The Way I See It

So what’s my vision of retirement? Fishing on a weekday, rather than working; watching my favourite kids’ films with the grandchildren; flirting with the young cashier at the supermarket, when I’m out buying cream for my bunions; reminiscing with friends about the good old days.

But let’s face it, I’m far too young to be thinking about retirement and life is way too unpredictable to suggest where I’ll be when I hit 65, or 68, wait a minute it keeps going up here, what about 70, am I going to get to retire at 70?

This is the thing, if you’re below 30, which I am (not by a lot) – it’s looking more and more likely that you’re going to have to stay in employment until you’re well into your dotage.

It baffles me really. I mean it wasn’t your average taxpayer who overspent and created this huge deficit which Britain has. But in order to cut the debt, it’s the taxpayers who are suffering. Understandably, measures need to be taken to get the country back on its feet, but why are these austerity policies aimed directly at ordinary and vulnerable people? And that’s exactly what the pension reforms are, more austerity measures.

I’d like to think when I’m many, many years older, I could retire and collect a state pension, after paying into the system all of my adult life. But at the moment, I can’t really be assured of that. Chancellor George Osborne is claiming that the age state pensions will be permitted is to rise in tandem with the average life expectancy. It’s great for a politician to come up with a plan like this, I mean who couldn’t work well into their seventies if they’d spent their working lives being paid enormous amounts of money to formulate such half-cocked ideas? And sit in the House of Commons shouting “Ya, ya” as their public-schooled colleagues devised more plans to drain the working classes of their livelihoods.

Hell, put me in Downing Street, I’ll do all the conniving you want and I’ll work till I’m 100. As long as my expenses are exceedingly high and I get five foreign holidays a year.

But what of those in industries such as construction? Where is the consideration for people with physically demanding jobs?

Climbing up and down a ladder with concrete blocks all day might be a problem at 70-years-old. The government has no concerns for older people, which has been highlighted fully already, by the fact pensioners are struggling to afford energy bills. And the government is failing to stop the energy companies exploiting the elderly – or exploiting anyone for that matter.

It seems the only way to ensure you have enough money to retire at an age you can still enjoy your later years is to put away what you can now. The only problem is, though, that most people don’t have two pennies to rub together right now. The cost of living leaves little left in the bank account.

And what about the jobs market? Currently, prospects are grim for youngsters entering adulthood. Particularly with people working longer than they thought they would have to, which is making life even more difficult for our young people because there are fewer and fewer opportunities for them to find employment.

Perhaps the political class should look more closely at their own wages, as even your bog-standard MPs are on an annual salary of £66,396, and that’s before expenses. Surely they could take a wage cut, as an “austerity measure”, of course.