The Haves and the Have Lots

Money Money MoneyThe Haves and the Have Lots

Plenty of things to keep me otherwise occupied over the last few weeks but a few stories this week have dragged me back to the online soapbox. The first was a little piece earlier in the week about the Bank of England’s “Guvner” Mervyn Merlin King and the other was the transfer of Fernando Torres to Chelsea. An unlikely combination you might think so let me let loose..

Public Sector Have a Lots

So first Mr King. Responsible job being the Governor of the Bank of England. Lots of pressure – think of all those letters he needs to write to young George explaining why once again inflation is a little higher than targeted. Then there’s those interminable meetings of the MPC where there is much uhmming and arring about interest rates with the conclusion much, much later that they should stay exactly where they are (ie we don’t have one) just in case it upsets someone (other than savers of course who don’t count). Well cynicism aside it is a bog job so deserves a reasonable wage. £302,885 a year to be precise. Not a bad whack. But being the public sector that’s not the best bit. As with my previous diatribes on pay at the BBC, and Public Sector Pensions in general, the best bit is the golden, jewel encrusted pension that comes with it. So while we are being asked to tighten our belts, prepare for grim times ahead, and expect nothing from the state in our retirement, “Merlin’s” pension pot was quietly being topped up with another £1.4m. This gives him a pot now worth in the region of £5.36 million – which apparently will entitle him to £198,200 a year. How on earth is the poor bloke meant to exist on such a measly sum. Surely us taxpayers should be aiming to work harder and pay more tax to allow public “servants” like Merlin to live in their dotage in the custom that our hard work has already allowed them to become accustomed to. Er no. Not at all actually. As a (sometimes) hard working taxpayer I would argue strongly that on even a fraction of the salary Merlin currently receives he should be able to put enough aside to look after his own pension provision, and as with MPs, top Civil Servants, BBC management and all other “servants of the people” their ridiculous and gargantuan pension pots should be first in line for the chop when the country is in a whole, and in fact forever more in the future. “But we wouldn’t attract high calibre people without good pensions..”. Whatever happened to the notion of public service (that and a large fat salary). These people should be more than happy to a) work for less and b) forgo much of their ridiculous packages at any time, but especially when they are the very ones telling us to “tighten our belts”. The hypocrisy of it would be funny if it wasn’t so damned annoying and outrageously wrong.

So what of Mr Torres. Well as one or the few Chelsea fans in the Lake District I’m not sure I would agree with either his worth or his skill levels. However time will tell. What I won’t argue with is that ultimately however bad for the game it may be that Roman and his ilk can drive up the transfer prices, and however wrong it may be that young blokes get paid millions for running around a field once or twice a week with dodgy haircuts, at least none of their wages are funded by our taxes (at least not directly!). So if Chelsea want to pay that money out and Roman wants his bank balance to suffer accordingly then so be it.

The Problem

The problem is that our public sector masters almost universally seem to see themselves as part of the footballing/silverscreen/small screen “celeb” culture and expect the salaries and trapping to match. One only has to take one look at Uncle Vince in his funky fedora to see that the guy has totally lost touch with humanity…

The Answer

As always the answer is simple and satisfying. Cease immediately all final salary pension schemes for all public sector employees earning over a certain threshold (say £100k, probably a lot lower). Make all fo them take an immediate and compulsory 25% pay cut. And if they don’t like it they can go out and fend for themselves in the real world like the rest of us. It will certainly challenge them to ask whether they are working for the “public good” or to line their own pockets…

Just a thought…

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About lakedistrictviews

Trying to earn a honest living in the beautiful English Lake District
This entry was posted in Messages to Dave and Nick, Random News Events and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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