Green Party aims to double pension and alter age rule

Eddiepops

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Yes Ish, I take ur point, but my argument would be that solving the pensions crisis is going to be a long term thing (as I said, I'm yet to hear a viable solution) and that while that's being worked on, we have to worry about our current pensioners, people who have worked very hard over the past 40/50 years to bring ireland to where it is now and many of whom never had the benefits of education and advanced pension options that we do now. So I'd argue that the exchequer can more than handle gibing them a few more euro a week (which they will go and spend on essential services and goods I might add). Much as the pension crisis must be tackled, so must these pensioners lives be improved now rather than waiting for the solution of the other issue. With the cost of living rising so fast its crucial that they get a significant rise in weekly income as soon as possible, preferably after the next election :)
 


Eddiepops

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Gombeen said:
Actually apparently 1981 was the peak of the babyboom in Ireland, which was also the year the Green Party was set up. Coincidence? Alright, I'm grasping at straws here! :wink:
Ah, even better so, the baby boomers are entering their productive 20s while the rest of Europes baby boomers are approaching retirement.We can hold off on the crisis for a few more years!
 

Eddiepops

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jady88 said:
Eddiepops said:
Not only will it fail to win an election but it will also fail to achieve anything. People will never accept reforms and changes if it means that they will have to reduce their lifestyle, we see in America that green home power generaters are only taking off becasue they can offer more independence and savings. So it is reasonable therefor to assume that the only viable solution to the pension crisis is one which offers people something matrialistic and immediate. Ie. the new ssia pension scheme.
I quite agree, unfortunately, although I perceive from ur tone that this is a good thing, with which I certainly don't agree. This to me is the central problem facing democracy - that the people always vote for their own selfish narrow interests. Unless we can find a way to solve that I think the planet has little chance. Current policy is to pursue education and attempt to change people's minds over time but with the current rate of environmental degradation this approach cant possibly hope to solve the issues
 

ishmael_whale

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Eddiepops said:
while that's being worked on, we have to worry about our current pensioners
As you'll probably anticipate, my problem with this approach is it increases rather than reduces the expectations people have for future retirement. This approach effectively says 'We'll double the pension for the next, say, fifteen years, at which time we'll have to halve it again. After that we may need to reduce it below what it is now."
Eddiepops said:
Current policy is to pursue education and attempt to change people's minds over time but with the current rate of environmental degradation this approach cant possibly hope to solve the issues
Very true - the only practical point being that a Government does need to be able to get a mandate to pursue its programme, so to that extent public appreciation of the issue is the key.
 

tomaltach

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Does anybody know where to find solid information on the extent of pensioner poverty.

I'm still not convinced. What is the state pension for a retired couple? And what other benefits? (Genuinely, I'd like to see the figures). And how many of this group are crippled by the twin burden of dependents and a hefty mortgage?

Most pensioners I know - especially those over 70 - spend only a fraction of their pension income. I know this because my mother does home help for a good number of pensioners and she relates that for one reason or another most of them are too miserable to put on a light.
 

Eddiepops

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tomaltach said:
Does anybody know where to find solid information on the extent of pensioner poverty.

I'm still not convinced. What is the state pension for a retired couple? And what other benefits? (Genuinely, I'd like to see the figures). And how many of this group are crippled by the twin burden of dependents and a hefty mortgage?

Most pensioners I know - especially those over 70 - spend only a fraction of their pension income. I know this because my mother does home help for a good number of pensioners and she relates that for one reason or another most of them are too miserable to put on a light.
Ha ha, u might be right there. I suppose they're coming from another generation that was always anticipating the next massive recession so they're probably a bit more careful with their moolah. I'd say the OECD probably has some stats on pensioner poverty, they're normally good for that kind of thing
 

Pax

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ishmael_whale said:
To make the Green Party proposal feasible, you would either have to encourage people to have larger families or encourage immigration.
Well there you almost have it. The provision of universal childcare has been shown to increase the birthrate (see Denmark since the 70s). In effect it acts as a very efficient form of pension provision.

Also, there are other ways to raise further revenue, increase income tax (a public provided pension is more efficient and less costly as opposed to the stealth tax of paying fund manager's fees in inappropriately risky private pensions ), increase corpo tax or support tax harmonization or even how the Norwegians are creating billions for their pension through their natural resources (and to be fair some of ours) instead of giving it away to say Shell or whatever.
 

