Saturday, February 03, 2007

Will these men still be working by the time they are 65?

Funnelling cement, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

These chaps were here preparing for the fountain which has been placed in our street.

The project started in May last year and is almost finished. It is very beautiful. A round 'square' raised almost half a meter from the now very narrow road, a round fountain in the middle and six old chestnut trees in round beds. Just missing some street lamps and benches.There seems to be very little which needs to be done now before the taps and the lights are turned on and we have our very own fountain. It is so great to see our tax money being spent so well, this following on from the recent upgrading of an open spece nearby to a proper park with lakes, benches, footpaths, children's play areas, gardens and bridges. All excellent!

Anyway, the reason I am asking whether these hard working men will still be working when they are 65 is to do with the fact that the new government which is going to be formed next week has come up with a plan to help fill the pension gap. The main idea seems to be that those who retire after they are 65 will erceive a bonus, whilst those who retire earlier will have to pay extra/new taxes. This si supposed to stimulate people to stay on in work longer and reduce the burden on the state of pension payments.

Nice idea, but, and this is a big but in a country which has the worst record of age discrimination in Europe, how many people are going to be able to stay at work until after they are 65? Companies are continually downsizing and getting rid of the older workers and such workers, if they are over 55 seem to have very little chance of being given a new job afterwards.

So, the lucky few who manage to keep hold of their jobs until they are over 65 are going to be given yet another bonus from the government, whilst those unhappy ones who have been dumped on the economic scrapheap will be penalised. We have a Christian-Social Democrat cabinet to thank for this.

In the meantime, we hear very little about how age discrimination is going to be tackled in a realistic way... this has to be the other side of the bargain. I wish these chaps well in their further careers.



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