back to article Queen's speech pledges faster deficit cut, 'freedom bill'

The Queen has opened Parliament, detailing the coalition's first legislative programme and setting the scene for deep cuts and unprecedented political bartering. No further cuts were announced following yesterday's initial £6.2bn pruning, but the Monarch did confirm the ConDems will speed up their deficit reduction programme. …

COMMENTS

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  1. Mark Rendle
    Megaphone

    Pension age to 66 by 2024?

    Here's a better idea: change it to 70 by 2011.

    The State Retirement Age has been 65 for men since 1925, and 60 for women since 1940. In 1941, the average life expectancy was 59 for men and 64 for women. So men, on average, never lived long enough to claim their pension, and women got it for four years.

    Life expectancy now is 77 for men and 81 for women. So an increasing number of pensioners are claiming for longer and longer, and being supported by a proportionally smaller number of taxpayers. The system is broken, and dicking around for fear of upsetting the Saga Set is just making it worse.

    1. The Original Ash
      WTF?

      Hell, why be moderate?

      Mandate euthanasia at 59 and we never need to move the date again!

    2. DaveyDaveDave

      Perhaps quote non-war years?

      It seems a little counter-intuitive to quote life expectancy in the middle of a war...

      With a very quick look, I haven't managed to find any figures for the UK going back that far (and I notice that you haven't quoted your source), but I'm guessing that the average life expectancy would have dipped somewhat between 1940 and 1945.

      1. Volker Hett
        Coat

        reminds me

        Soylent Green is people!

        Mines the one with the Soylent Oceanographic Survey Report, 2015 to 2019 in the pocket

      2. Paul Fowler
        Dead Vulture

        Moderation?

        Why stop at 59, Logan's Run here we come!

    3. Pedro Mendosa

      It's not that simple

      You can't just change the age limit when people have been financially planning retirement at a particular age for years/decades.

      One day we'll all be in the 'Saga Set'.

    4. Clarissa
      Thumb Up

      Re: Pension age to 66 by 2024?

      I agree with the sentiment if not necessarily the speed. By the end of the decade should be quick enough.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's all very well but.....

      Changing the age to 70 makes sense - but ONLY if those above the current retirement age are able to continue working to obtain an income.

      It is pointless raising the age to 70 if when the 60+ year (or even 50+) old loses their job and then can't obtain another one because companies will not hire them as they are "too old".

      Despite legislation to the contrary there are still companies that manage to evade the laws by finding some other reason for not hiring oldies who are still perfectly competent. After all there are usually a bunch of them sitting on boards, running companies, running qangos, not to mention, government.

      So whether it is a pension or some other benefit to support them until official retirement age, money will still be paid out of taxation.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Mark...

      ..I don't give a shit, I have a Private pension so will be long done by then.

      But if you fancy being forced to work your entire life feel free. Most people don't want to.

      Here's a radical plan. Allow asylum seekers to work while being processed, just tax them at 50% + NI

      Win Win...

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      The problem is . .

      that the 'Saga Set' is a significant (and growing) political demographic.

      Turkeys don't vote for Christmas and politicians don't vote to upset major constituencies (or at least not until they''ve been in power for ten years and have forgotten things can be any other way).

      AC, speaking from just outside the boundaries of the Saga Set.

      1. Mark Rendle

        And that is why...

        ...the change should have full cross-party support.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        You reckon?

        "The problem is that the 'Saga Set' is a significant (and growing) political demographic."

        By the time this change has any effect the lard-arse generation will be falling over dead in the streets way before they reach 65.

        Let's hear it for McDonald's for solving the overpopulation problem.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The pension age should stay as it is...

    You are only considering people who do non-manual jobs, what about buiders and factory workers? make them work 'till they die and beyond being able to do the job?

    Yeah right. Its probably fine for you. I bet your job is to sit in a chair all day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      "I bet your job is to sit in a chair all day."

      Not all day, sometimes he has to take a load off, rest his legs, find his seat, keep his chair warm and take 5.

      So it's not just sitting down all day.

  3. Tim #3

    Delicious irony

    I can imagine the Queen looking a bit perplexed when she got to the bit of her speech that mentioned state retirement age.

  4. Mexflyboy
    FAIL

    F' off Mark

    Sod that, I'll be working hard until my retirement (am 36 now, so have a ways to go!), so *I* want to have a few years in which to enjoy my retirement before I shuffle off this mortal coil, so 70 is just too late for that (as I am not willing to bet either way as to whether or not I'll live to be 75ish, especially as a pedestrian here in the UK I'm always in danger of getting run over by a twunt!)

