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    From Ros Altmann:economist and pensions,
    investment and retirement policy expert

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    Category: UK Economy and Economic Policy

    Budget 2018 – my first thoughts

    Budget 2018 – my first thoughts

    Chancellor plays it safe – sensible reforms to boost growth and some nice surprises. Glad to see no big changes on pensions. Increase in personal tax threshold to £12,500 will boost auto-enrolment in April 2019 when worker contributions double. But yet another missed opportunity to find money for social care. So there we have it.  The last Budget before Brexit, cleverly crafted to ensure measures will please as many groups as possible who might have been tempted to vote it…

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    Ode to Brexit

    Ode to Brexit

    Britain has voted to leave the EU The country decided to try something new We want to recapture control of our laws A clearly attractive and popular cause British voters were promised the future was bright With immigrant numbers reduced overnight 350 mill extra to keep us all healthier And new global trade deals to make us all wealthier Our Leaders insist we deserve special favours – We’re the mighty UK and EU’s nearest neighbours We seek a new partnership…

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    Government facing Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect consumers

    Government facing Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect consumers

    23 October 2017 Government faces Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect financial consumers Hard to understand why Ministers are resisting changes that have widespread support Policy needs action not words – let’s not miss this opportunity to introduce cold-calling ban Cross-party amendments to Financial Guidance and Claims Bill call for: Ban on cold-calling for pensions Mandatory guidance for pension savers before transferring money out Breathing space to protect people with huge debts (vital as interest rates set to rise)…

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    Inter-generational fairness

    Inter-generational fairness

    16 October 2017 Don’t punish the old to help the young – panic policy changes have political dangers Let’s focus on policies that are fairer across all age ranges Better to address problems of housing or student debt directly And take the opportunity to prepare for social care costs that will burden younger people  Don’t repeat Manifesto errors: Today’s newspaper reports of potential Budget measures to please younger voters seem fraught with danger. The suggestion that older people should be…

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    Capitalism is the best system, but has it been undermined by QE

    Capitalism is the best system, but has it been undermined by QE

    28 September 2017 Mrs. May is right – capitalism boosts growth and economic progress but she fails to recognise central banks have distorted capital markets with dangerous political consequences  Government bond markets are rigged in favour of the strong at expense of the weak as QE redistributes wealth away from the young and enriches the wealthiest groups  Central Bank policies have operated as disguised fiscal policy without democratic accountability  Socialism is not the answer – that would make everyone poorer…

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    Government too complacent on final salary schemes

    Government too complacent on final salary schemes

    27 September 2017 Three million pension scheme members have no more than 50/50 chance of getting their pensions ‘Superfunds’ could ease pension pressures before more employers become insolvent As Brexit economic and political uncertainty worsens, final salary pensions are more at risk No room for complacency as closed schemes will need better ways to manage liabilities: Britain’s Defined Benefit (DB) final-salary type pension schemes are under unprecedented pressure. So far, the Government has been rather complacent about the risks, but…

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    Loss of confidence in capitalism, economic policy and democracy

    Loss of confidence in capitalism, economic policy and democracy

    25 September 2017 Based on my letter published in the Financial Times 22 September. Recent political events demonstrate disaffection with conventional politics. The votes for Brexit, Trump, Macron and far-right nationalists in Germany and other EU countries have been a shock to the established order. Questions are asked as to whether the sudden surge in populism represents a loss of confidence in capitalism, economic policy and democracy. Unconventional monetary policies may have played a role in the rise of populism…

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    Manifesto cost May the election

    Manifesto cost May the election

    11 June 2017 Tory Manifesto cost May the election Social care proposals alienated core voters AND would have made care crisis even worse There is no silver bullet – care crisis needs a range of solutions The Tory Manifesto was a turning point in the election campaign.  To say the policy announcements on pensions and care were badly thought through would be an understatement. They don’t really seem to have been thought through at all. The combination of means-testing Winter…

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    Election Manifesto for older voters – 6-point plan for reform

    Election Manifesto for older voters – 6-point plan for reform

    20 April 2017 Help poorer pensioners, older women and families facing elderly care Radical overhaul of social care to ensure fairer system for all – a crisis worse than pensions State Pension triple lock could move to a double lock, increasing by prices or earnings Double lock should apply to Pension Credit so poorest pensioners are protected properly Improve pension outcomes for women – private pensions, State Pensions and WASPI Reform pensions tax relief to give everyone a 33% Government…

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    Budget Comments

    Budget Comments

    8 March 2017 Another missed opportunity to start addressing social care No new incentives for social care savings and radical reform proposals pushed into Green Paper later this year No proper help for savers – new NS&I bond pays interest rate lower than inflation, so savers lose money Costs of public sector pensions will rise sharply, by nearly 40% between 2015 and 2020 Self employed bearing brunt of tax rises to pay for other measures Addressing Social care crisis: Extra…

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