18 June 2011 (Saturday) - Stuff

I wasn’t happy to read this morning’s news about increases to public sector worker’s pension contributions. I’m struggling to find hard figures which will apply to me, but taking as an example some figures quoted for the proposed increase in teacher’s pensions, come the autumn I’m looking to be quite seriously out of pocket. Fortunately my mortgage is paid off in a month or two, so should this hike in pension payments come into force, I won’t actually notice it. What I was paying on mortgage I will now pay in increased pension payments.
The fact that I was looking forward to a tad of financial solvency having paid off my mortgage is clearly neither here nor there.

I must admit I’m a tad hacked off with the whole pension squabbling. Thirty years ago I was sold a pension by the state. We both (me & HM Government) knew it was a long term investment. Over the years I had the option to change it for a private scheme, but we both agreed to keep what I’d bought. And now it’s three-quarters paid off, I can’t help but feel it’s rather late for HM Government to start quibbling about it. The thing was bought and sold in good faith. If it’s now an unaffordable proposition, the government should go kick the ass of the people who’ve caused that, not me.
It’s odd how a free market economy is such a brilliant idea all the time its working….

And it’s also odd how we begrudge the pensions of workers, but happily throw away public money…
Leicester City Council has admitted that it is not ready for an attack by zombies. Some twit wrote to Leicester City Council and asked for details of their plans to combat a possible zombie attack. Normally such idiocy would be treated with the contempt it deserves, but if one asks for such information and quotes the Freedom of Information Act, then public bodies crap themselves in terror and provide whatever trivial information the public demands.
However, for all that this might seem like a frivolous joke, it’s a joke which costs the taxpayer. Freedom of Information requests are dealt with by Information Governance Officers who are paid (about) twenty three quid per hour.
Take our newspapers for example. There was an article on Radio Four today which claimed that the Daily Express runs about ten stories every day based on information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Even if each of the paper’s enquiries only takes half an hour of a single Information Governance Officers’ time, that’s thirty thousand quid a year that newspaper is costing us.

Somewhat closer to home, after a morning at work I had a plan to mow the lawn. It’s not been mowed for some time. But rain stopped play. Having checked blog entries, every Saturday from the end of February till the end of May has been dry. And now we are in what one traditionally considers to be the summer, it rains every weekend. What’s that all about?
Bearing in mind that its three weeks since the lawn was last mowed, I gave it a haircut despite the rain. And I then gave myself a haircut. Spending fifteen quid on a pair of shears about fifteen years ago was one of the best investments I ever made. I then did the ironing – it’s a couple of weeks since I did any of that.

We then made out way to the Trattoria Romano in Bank Street for a friend’s birthday meal. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Ashford for twenty five years and have never been there before – the food was excellent, and with great company we had a wonderful time. And after the meal we went back to Steve & Sarah’s for coffee, lanterns and Uno Extreme.

We came home to find the prod-it-all son has returned from his fishing expedition. He’s caught loads of big fish. He’ll be publishing an album later, but for now he said I could use one photo for today’s blog piccie. I am seriously considering going with him next year….

No comments:

Post a Comment