Wednesday, 11 April 2007

TaxPayers Alliance criticises union campaign on private equity

I've just spotted this interesting opinion piece from the right-wing* TaxPayers Alliance. There's some heady talk in the article. Peter Hain is, apparently, an "unreconstructed Marxist". Unions meanwhile are too stupid to realise that private equity is good for business, and creates jobs.

Also, speaking as a bit of a pensions geek, I have to query this sentence:

Their preferred employment practices are those of the public sector, where almost 9 days per year are lost through sickness, against 6 in the private sector, and where almost 90% of workers can look forward to final salary pensions when they retire at 60, compared with just 16% of private sector workers, many of whom will retire at 67.

Many of whom will retire at 67? Eh? Have you seen the average retirement age stats for the private sector? From memory for big companies the average is lower than the public sector, and it certainly isn't 67. So where is the 67 figure coming from? It sounds a bit like the future State Pension Age which both a) applies to everyone (whether a public or private sector worker) and b) is the age at which you draw the pension, not when you retire. Normal retirement age in occupational schemes varies, and is normally 60 or 65, so I really am a bit flummoxed. I presume they just got confused.

More broadly the TPA worry me a bit. Anyone with a bit of savvy should be able to suss out that this is a politically/ideologically motivated campaign, rather than the genuine voice of the ordinary taxpayer. Although many ordinary punters grumble (not unreasonably) about tax, most would not go on to take the positions advocated by the TPA. However they are frequently used as a source by the right-wing bits of the media, and I suspect some people are taken in.

* Check out the backgrounds of some of the TPA's people. For example they include the former leadership campaign organiser for David Davis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Los Angeles investment criteria can be just as good as 'asset-stripping' and disastrous feck-ups as private equity, so should we stop pension funds investing in public companies too? We need to focus on separating the bad from the ok.