in PMI Pensions Aspects
Everywhere in the public sector seems to be underfunded at the moment. Services are 'collapsing', 'in crisis' and 'cut to the bone'. Reduction of central government funding, notably to local authorities, is often the immediate cause. But there are also underlying societal trends which are more profound and less amenable to short-term correction.
The economically active percentage of the UK population is shrinking. The rising incidence of disabilities and infirmities, fuelled by obesity and manifested in illnesses such as diabetes, is one factor. Another is the growing number of people who survive into extreme old age. More and more people need help with everyday living. Help at the moment still, by and large, requires other people, and people are expensive.
Many retired, elderly or chronically infirm people have to manage on a fixed income, often a quite low income, that cannot stretch to paying someone to help for more than a short time each week. State benefits don't go far, as a rule, and local authorities adult social care budgets, even with the maximum extra 3% council tax precept, fall far short of meeting demand.
Inexorably, as public sector workers are pressed ever harder, standards compressed, and services outsourced on price, the individual needing help is being squeezed as well: to pay more, and often receiving less in return.
So far, so familiar you might say, but where will it all end? Without descending into arguments about allocation of taxes . . .
May 2018 Read the full article