Pax

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tomaltach said:
Does anybody know where to find solid information on the extent of pensioner poverty.
I heard somewhere that we have one of the highest rates of elderly people in poverty in Western Europe.



www.csmb.unimo.it/adapt/bdoc/2006/41_06/06_41_43_PENSIONI.pdf+european+pension+poverty+elderly+comparison&hl=en&gl=ie&ct=clnk&cd=6]Poverty of Elderly People in EU25[/url]

In the early years of the 21st century, about 13 million elderly people are at risk of poverty in 25 EU member States, amounting to as many as one-in-six of all 74 million elderly people living in EU. Cyprus, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and the United Kingdom are identified as the countries with the highest poverty risk for the elderly population.

[....]

The relative risk of elderly poverty is particularly high in Cyprus, Ireland and Slovenia, where the at-risk-of-poverty rates for the elderly are more than twice as high as that for the population aged 16-64.

[....]
With 63% the at-risk-of-poverty rate for females aged 75+ is particularly high in Ireland.
 

ishmael_whale

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Pax said:
ishmael_whale said:
To make the Green Party proposal feasible, you would either have to encourage people to have larger families or encourage immigration.
Well there you almost have it. The provision of universal childcare has been shown to increase the birthrate (see Denmark since the 70s). In effect it acts as a very efficient form of pension provision.
But who pays their pensions? Its simply not sustainable to work on the basis that the population can keep expanding. It amounts to destroying the environment for good, just to pay the current generation a pension.
 

Pax

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ishmael_whale said:
Pax said:
[quote="ishmael_whale":2dg61m1v]To make the Green Party proposal feasible, you would either have to encourage people to have larger families or encourage immigration.
Well there you almost have it. The provision of universal childcare has been shown to increase the birthrate (see Denmark since the 70s). In effect it acts as a very efficient form of pension provision.
But who pays their pensions? Its simply not sustainable to work on the basis that the population can keep expanding. It amounts to destroying the environment for good, just to pay the current generation a pension.[/quote:2dg61m1v]

But that argument is very similar to the faulty public pension=ponzi scheme based one tried since the creation of a social safety net by the right. For instance unsucessfully, by Bush when he tried to privatise public pensions.

Ponzi_scheme#As_a_Political_Metaphor
....
Retirement programs run by national governments, though they involve the taxes paid in by workers being redistributed to pensioners, nevertheless differ in a number of basic features that are usually found in Ponzi schemes, but are not fundamental to them:

* Retirement systems, like Social Security, are openly declared for what they are. In a genuine Ponzi scheme, the perpetrators falsely claim that there is some business that generates the promised revenues. In Social Security, people know where the money comes from, and actuaries supply written predictions of future cash in-flows and out-flows.

* Retirement systems promise a stipend to the country's retired persons, not the quick and exorbitant profits to current investors that Ponzi schemes invariably offer.

* Retirement systems rely on the taxing power of the state to ensure continuous funding. In practice, this taxing power has been used primarily for dedicated revenues (taxes), although in theory general tax revenues could be used to supplement worker payments into the systems. (Historically in the U.S., Social Security has almost always been in surplus, so this has never been an issue.) If the political process were used to raise required contributions via retirement taxes, or to reduce benefits (including raising the retirement age), either across the board or just for the better-off, there would certainly be opposition from those who would pay more or get less, but politicians have only those two choices (plus borrowing) if revenues are inadequate.

* In the long run, retirement systems pay out an approximately equal amount to what was paid in, per contributor, plus interest. In the short run, pension surpluses can be used to cover a government's current general-revenue shortfall, as has been happening in the United States since Social Security contribution rates were increased in 1983.

* Retirement systems are in many ways insurance rather than investment systems. A person who dies before retirement gets no money back (regardless of what he/she paid in). Someone who lives to a very old age continues to get payments regardless of the amount of money he/she has paid in. And someone disabled, even at a relatively young age (well before he/she can make significant payments into the system, or have significant private investments), still receives payments until the end of his/her life. Due to this, the typical retiree who does not become disabled early sees a lower rate of return than the risk free rate.

* Unlike a Ponzi scheme, government receipts (taxes) and payouts (entitlements) can be calculated quite accurately in the short term (five to ten years), and predicted (with a range of assumptions) for periods beyond that timeframe. A sudden collapse is therefore unlikely.

