Various thoughts


New research from the Pensions Policy Institute has found that the cost to the taxpayer of public sector pensions is likely to rise by 40 percent (as a share of GDP) over the next 20 years. Aren't we lucky to have had Gordon Brown, that saviour of the world economy, as Chancellor of the Exchequer for all those years? His infamous pensions raid cost savers more than £100bn and destroyed the best private pension system in Europe, but don't worry: he and his gold-plated, public sector cronies will be just fine.

Speaking of the public sector, couldn't our lot follow Ireland's example? (Hat-tip to Guido) The president is taking a 10 percent pay cut, government ministers are taking a 10 percent pay cut, opposition politicians are taking a 5 percent cut, the governor of the Bank of Ireland and the Irish Financial Services Agency has volunteered for a 10 percent cut... Even the top six executives at RTE, Ireland's state broadcaster are promising a "significant reduction" in pay.

Speaking of which, good luck to Tory MP Christopher Chope, whose Broadcasting (Television Licence Fee Abolition) Bill gets its second reading in the House of Commons today. In a multi-channel, digital age the television licence is truly an anachronism. Why should I have to pay for the BBC's so-called 'public service broadcasting' when I would much rather watch Sky? And as for the TV licensing authority, who isn't sick of their crypto-fascist bully tactics?