Sunday, 1 August 2010

Work till you drop

I took Raggs for her customary walk in the woods this morning: being a bright little bean she's cottoned on fast to the significance of Sunday morning and starts to stamp her feet if she thinks I'm not getting ready quickly enough. It's an innovation which I introduced in fact after I gave up work altogether in October 2008 - almost two years ago now - and certainly it's been a change for the better.

I can't say I was sorry to give up work, and I'm more than a little mystified by some of the thinking behind the government's new idea of
scrapping a "fixed retirement age". While in theory allowing workers who want to carry on working and who are capable of it is a 'good idea', it's inevitably I think going to produce a situation in which those who don't want to carry on are effectively forced to, simply because they can't afford not to - especially when the pension age starts to rise.

The other effect it's almost certainly going to produce is a worsening of the already high levels of youth unemployment as fewer jobs are 'freed up' through retirement. If you make the assumption that there aren't enough jobs to go round for everybody, then faced with a choice between bored pensioners with no job and nothing to do and bored youths in the same boat, it's a bit of a no-brainer to work out which is going to cause the most trouble!

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