Monday, 7 May 2012

Kermits opt for dignity and ruin

The kermits have a pretty clear idea of what their President should be like. Above all, he must have dignity; an odd sort of egalitarian hauteur that avoids regality but achieves the separation of un homme consacré from the vulgar, a quality that can carry the weight of the Gloire de France abroad. A real French President would have put Cameron in his place with a false twink of a smile and a superior deprecating pat at the EU summit rather than turning away. A real French President wouldn't need lifts in his shoes or little platforms to stand on. And the wife of a real French President should be dowdy as a peahen, maritorious, and above all silent. In François Hollande they may just have got what they wanted - but if they expect economic salvation, they may be disappointed.

Perhaps the least realistic of Hollande's pledges is that to reduce the retirement age to 60 from a current modest 62. The affordability of the cost of aging is a factor that clearly separates the UK from France; despite our pension black holes, we are comparatively better off. The GAP Index reform strategy guide recommends the following courses of action;

France Germany Italy UK
Reduce public pension benefits *** *** *** *
Reduce health-care cost growth *** ** ** **
Extend work lives *** ** *** **
Increase funded pension savings *** ** ** *
Strengthen poverty floors 0 0 * *
Increase fertility rates * *** *** *
Increase immigration * *** ** 0

Which suggests they are willing to face future ruin for the sake of jam today, and that is what separates us from the heart of the Eurozone. Unless we distance ourselves further, isolate our liability, we could well be working until 70 to pay Pierre's generous pension in 2020.


Anonymous said...

Please would you interpret that table for us

Raedwald said...

3* means the country needs to implement the measure critically, 2* urgently, 1* means some further action still needed, 0 means no action required

G. Tingey said...

Except "Increase fertility Rates" is insane.
We need LESS people - everywhere.

DeeDee99 said...

Under "Increase immigration" the UK has 0 - ie no action required.

That's because 250,000 flooded in last year alone, to join the millions to arrived during NuLabour.

And with EU open borders; 'family' arrivals from Asia plus those who get in illegally and are never deported, we aren't going to get control of it any time soon.

We must get out of the EU before we are sent the Bill for propping up all the failing states in the Eurozone.

agriculture investments said...

For immigration, we should take a non politically correct, multi-cultural approach and say the UK must admit the right type of immigrants. These are high net worth individual, OR immigrants with genuine skills a nation needs, especially in engineering and the maths and sciences. Some decent doctors would help too! The government should be targeting these type of people throughout the continent - especially in countries like France which does have some great engineers - and basically say "come on over here, start your own company, and we'll tax you lightly and make it easier for you to operate." This will boost innovation, and and help improve our demographic profile for pensions. Some countries like Canada ALREADY take this approach.

Anonymous said...

So, Hollande is a new type of politician then? A new breed of leader who keeps all of his pre-election promises and is capable of overruling Brussels? Guys; don't bet the farm on this one.

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