The U.S. Social Security Administration provides the following analysis of this "Ponzi scheme" charge as applied to a pay-as-you-go system like Social Security:

There is a superficial analogy between pyramid or Ponzi schemes and pay-as-you-go insurance programs in that in both money from later participants goes to pay the benefits of earlier participants. But that is where the similarity ends. A pay-as-you-go system can be visualized as a simple pipeline, with money from current contributors coming in the front end and money to current beneficiaries paid out the back end. So we could [imagine] that at any given time there might be, say, 40 million people receiving benefits at the back end of the pipeline; and as long as we had 40 million people paying taxes in the front end of the pipe, the program could be sustained forever. It does not require a doubling of participants every time a payment is made to a current beneficiary. (There does not have to be precisely the same number of workers and beneficiaries at a given time--there just needs to be a stable relationship between the two.) As long as the amount of money coming in the front end of the pipe maintains a rough balance with the money paid out, the system can continue forever. There is no unsustainable progression driving the mechanism of a pay-as-you-go pension system and so it is not a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

If the demographics of the population were stable, then a pay-as-you-go system would not have demographically-driven financing ups and downs and no thoughtful person would be tempted to compare it to a Ponzi arrangement. However, since population demographics tend to rise and fall, the balance in pay-as-you-go systems tends to rise and fall as well. During periods when more new participants are entering the system than are receiving benefits there tends to be a surplus in funding (as in the early years of Social Security). During periods when beneficiaries are growing faster than new entrants (as will happen when the baby boomers retire), there tends to be a deficit. This vulnerability to demographic ups and downs is one of the problems with pay-as-you-go financing. But this problem has nothing to do with Ponzi schemes, or any other fraudulent form of financing, it is simply the nature of pay-as-you-go systems.
Also see Sidney Blumenthal's article from 2005 on this
A New Deal to scupper a presidency

.....To achieve this conservative dream, the public must first be convinced that social security is "bankrupt". The administration, Wehner writes, must "establish an important premise: the current system is heading toward an iceberg. We need to establish in the public mind a key fiscal fact: right now we are on an unsustainable course". Moreover, Wehner states, the private accounts are simply a wedge for future benefit cuts, though he does not advocate that the administration stresses that point.

And so Bush and Cheney insist that social security will soon be "flat bust". A political front group run by one of Rove's proteges, which produced the television commercials that trumpeted defamations about John Kerry's military record, is spinning out new ads on social security. The social security administration itself has been dragooned into sending out millions of letters telling recipients that the system is in "crisis".

Despite Bush's furious animadversions, the social security actuaries in their most sober assessments report that the current system will issue full benefits without any changes until 2042. Only the slightest modifications then would guarantee complete solvency beyond that into the indefinite future. Thus the "iceberg" melts before the facts......
 

ishmael_whale

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I've consider the logic of this stuff, but I'm still not convinced. The plain fact is that a far larger relative share of societies resources will be required for pensions. I feel in particular that the statement
Unlike a Ponzi scheme, government receipts (taxes) and payouts (entitlements) can be calculated quite accurately in the short term (five to ten years), and predicted (with a range of assumptions) for periods beyond that timeframe. A sudden collapse is therefore unlikely.
does not catch the reality firstly that we can reasonably predict that tax revenue will decline in relation to the pension burden and that if resources are being paid out in pensions, it necessarily mean other things will not be funded.
 

Gemlarkin

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Would this not cause massive poverty among those working?

The Green Party would like to double the state pension to ease poverty among the over-65s and to give people an option to work past retirement age to help avoid a pensions crisis.

According to a policy paper published by the Green Party yesterday, the state pension would climb to two thirds of national average earnings from a current one third of earnings. - Irish Times
Would this not cause massive poverty among those working?

It would require that income tax be doubled to pay for it, unless they halved the number of people who qualify for the pension.

Talk about the Greens in Fairyland
 

Broke

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The Green Party would like to double the state pension to ease poverty among the over-65s and to give people an option to work past retirement age to help avoid a pensions crisis.

According to a policy paper published by the Green Party yesterday, the state pension would climb to two thirds of national average earnings from a current one third of earnings. - Irish Times
The Green Party should be getting people on the dole back to work now.Then we can think about working past 65. How do they plan to pay for the doubleing of the state pension.
 

Chrisco

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Almost four and a half years: that has to be a record bump!
 


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