Coffee House

Ministers hope pension reforms will calm concerns about stay-at-home mothers

14 January 2013

Today’s pensions announcement contains an attempt by strategists to reassure those who worry that the government is abandoning the family.

One of the gripes from the Tory backbenches about the mid-term review was that it provided precious little confidence that the tax break for married couples that they hope for will be forthcoming, with simply a promise that the Lib Dems could abstain in a vote on the matter. It was all very well announcing new childcare measures, MPs such as Tim Loughton complained, but what about those women who wanted to stay at home with their children?

But the briefings ahead of today’s announcement have carefully sought to underline that stay-at-home mothers will be among those who will benefit. Iain Duncan Smith has said the changes will rectify ‘this shameful situation where they are let down by the system when it comes to retirement because they have taken time out to care for their family’. It’s an important balance for the government to strike: but don’t expect this to be enough for those who are still pressing for the tax system to reward marriage.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • Gary Wintle

    Stay-at-home mothers are usually hermits who cling to motherhood because they have no friends and no life of their own. To this end they create NEETS so they can maintain permanent dominion over their children’s lives.
    They are not virtuous, they are parasites.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    It is actually impossible to plan for retirement with the way they are messing with the system. Your retirement planning is on a fifty-year scale, they change the rules every five years. What they need to do is take it out of everday politics and leave it largely in the hands of people. Then leave it alone. No compulsory annuities in gilts, no qualifying years of contributions, just an individual account, paid into by employeees and employers, or self-employed alone. Tax relief on the way in, unrestricted, taxed on income in retirement. Funds invested in real things, regulated but not administered by government. And no right of the treasury, once they see a pile of money, to think it is theirs.

    • Tom Tom

      I want a pension like Andy Horby of HBOS who took the bank to insolvency and will get a £240,000 pension courtsey of the UK taxpayer

    • telemachus

      Whereve we go we must remember Huttons dictum of last year

      “This is a problem that will confront both Labour and Tory governments. Let’s try to find a decent solution. I think the values I’ve tried to bring to bear are good Labour values: fairness, looking after the low paid and trying to find a sensible deal for them.”

      • Tom Tom

        Don’t be daft. You cannot CONSUME and SAVE whilst BORROWING……the “low paid” are not passengers

      • Noa

        Tepid Tapeworm tales from the one of the main self- deluding Federasts Oborne identified as betraying us..and who, even now argues we should join the euro….

  • Tom Tom

    Pensions are a figment of the imagination. Currently the State Pension costs £80 billion which is equal to NIC Revenues or 50% Income Tax Revenues. The top 1% earners pay 27% Income Tax Revenues and the top 5% provide 47%. So the Top 5% Income Earners – ie. those earning >£58,000 are paying the State Pension to 10 million Pensioners each week. The numbers simply do not add up. They are taxing the baby-boomers but have no means of taxing to pay pensions to the baby boomers – productivity is low and so are wages for the bulk of the population getting the Free Ride

    • boeingboy

      They do if the rest of the welfare budget is slashed. Which is inevitable. We will be left with a state pension and not much else. The govt is already starting to default on the rest of the welfare budget by restricting growth of welfare to 1% PA. Add inflation to the mix and you have the perfect recipe for default. For the moment. state pension inflation protected, not confident how long that will be the case, but in some ways, it is meaningless because successive govts will manipulate the calculation of inflation.

      • Gary Wintle

        The State Pension will be ditched as soon as the Baby Boomers have collected theirs. Generation X and Y will be left with nothing but debt as the Boomers get on the boats and leave the rest of us on the HMS Craptanic.

  • telemachus

    Remember The coalition’s assault on the pensions of public sector workers is the most direct and concentrated aspect of its war to make ordinary people pay the cost of bailing the bankers. It is, of course, part of a much wider strategy, involving not just the £81 billion of public spending cuts but also a reshaping of the whole of British society in the interests of revanchists. And the pensions attack goes alongside a vicious offensive against benefits, jobs and services everywhere.

    • Tom Tom

      Gordon Brown did so much to reduce the cost of public sector pensions but not enough. when HMRC staff can retire on full pension at 53 we know things are out of control

      • Chris lancashire

        Don’t forget the police who can manage it as young as 48.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Overall spending on benefits in 2011-12 rose by almost 2%. They cost £629 billion and the debt interest rose by nearly 9%.

      Some “assault”, some “re-shaping”.

      Your comment is just the usual Labour electioneering. Dishonest, deceitful and as usual more interested in attacking the Tories than doing anything that would actually benefit this country or make it wealthy again. Revanchists? You don’t know the meaning of the word. The Labour party and its shouty advocates like you represent the most regressive, divisive, negative and stupid movement to ever darken these shores.

    • George Anderton

      Speaking as an old guy who has been in receipt of the state pension for over 19 years I can say that the present government have been by far the most generous administration to us oldies that I have enjoyed.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here