Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

5 Jul

From the Daily Post, 1 July 2011:

Thousands of teachers, lecturers and civil servants joined a UK wide strike yesterday in a mass protest over pension reforms.

[NB: other countries call their supernannuation “pensions”]

More than 200 schools were closed or partially shut, across the region with lectures cancelled at colleges and universities, and disruption at courts and Jobcentres.

An estimated 7,000 members from University and College Union (UCU), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) were involved in the action in North Wales.

In Wrexham all four unions were represented at a mass rally involving well over 100 members in the town centre’s Queens Square, joining the other 750,000 across the UK.

They accused the Government of betraying promises to give public sector workers and teachers a fair pension and claimed they were siphoning off billions to pay the black hole left by the banking crisis.

And they warned this was just the beginning demanding the Government think again.

Shouting “Shame on you” at the Government, President of the NUT in Wrexham Ian Farquharson, a teacher at Rhosnesni High School, said: “The Government are stealing our pensions.

“If they tell us there is no other option, then publish the figures and let’s see them – but they wont.”

Steve Ryan who sits on the PCA Wales committee said: “The banks have been paid £7 billion in bonuses, there is £120 billion in uncollected taxes from the rich because they avoid paying them and the pension money is going to fund this. It’s a disgrace.”

From the Guardian, 30 June 2011:

The government … wants to impose a 3%-of-pay levy on public sector workers’ contributions to help reduce the budget deficit. This amounts to a pay cut to follow on the heels of the current pay freeze.

The UK Government’s plan is remarkably similar to that of Ireland.

As we saw only weeks ago, the Irish Government too has announced a raid on citizens’ super, to raise funds to pay for their budget black hole. The difference being, the Irish Government is imposing its “levy” on both public and private workers’ pensions:

Irish Bombshell: Government Raids PRIVATE Pensions To Pay For Spending

“The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans.”

There’s a clear trend developing here.

We have seen previously ( “No Super For You!!” ) that Argentina, Hungary, France, Poland, Bolivia, Ireland, and the USA have all either nationalised citizens’ super funds outright.

Or, imposed “levies” (ie, new taxes) on citizens’ super.

Or, as a more subtle beginning, simply reduced the amount that the government pays into government workers’ pension (ie, superannuation) funds. The equivalent to this in Australia would be if the government began setting aside (eg) only 5% of public servants’ salaries into the Future Fund for their retirement, compared to the compulsory 9% that private employers are required to pay for their workers.

We will not go into the issue of whether or not – just like the USA and many others – there really is money set aside for public servants’ retirement sufficient for the governments’ obligations (called “unfunded liabilities”). Indeed, there are very serious questions to be asked about this – and Barnaby Joyce has alluded to them – but we will leave that to another day.

In Western nations, the pattern of theft – the governments’ Modus Operandi (MO) – is disturbingly similar.

1. The country first sees its housing bubble burst – see USA, UK, Ireland.

2. Banks go bust, and are bailed out by the government (ie, by borrowing against the promise of taxpayers’ future earnings)

3. The cost of bank bailouts sends the government into deep, and unmanageable levels of sovereign debt (ie, private banksters debts, are socialised into higher public debt instead). The sovereign debt is made all the more unmanageable because the economy is badly damaged by the fallout from the housing bust. And, by hugely expensive, wasteful “green” public policy programs, in the lead up to the bust.

4. A “leftist” government is taken over by a “rightist” government.  Or, as with the USA, the “rightists'” regain the balance of power.

5. Prompted by the “fiscal conservative” rightists, new “reforms” are introduced. To “fix the budget”. Reforms that include raising the retirement age … and stealing citizens’ superannuation savings.

First, they come for the public servants’ super.

And then, they come for yours.

Now, what do we see happening right here in Australia?

Barnaby Joyce has already given at least two public warnings that the government is going to take public servants’ super in the Future Fund to pay down debt – pretty much exactly what the USA and UK are doing right now.

Already, the Green-Labor government has quietly introduced “incentives” in the latest budget, to “encourage” super funds to put your money into government “infrastructure projects”. You know, brilliant infrastructure schemes like overpriced school halls, and a technologically-redundant-before-its-finished, no cost/benefit analysis Nation Bankrupting Network (NBN).

And the Liberal Party – who if polls are any guide, will in all likelihood take power at the next election – have recently and quietly announced their own “reform” policy. One that even less subtlely aims to do the same thing – get the government’s hands on your super:

Further relief for small business

The Coalition will relieve the red tape burden from Australia’s small businesses by giving them the option to remit the compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the ATO.

Small business will be given the option to remit superannuation payments to the ATO at the same time as they remit their PAYG payments.

This will require only one payment to one agency – rather than multiple cheques to multiple superannuation funds. The ATO will be responsible for sending the money to superannuation funds directly.

In recent weeks we have seen countless evidences that:

1. Australia’s banking system is stuffed and ripe for collapse,

2. Our housing bubble is bursting, and

3. The economy is “stuffed”, with Eastern Australia in “deep recession” and the national economy “almost certainly” in recession in the second half of 2011.

The writing is on the wall.

I’ll now simply repeat the conclusion of my magnum opus article on the fate for our super:

If like me you are under 50 years old – indeed, if you are under 60 years old – then I’m willing to bet you all of my super that you will never see all of yours.

And unlike our bank(st)ers and government … I never bet.

First they came for the Yankees’ super.

Then, they came for the Pommies’ super.

And then last of all … they came for mine.

* For more information on this subject, please read –

No Super For You!!

Fresh Evidence Our Banks In “Race To The Bottom” Means You Can Kiss Your Super Goodbye

Why They Are Planning To Steal Our Super, Explained In 4 Simple Charts

Our Banks Racing Towards A “Bigger Armageddon”

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2 Responses to “Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too”

  1. Tomorrow's Serf July 5, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Dear BI,

    Yes, the pattern does seem all too familiar, doesn’t it? Get a decade or two of “leftist” govts, in at State level around the country. Rip, snort and tear the economy to bits, run up massive financial black holes, then just to finish off the job, get a federal “leftist” govt. to “finish the job” and deliver the fiscal “coup de grace”.

    In charge the “righties” to clean up the mess and deliver the austerity measures.

    Time to get out of the matrix.

    BTW, sterling analysis and I never bet either!!

    • The Blissful Ignoramus July 5, 2011 at 9:19 am #

      Thanks TS … I think your own concise and punchy analysis is even better than mine!

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