Wednesday, 5 January 2011
This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
Sprog2 came home for Xmas. Discovers her peers, at the Grammar School where she spent the last 5 years, now go to school 2-3 days a week "for a couple of hours at a time, and only for lessons". There is no community, no sport, no ambition, no Uni or career choices being made; in fact, sweet FA to support them through Sixth Form. My relief at her leaving that school is seriously tinged with sadness - for those left, and this county of Cumbria in the future.
I am a tad astounded at the local school's attendance news in 6th form, as I can barely get hold of sprog at boarding school. For weeks on end. Because her timetable is full on. (And what a relief that is as it's costing the family a bloody fortune, even with her scholarship.)
Then, you start looking round at the Cumbrian kids here. WTF are we giving them??? The schools are facing major deficits, no-one seems to care about the future (somewhere, recently, I read that more Cumbrian schools are now facing deficits, and those in debt face a bigger deficit - I'm bored of searching the Herald etc for the appropriate article), and the kids are uninspired, lacking in community and social involvement, and basically, without being too harsh, abandoned.
Our future? Yep, we must be looking after them in this time of cuts.
The problem is - we aren't. We aren't looking after the next generation, the health service, the private sector, the tourism industry, the roads, the farmers, the small business community etc etc. Who the hell are we looking after, out of interest?????
Here's my take on the issue, with a huge thanks to my father for causing insomnia here in Cumbria. As a private business, I and thousands of others appear to pay around 18% contribution towards public sector pensions. For firemen, nurses, police etc, it appears to be around 30%. For the Armed Forces, it is unknown, but potentially 100% of their pension contributions comes, not from their wages, but from thee and me - the taxpayers.
Correct me if I'm wrong. Please.
A back of the envelope calculation would imply that the £18Bn cuts which are being made are PURELY to fund the public sector pension issue. Is this a totally deluded calculation? I need to know if it is as it is causing sleepless nights at this end.
If this calculation is even close, what we are doing is a) unfathomable b) fing pointless, c) totally detrimental to the economic future of UK Plc, and d) preventing 101 other vital and economically productive investments - add your own below in the comments.
For less money than we are *potentially* paying into the pensions contribution fund for public sector, we could a) FTTH the whole of the UK in 1 year b) create untold new jobs in the private sector, including the manufacturing and industry base (which we have decimated in favour of imports, for no good reason) c) fund the educational establishment so the next generation are *educated*.
What we appear to be doing is ....um, nothing. A real big fat Sweet FA. Just to keep a trenchload of public sector workers sweet in their old age. Meanwhile, we are selling out the youngsters. Forcing them to face phenomenal educational fees and bills and debts, and undoubtedly pushing them to take jobs outside of this country so the debts are never repaid.
Bloody genius. NOT.
If the State Pension is enough to survive on for you and me, then surely, every single public sector 'pensioner', whose pension we are currently topping up from the public pot (more so now with the austerity measures), can also live on it? And if so, every single pound over the base rate pension can be put back into the economy, from tomorrow onwards.
The public sector has become gluttonous, bloated, ineffectual, wasteful and in many instances complex beyond belief purely to solve the problems that the system has created. There are untold people within public sector who create complexity purely to protect their jobs, careers, pensions and job benefits. They do NOWT.
There are also marvellous, fantastic, admirable people in public sector whose wages and pensions are being 'stolen' by the above; sadly, and nearly always, the average tax payer in the economic sectors who could rescue this country from third world status are paying for the great people too - to lose out. We pay, not just the muppets in overpaid and pointless career paths who can't clear a road or collect rubbish, fix a broadband connection, promote tourism or agriculture, or make their own community a better place to live, but also for those with public sector pensions that are way beyond their 'deserving status' at the end of the career.
At what cost? Our next generation. Our small business economy who *can* create jobs when public sector can't justify any more. Our innovative, inventive and ingenious industries. Our TOMORROW.
We are depriving the great and good in Uk Plc, the community-minded folk, the kids, the small businesses, and all of those who can turn this country around. Just to keep a few fat pigs (and I say that with all the provisos and acknowledgements listed above in recognition of those in public sector who contribute) in their dotage.
Get on. Welcome to 2011. That'll be FTTH off the menu for YEARS to come............