We need credible answers
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