Tag Archives: Ros Altmann

Demand inquiry into dishonesty by Tory minister Ros Altmann!

This is clearly an extremely dishonest woman! 

The fact that David Cameron could allow such a person to become pensions minister is a scandal in itself, and we should demand her suspension while a full inquiry is held into the possibility of her participating in any other acts of dishonesty.

It is obvious that she cannot be trusted with a ministerial position and her resignation should be a matter of urgency.

Conservative pensions minister Baroness Altmann has been expelled from the Labour Party after it was found she had been a member for 18 months.

David Cameron made the ex-Saga director a peer so she could become a minister.

But The Huffington Post website revealed Baroness Altmann had been a Labour member for four months after taking up the role and was offered a vote in the party’s leadership contest.

She told the BBC she had also renewed her Lib Dem membership in March.

Source: Tory minister Ros Altmann expelled from Labour Party – BBC News

Poll:Is the latest pensions plan a good idea?

[Image: Telegraph.]

[Image: Telegraph.]

The Coalition government is proposing a new change to pensions, making it possible for you to access the money in your pension pot at any time, paying tax on only a quarter of what you take out.

As someone with a string of workplace pensions dangling behind him, Yr Obdt Srvt tends to think this is a good idea – if it means that money can be removed from those places and put into a single scheme where it will be worth more.

No doubt the devil will be in the detail.

It seems George Osborne told the BBC: “From next year [people will] be able to access as much or as little of their defined contribution pension as they want and pass on their hard-earned pensions to their families tax free. For some people an annuity will be the right choice whereas others might want to take their whole tax-free lump sum and convert the rest to drawdown.” What?

“We’ve extended the choices even further by offering people the option of taking a number of smaller lump sums, instead of one single big lump sum.”

The BBC report quoted “pensions expert” Ros Altmann (who?) as follows: “People need to know that their pension provider will allow them to take advantage of the new freedoms. Currently, most pension companies are not ensuring that their customers can take money out flexibly. I call on the industry to make sure that people can really benefit from the new pension changes as quickly as possible.”

Let’s have a poll. This seems like a more complex issue than some, so please feel free not only to answer the question but also to comment on what this may mean. Here’s the question:

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Is the state pension about to be privatised?

pensions

The DWP could be about to privatise delivery of the state pension, according to a leaked report. Many may have missed this revelation because of today’s other, more high-profile events.

According to The Guardian, the Department for Work and Pensions is struggling to meet the demand for savings being placed on it by the government; the plan is to slash its operational spending from £9 billion per year in 2009 to £6.3 billion by 2016. This means a £1 billion cut in the 2014-15 financial year.

A leaked report entitled DWP Efficiency Review claims one way of doing this would involve “a review of the pension service’s current delivery model and alternative delivery models” – in other words, privatisation.

The money would still come from the taxpayer but a private company would deliver it to pensioners.

What could possibly go wrong with that idea? After all, involving private companies in public services has worked so well in the past, hasn’t it? Look at G4S with the Olympics, Atos with sickness and disability benefits, any of the many companies involved with the useless Work Programme, or indeed any of the companies currently raiding the English NHS for profit.

(Please be aware that the immediately preceding paragraph was loaded with so much sarcasm, it may now be dripping from your screen. Apologies if this is the case but Vox Political will not be held responsible for the damage. Contact Parliament’s IT service – which happens to be another example of what happens when you get private companies involved in taxpayer-funded services.)

The review will question whether the recently-launched ‘Tell Us Once’ bereavement service, that helps people report deaths in a way that ensures all necessary government departments are made aware, could be more efficient if outsourced. This will be a waste of time as the answer is, quite clearly, no.

Pensions expert Ros Altmann was quoted as saying she was concerned by the idea that firms like Capita, Serco or G4S could be brought in to administer £100bn in public money to millions of pensioners: “We’re dealing with a vulnerable group and a massive number of people, so I would be seriously concerned about outsourcing a service like this, which is working well, with a view that it might make some short-term savings.”

The trouble is, the DWP has to make a saving somewhere, and all the easy efficiencies have already been made, according to the leaked report.

Too crude an approach to future cuts could jeopardise the department’s capacity to roll out changes to pensions, child maintenance and disability benefits.

It is significant that Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship Universal Credit, which is dogged by delays and IT problems, is not part of the review.

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