Without the bankers’ profits, this country would be worse

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From: GC Wright, Fieldside Court, Tadcaster.

IN defence of the strikes against pension review, the Unite local secretary Karen Reay (Yorkshire Post, November 28) appears to consider a typical pension of £5,600 a year somewhat modest.

What she doesn’t explain is that, to achieve this pension, with a three per cent inflation factor would need an accumulation of almost £140,000 and, if the benefits can be transferred to a spouse on death, this would rise to well over £150,000.

These figures are current for retirement at 65 and, as many public sector workers retire before this, the average of £5,600 must contain many for whom the necessary lump sum would be event greater.

It is probable that the strikes were, in part, politically motivated with a view to replacing the coalition by a government run by the Miliband/Balls alliance. Were this to occur it wouldn’t be long before we were in the same position as some of the Euroland countries.

If this were to be the case, the present offer would be replaced by one much less favourable, possibly enforced by the IMF.

It is fashionable to use the bankers as exemplifiers for the need to soak the rich. Many bankers have behaved in a greedy selfish fashion, but it should be borne in mind that without the profits, real and imaginary, produced by the financial sector, this country would be in a worse position than Spain or Italy. With a financial storm gathering force, the irresponsible actions of the strikers beggar belief.

From: Coun Frank McManus, Longfield Road, Todmorden.

YOUR editorial criticism of the strike (Yorkshire Post, November 25) prompts me to say that as a retired NUT member I shan’t cross any picket line, for this is a necessary testimony against pension cuts inflicted by a cabinet of millionaires in a government that has cheated its way to power via broken election pledges.

The global market monster has gained such dominance over pensions that the basic fact has become obscured, namely that we oldies who no longer have the energy to earn our own livings are dependent on following generations to maintain us.

Until the 1970s we teachers, and our employers, contributed percentages of our salaries to a fund which paid the money out to retired teachers. Then alas, against our wishes, our pensions were “funded”, a lump sum being accumulated, the interest from which was soon seen as the source of paid-out pensions.

Now the entire culture is shifting to “providing for one’s own retirement” in contradiction of physical reality, but in obeisance to the money god whose high priests have included Margaret Thatcher. Governments can’t abandon overnight the usury-based money system which public negligence has allowed to evolve over half a millennium. Yet the Con Dem Coalition, with its eight-year target for any reining-in of the bankers whose greed has caused the recession, shows itself to be in cahoots with the very system that urgently needs correction.

From: Harry Malkin, Ackworth Hall Close, Ackworth.

AM I alone in thinking that Ed Balls at the dispatch box looks and sounds like John Bull speaking for England (Yorkshire Post, November 29)?