We need cred­i­ble an­swers

Rutherglen Reformer - - You Decide -

Burn side res­i­dent Tom Arm­strong tells the Re­former why he’s vot­ing No.

‘As a pen­sioner, I am very con­cerned about the future of our pensions if Scot­land chose to sep­a­rate from Eng­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land.

Alex Sal­mond has failed to give the de­tailed an­swers needed to re­as­sure me and the many peo­ple I speak to about pensions, all of whom want to en­sure they are pro­tected and would be af­ford­able for gen­er­a­tions to come.

The case for stay­ing part of the UK is sim­ple and straight­for­ward. 60 mil­lion peo­ple pay into the same pen­sion pot. The state pen­sion is the same through­out the UK. To any per­son, a pen­sion pot which 60 mil­lion peo­ple pay into is more se­cure than a pot which just five mil­lion peo­ple pay into. That’s prob­a­bly why the SNP Fi­nance Min­is­ter pri­vately ques­tioned whether the state pen­sion was af­ford­able in an in­de­pen­dent Scot­land.

Ev­ery­one can see what is hap­pen­ing to­day. Peo­ple are liv­ing longer thanks to bet­ter health­care and ad­vances in medicine. This is a good thing but it does put in­creas­ing pres­sure on the state to make sure that ev­ery­one will be able to draw their pen­sion when the time comes. Harder still for the work­ing pop­u­la­tion, peo­ple like my chil­dren, and in the future, my grand­chil­dren who will have to work harder and longer than ever be­fore to make sure that their par­ents and grand­par­ents can be cared for.

This is a chal­lenge for all coun­tries but how can it make sense to re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple pay­ing into the pen­sion pot when the num­ber of peo­ple look­ing to get a pen­sion in the future is set to rise?

An­other ques­tion that hasn’t been an­swered is how much it would cost to set up a sep­a­rate pensions sys­tem in Scot­land. Alex Sal­mond has been very vague about this. Not only would a sep­a­rate ben­e­fits sys­tem be needed at great cost, but also there is the is­sue of pri­vate pensions. Pen­sion providers would need to be reg­u­lated. How much would this cost?

There would need to be a sep­a­rate com­pen­sa­tion for the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices sec­tor, how much would that cost? There would need to be a sep­a­rate Pay­ment Pro­tec­tion Fund to pro­tect work­ers if their com­pany folds. On all of th­ese is­sues, Alex Sal­mond has failed to pro­vide the de­tailed an­swers that are needed.

What we need is cred­i­ble and straight­for­ward an­swers for pen­sion­ers across Scot­land. The case for sep­a­rat­ing hasn’t been made and that’s why we are bet­ter off stay­ing to­gether with the rest of the UK. Ev­ery­one needs to ask them­selves this ques­tion - do I trust Mr Sal­mond with my pen­sion?

Just say no Burn­side res­i­dent Tom Arm­strong will be vot­ing No in the ref­er­en­dum

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