm 65, which I have no problem with, if truth be told. Then I'm told that nice Mr Johnson has agreed that, after all, I can collect my pension at 60. All hell breaks loose, led by those nice caring people from the Daily Mail (who, were they to be found burning in hell, would be lowering the tone of the neighbourhood...).

So the government gets wobbly (and that's a surprise, isn't it?), and our next Prime Minister, sorry, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announces that he isn't so sure. The Minister for Work and Pensions announces that the government has no plans to revisit the position (shorthand for, if we can break our word and get away with it, you bet we will). Pressure builds, as the CBI attack the government for backing down from a fight with the big, bad civil service unions (you are joking, Digby, aren't you?).

Alright then, I'll cut you a deal... I'll stay on until 65, longer if I'm fit and still enjoying it, you amend my pension to compensate me for the extra years. You'll probably still make money on the deal, I won't be roaming the streets mugging young people in hoodies and stealing their sweets money, and by spending my time in a nice, heated government office, I won't be using valuable fossil fuels heating my home. Just treat me with a little respect, as without me, you wouldn't be able to raise the funds for those nice little nuclear submarines you'd set your heart on...

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