How I wish I could get this under the nose of everyone approaching retirement in Scotland and those already retired. For some retirement is a very difficult time and my own parents suffered in such a way. They encountered financial difficulties and were too proud to even mention it to me where I could and would have been glad to help out.
The simple fact of the matter is that the level of state pension in the UK is ridiculously low – it’s the lowest of all the countries included in the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and I can imagine that many folk struggle but are too proud to ask for help or even mention it.
The best help those people can get is a decent pension that would give them better choices in their remaining years of life. They deserve it.
At the moment, if Scotland becomes independent and rejoins the EU, taking the average state pension throughout the EU as a benchmark would see our state pension double.
I don’t want that for our pensioners, no, I want to see it go higher than just the EU average and it can be done but doubling would be a good starting point.
There are no guarantees in life and who’s to say that the tories won’t find a way to reduce an already disgustingly low pension?
We also have to consider the effect that brexit will have on everyone’s pockets with rising prices of everything from toilet rolls to the cost of bus travel when the tories remove our free bus passes.
There are lots of things that people of a certain age take for granted and think it’s solid. At least if they have a ridiculously low pension they can still have free personal care when they need it (right?), but those sort of things are in the target sights of the tories as things that they can take away in the name of “austerity”.
Do everyone a favour and make a point of reading this out to someone over 55 today. They might say they’re not bothered or interested, but either they’ve got a gold plated private pension coming or they’re lying.
In case you don’t know the countries that make up the OECD, here’s a list showing the year that each country joined. It’s noted that Mexico held the trophy for having the smallest state pension of all the OECD group of countries but had the trophy taken away to be held by the UK after it increased it’s state pension. If they can do it then why can’t we?
Scotland if independent is more akin to Norway, a very affluent country that has had a good 40 odd years of a start on us, way above Mexico, and yet we’ve taken last place out of all these countries.
AUSTRALIA 1971 AUSTRIA 1961 BELGIUM 1961 CANADA 1961
CHILE 2010 COLOMBIA 2020 CZECH REPUBLIC 1995 DENMARK 1961
ESTONIA 2010 FINLAND 1969 FRANCE 1961 GERMANY 1961
GREECE 1961 HUNGARY 1996 ICELAND 1961 IRELAND 1961
ISRAEL 2010 ITALY 1962 JAPAN 1964 KOREA 1996
LATVIA 2016 LITHUANIA 2018 LUXEMBOURG 1961 MEXICO 1994
NETHERLANDS 1961 NEW ZEALAND 1973 NORWAY 1961 POLAND 1996
PORTUGAL 1961 SLOVENIA 2010 SLOVAK REPUBLIC 2000 SPAIN 1961
SWEDEN 1961 SWITZERLAND 1961 TURKEY 1961 UNITED KINGDOM 1961
UNITED STATES 1961
Please do something about it; first vote SNP 1 & 2 to ensure that a referendum happens then vote yes.
Your pension won’t be taken away, it’ll double (at least) and as a member of the EU, brexit won’t be creating hyper-inflation and spiralling price rises in Scotland.
Always yours for Scotland.
David Milligan 13th March 2021
Special thanks go to “Believe in Scotland” for letting me use their public service picture.