Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Social Care Green Paper

Not my most exciting blog title I know. But before you click-off give me 30 seconds. There are many strong arguments against the Social Care Bill which you can get from the national papers (essentially it is unaffordable and statist)but I want to make one more.

Mine is an argument about justice between generations. For explantion I will make this personal. I do not think I should have any obligation to contribute towards the eventual social care of, let's say, a retiring MP or Council-Leader of 70.

Why? Well, for a start, it is a heavy-bill. His generation is about 25% bigger than mine so we are asking for a small number of people aged 25-50 to pay for a much bigger cohort aged 50-75. This is a very big ask. And not only do my generation have the biggest personal debts (we have to pay silly money for houses sold to us by the generation ahead), we will also be responsible for paying the national debt they, as society's dominant generation, has left us.

It goes on. I will probably have to work hard till well into my 70s to generate the kind of pension which is quite normal for today's boomers and much of my income, even then, will be funding my kids education - which the generation before us got for nothing.

So you can see why I am a bit irked by this bill. It feels, to me, like a very large and dominant generational cohort working the system - again- to its advantage. I, for one, am not having it!


Rob 'Arris said...

Completely agree Craig - the generational old hat proverb "kids these days, they dont know they are born, they get it all handed to em on a silver platter" does not apply to the generation before us. Financially they have been more fortunate due to post war economic revival than i guess any generation that comes after...... This is also the generation that experiences pensions that actually provide them with a decent standard of living; we on the other hand will have to stockpile cash and houses to afford a modest retirement the way things are looking. Its a knee jerk desperation policy from politicians interested in nothing but power, self-interest and control. The grey vote is a larger cohort than those that contribute financially right now; also a group more at risk of changing camps due to the realisation that our political infrastructure is occupied by self-serving, pompous arseholes who wouldnt survive 10 minutes in the world that contributes most significantly to their existence - business..... deep breaths its time for the weekend!

Rob Fountain said...

Although... the non-financial issue here is easy to forget but perhaps more worthy of discussion (unless we're all seeing the world through solely Thatcherite eyes these days): Our welfare state is predicated in simple terms on each generation paying for the one above. Flipping that, we will be paid for by the one that comes behind us. It's arguably easy to say that we've been hard done by by timing when in reality - with a change of context and onset of feeling smaller when we're 70 than we feel now - in 2 or 3 decades we might be more expectant of our children than we are critical of our uncles and aunts. Therefore, we can feel hard done by (and as someone stung in the first 7 years of dabbling in the housing market, I often do) and resentful and carry that forward shaping who knows what sort of social policy; or we can consider if the notion of 'paying forward', of supporting each other and receiving likewise is one we generally subscribe to and if so, accept that there will be good and bad rounds. If not, well, we need to pack up the welfare state, the NHS which will never give you an exact return on investment, and abandon all pension arrangements save personal savings plans. Might make you feel better.... But I doubt it.

Rob 'Arris said...

I agree with many points of view and i guess i hold a range of them which is pretty indecisive but hey i am allowed to. The issue for me is not about whether i hold some Thatcherite views or whether we are necessarily hard done by its more about who makes what decisions when and for what reasons; i agree with the socialist view of the welfare state and i have no personal problem paying for long as its delivered in a way that reflects the context of the generation and society we live in, and importantly we are able to afford it. And critically the people making these decisions are skilled enough to do so with a modernist long term view. Unfortunately i dont see that happening when the financial panic button is being pressed so vigorously by numpty's without any vision. Your optimism made me feel better, and i agree with your analysis but cynicism is a territory i find myself in evermore. Nice post Craig