Thinking over George Osborne’s Autumn Statement of last week, the one thing that stands out to me, and not comfortably I must say, is the announcement that the goalposts to retirement are to be moved.
Plans to raise the basic state pension age to 70 for people currently in their twenties were laid out by George Osborne like pouring water down a ducks back and as if being a pensioner now means an excess weight of stone, and assisted by the press (who have been preparing the public for some time), we are being told that working people, must expect to work longer, and the way things are going, for much less money and take home pay.
We are told, because people are living longer, this in turn is putting a fiscal twist and strain on public finance, it’s costing an arm and a leg to keep our pensioners, in what should be a comfortable break after a lifetime of work; but, it should be cozy, snug, warm and pleasant, and after a lifetime of repetitive slavery for most. What Osborne is really saying, and with a pointing finger at all working people, is you exist only to work, you are the firewood we burn, the fuel to profit.
The Independent newspaper published a very interesting article, suggesting that thousands of Britain’s poorest people “will be dead before they can retire” if sweeping pension reforms are not matched by urgent action on health inequalities between the rich and the poor.
I am also convinced, that if it wasn't Osborne, then it would be Balls and Labour doing the dirty on working people, and just as they did in office the last time.
BERTRAND RUSSELL, was not a fan of work. In his 1932 essay, “In Praise of Idleness”, he reckoned that if society were better managed the average person would only need to work four hours a day. Such a small working day would “entitle a man to the necessities and elementary comforts of life.”
However we look at it, this is most definitely, a step backwards, and in light of technology, the application of scientific knowledge, advances made in computer technology and recycling technologies, must surely mean, we should be working less years not more?” Technological advancement should free people from toil, but first we would have to establish a civilised society which capitalism is not.
And, as Russell argued, working less will guarantee “happiness and joy of life, instead of frayed nerves, weariness, and dyspepsia".