Socialist Worker

City bonuses could solve the pensions ‘crisis’ overnight

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2015

Extraordinary figures released last week showed the scale of plunder by Britain’s top bosses.

Analysis by the Guardian newspaper shows that bonuses for executives in Britain’s boardrooms and City dealing rooms rose by 16 percent last year - reaching a total of

£19 billion.

That is equivalent to Britain’s entire annual transport budget.

It also throws into sharp perspective, for example, the assault on workers’ pensions.

In October last year the government claimed that by raising the pension age for new entrants in teaching, the NHS and the civil service from 60 to 65 they would save £13 billion by 2050.

So millions of people have to slog their guts out for an extra five years to claw back £13 billion over 45 years, while a few thousand of the very richest in society are allowed to pocket £19 billion without a word from ministers.

The loot grabbed by the wealthiest is a far greater emergency, requiring far more urgent action, than the so?called demographic timebomb, which is being used to undermine everyone’s pension rights.

Pay specialist Independent Remuneration Solutions revealed earlier this year that leading executives of Britain’s biggest companies now get £3.3 million a year on average including their large bonuses and pay?related incentive plans.

The huge handouts to executives are helping to force up house prices.

The super-rich compete for a limited number of homes and also buy second and third homes. This forces up prices for everyone else.

Thrown on the scrapheap

Over one million 50-65 year olds who want to work can’t get a job because employers won’t recruit older workers, according to a new TUC report.

The TUC also accuses businesses of failing to retain the older workers they already employ by investing in training or making minor adjustments for disabilities.

The report, Ready Willing and Able, claims that of the 2.6 million in the age range who are currently unemployed or economically inactive, more than a third want a job, with 250,000 of them actively seeking employment.

The fact they can’t get a job shows how the government’s pension strategy of making everyone work longer will fail even in its own terms.

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Article information

Sat 26 Aug 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2015
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