Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Aside from what might be some "poor research" by teacher of History and English, Brian, but is most likely just the curse of sloppy subbing

Now bear with me on this one. It may sound like a flashback to Screaming Lord Such, but it's not.
Brian's piece Come the agequake, the 'young old' should earn their state pension contains an 'interesting' idea ..
So what do we do? We take a sledgehammer to the fundamental assumptions about later life in Britain. Because the fact is Shakespeare would have to redraft the Seven Ages of Man today, to accommodate statins, hip replacements and all the other marvels that have created a new age, the all-important "young old", people with the energy and manpower to revolutionise this country (they are already doing it). If you reach 65 in good nick today, you can expect an historically unimaginably 13 more years of disability-free "healthy life-expectancy". The young old represent a staggering civic opportunity for this country – or, if the policy wonks have their way, they are set to serve as just an extra decade of wage-slavery.
But here's my plan: the state pension age should revert to 65. And stay there.
But … you should only get it, automatically, once you hit 75, or if you get "signed off" as an invalid.
Which means that in the interregnum between 65th and 75th Birthday ...
The rest of us should earn it for a decade. Yup. How? Through our contribution to national life. Through caring, childcare, volunteering (a third of 64- to 75-year-olds already do that), visiting and meeting, teaching and guiding. By doing all the amazing things the "young old" are capable of – that huge swaths of them are doing already, largely unnoticed – and that (this is the nanny state bit) the science unequivocally proves older people should be doing, for their own health and wellbeing. (Social engagement being as powerful a predictor of healthy ageing as smoking or obesity.)
Let's say, 10 hours a week scores you the cheque? (You can tell yourself you've already earned your pension, no strings attached, through 45 years of hard work – but remember, that attitude just gets you 55 years of hard work.)
Financially, we'd lose the cost of supporting many rich, lazy retirees, who'd chose to forgo the state pension for a decade and just play golf, and of people who'd rather keep working.


Mark Wadsworth said...

So make the state pension age 75, see if I'm bothered.

DBC Reed said...

How come the writer invokes the name of Lord Sutch for no great reason and then spells his name wrong? Surely some respect is due for the pioneer of young people's politics who, it could be claimed, succeeded in his campaign for votes for teenagers.
As to the substance of the article: how is the system going to provide all this useful work for oldsters when the main political parties no longer bother to create jobs, the way Margaret Thatcher ,before she became impossible, wangled all those Nissan jobs in Sunderland?

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, I've corrected the typo.

Is your question directed at Bob E who posted it or Brian Schofield who wrote the article from which he quotes?

DBC Reed said...

@MW More of a rhetorical question i.e. an opinion posing as an inquiry. I can't see why Sutch is heading up a piece about forcing pensioners to do some work after 'retirement' age: this never appeared in Sutch's ever changing political programme.
(There does n't seem to be much added by Bob E to what Schofield said apart from the recommendation that this is an interesting idea.)

Bob E said...

1. It was either the writer or the G's typesetter who mispelt "Such", and hence the title and opening line of the post, which title, dare I say it, has now become even sillier with the "typo" no longer apparent ....

2. I posted it simply because of the "on reaching age 65 either be a compulsory volunteer or forego your old age pension" idea, hoping to see what people who might not commonly peruse the G thought about it.

3 There have also been suggestions in recent years about "compulsory community oriented volunteering" forming part of the syllabus for 16 - 18 year olds, as I recall ...