    However: Mark, if *you* want to retire at age 70, go ahead... I'll wave to you from my cruise ship as I drink my piña colada with the rest of the oldies in 2039 . ;-)

    1. John Mangan
      Grenade

      @MexFlyboy

      Blimey, you still think there'll be such things as cruise ships and piña coladas in 2039?

      1. John 62
        Boffin

        2039?

        Civilisation, nay the world, will be gone due to the 2038 bug.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2beornot2be

    They would not be "supported by a proportionally smaller number of taxpayers" if their contributions had been invested instead of treated as income.

    The average age may well be 77 for males but that is an average and not the complete figure, the actual figure changes depending upon lifestyle and location.

    So, let us change the pension age to 77 for males and 81 for females. That would lead to a rather dramatic fall in the amount of pension paid out. But then you could just as well remove the state pension entirely.

    And while we are at it, let us remove the public service pension as well, with its 1.3 trillion-pound black hole....

    Public servants get 1/60th of their final salary per year of employment, plus the state pension.

    THEIR contributions are also not invested. The ENTIRE pension system in this country is running-on-air.

    1. Mark Rendle

      Thanks for the reductio...

      I never suggested raising the age to or beyond life expectancy. I am merely pointing out that the demographic model on which the system was designed is no longer valid.

    2. Mark Rendle

      Contributions used to be invested

      But then they had to start dipping into them to cover increased payouts as people started living longer. And so it snowballed.

  6. Sillyfellow
    Unhappy

    mouthpiece

    did the queen write this speech? or any of her other speeches for that matter ? NO.

    so who writes these speeches, and why should the Queen read them out? is this to lend them more credibility?

    well, my opinion is that whatever she says in 'her speech', are the words of the same old politician liars, with there secret agendas, and whom never keep their promises. so sad to me.

    anyone with anything of constructive common sense, who speaks out, and anyone who happens to know any inconvenient truths about lies and so-called conspiracies, who speaks out, is generally stifled and/or ridiculed (how grown up).

    is this comment too close to home, and hence one which will be stifled ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Sillyfellow

      "is this comment too close to home, and hence one which will be stifled ?"

      No, just ignored.

  7. Mark Rendle

    I find your lack of pragmatism disturbing

    People are going to live longer and longer. Those of you who are under 40 can reasonably hope to live well beyond 80, given the pace of advances in medical science. Why should retirement age not be relative to life expectancy?

    Anonymous coward: And you're posting from a building site, are you? The point is that most 70-year-old men today are far more fit and healthy as the average 1950s 65-year-old.

    Mexflyboy, for example: good luck being able to afford a piña colada, let alone a cruise, if we don't find some way of reducing the already-crippling pension bill some time soon.

  8. Sillyfellow
    WTF?

    oh, and

    what exactly is this 'national debt' to which the queen refers?

    ..while i'm here saying stifle/ridicule worthy things, let me tell (or remind) you about something very simple and very terrible..

    what exactly is 'national debt' ? and who owes this to whom, for what reason?

    the answer is simple. national debt is the interest charged to a government/country by it's own frigging central bank, for the privilege of using the printed paper that this central bank prints and assigned imaginary value to..

    the result of this is simply that we all owe everything to our central bank, who effectively owns and controls everything. conspiracy?

    1. Graham Marsden
      Boffin

      conspiracy?

      No, not conspiracy, just ignorance on your part.

      Try looking up "gilts" which are government backed bonds whereby the government borrows money from investors, pension funds etc in exchange for a guaranteed rate of interest and you'll get some idea of what actually makes up a big chunk of National Debt.

  9. Aron

    Income tax

    Until we have very low or no income tax then the issue of benefits and pensions will always be a problem. If you want to tax us, do it indirectly on the goods and services we buy. Don't tax my wages and I'll look after myself without state help.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      not fair

      ..... if only goods and services are taxed then that tax, and essentials like fuel are not exempt, such a system disproportionately taxes the poor. Of course, that may be what you want ...

  10. Sam Liddicott

    Why, if there are so many unemployed

    If there are so many unemployed, why do I need to work longer?

    Pay me their dole and call it my pension, and they can have my job!

    Unemployment down, retirement ages kept, wins all around!

  11. Pablo

    Unnecessary laws

    So, did Extreme Porn make the list?

  12. h 6
    Paris Hilton

    Huh?

    Why do y'all Brits have a mostly unwritten constitution?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Plor

      zibble deniabilty.

    2. DI_Wyman
      Grenade

      Huh?

      @ you h 6..........'cos we dun't need one boy!

  13. LinkOfHyrule

    ConDem

    It's gotta ring to it! I like it! Con....Dem..... Yeah! Oh well if it's condemned it must be crap!

    1. mmiied

      better than the alternative

      the dem-con colition dose not realy work eather

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