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Socialism in the 21st CenturyRead online

 Socialism in the 21st Century

 

The right to a living pension

A socialist pensions policy would 

  • Allow workers to start drawing a decent state pension at 55.
  • Those who want to continue work could do so.
  • Part-time work with part pension could bridge the gap between work and retirement for those who want it.
  • Pensioners should receive an immediate 50% increase, and this should be extended to all state benefits.
  • The link between pensions and earnings should be restored.

‘Work until you drop if you can't afford to retire.’

That's New Labour's grim message.

As far as big business is concerned we are living too long.

A 65-year old in 2002 could expect to live four years more than a 65-year old in 1960.

Government and employers say they can't afford state and occupational pensions to pay for this.


New Labour's big idea 

So New Labour's big idea is us working.

Compulsory retirement at 65 will go.

Teachers, civil servants and NHS workers, who can now retire at 60, will have to soldier on until 65

When we eventually get to retire a personal pension scheme will be the only option available to us if big business gets their way.

Yet, as recent scandals have shown, pension funds are reliant on the casino of the stock market, so even if we stretch to make the payments (pension experts estimate a 30 year-old needs to put away over £200 per month) receiving a living pension is far from guaranteed.

Big business wants workers to be responsible for their own pensions.

But the wealth now pocketed by big business has been made by working people.

A socialist pensions policy would 

  • Allow workers to start drawing a decent state pension at 55.
  • Those who want to continue work could do so.
  • Part-time work with part pension could bridge the gap between work and retirement for those who want it.
  • Pensioners should receive an immediate 50% increase, and this should be extended to all state benefits.
  • The link between pensions and earnings should be restored.

These measures would cost around £15 billion a year.

In addition, pensioners, having contributed to society all their lives, should be entitled to 

  • Free housing, heating, telephone and travel.

This could be easily paid for by using some of the £35 billion a year New Labour are currently spending on so-called defence.

For a socialist alternative

Housing

Health

Council tax and local services

Crime

Pay

Higher Education and Schools

Childcare

Pensions

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