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Refilling the Gravy Train

£35 billion black hole in council pensions - Telegraph
Householders are paying up to £140 a year in council tax to help fill a £35 billion black hole in town hall pension funds.
An investigation by this newspaper raised renewed criticism of the “final salary” pensions offered to council employees. Such pensions have been almost eradicated in the private sector.
The final salary schemes used by councils offer workers guaranteed pensions based on their salary when they retire.
They include clauses allowing workers to retire early on full pensions.
The slump in share prices caused by the recession has hit pension fund investments hard and added to the scale of the problem.
Council chiefs admit that the situation was made worse when some local authorities took “pension holidays”, withholding contributions to their funds when the markets were strong.

I note that every household in Wiltshire owes £1,149 to the County's Pension blackhole (I'm excluding Swindon) If we exclude those households who are funded by the public sector then the figure rises towards £2000. £2000 we owe to a scheme we have already paid for, one that won't benefit us one iota. They taxed us once to fill the pot, the pot sprung a leak so they will tax us a gain to fill it again. £2000 would come in very handy to fill my leaking pension pot, can I go back to my past employers and ask them to pay me again?


If HM Government want to nationalise something let it be Local Authority pension funds. Those billions could have been our fiscal stimulus through cutting taxes.

Watching an old Alistair Cooke programme about the Depression on BBC4 last night it struck me: Gordon Brown's soluition to the Brownturn is a Keynsian spending splurge with funny money. We've already had it. A decade of state enlargement and spending for the sake of spending (something like a million and a half more people dependant on HMG for their employment and untold millions getting a comfortable existence on welfare, plus wasteful throwing of gobs of money at public services without a clue how to get results from it). All funded by funny money borrowed by both the public and business alike.

FDR tried price fixing, massive public sector employment and huge numbers of public works projects. On the public works front we cannot do that today - mechanisation has resulted in one man with a digger doing the work of tens of men. It would spend a lot of money but occupy just a few contractors working for a few well known private firms.

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