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Wings Over Scotland

Growing older

Posted on October 03, 2013 by

If we’ve been a bit quiet this morning, it’s because we’re wading through 120-odd pages of this, the Scottish Government’s extensive paper on “Pensions in an independent Scotland”. We’d have reprinted the Executive Summary for you, but it’s a PDF, which means we’d have to spend approximately 400 years re-formatting it to be readable. [EDIT: HTML version here.]

In the meantime we’ve attached Annex A, a list of the key proposals.

Anyway, we recommend having a read for yourself, if you can spare the time. If not, we’ll give you our impressions when we get to the end. So far it seems pretty sensible.


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  1. 03 10 13 11:50

    Pensions | The Science of Independence

52 to “Growing older”

  1. JuanBonnets says:

    In the meantime in case anyone is interested, I compiled a short list of headline points on a post with directions to the interesting bits:
    As well as the executive summary, I’d recommend at least reading Annex A (starting on page 103 of the document – that’s the page numbers on the pages, not what the pdf reader tells you, confusingly) for the Government’s proposals and comparison to the status quo. Not surprisingly all of which say some variation of “will stay the same or get better”, though it would be hard for things to get worse.

  2. NorthBrit says:

    Given that I got somewhat criticised on this site for suggesting that this was an area of concern that the SNP ought to do something about I’m moderately impressed that they’ve done exactly what I thought they should and more.

  3. JuanBonnets says:

    And in the time it took to write my comment, the article has been updated with… Annex A! 🙂

  4. Doug Daniel says:

    “One day we hope to have someone explain to us why people still use PDFs.”
    Just so that the document can’t be edited. Well, not easily, anyway.
    Might also be because it means you’re not restricted to opening it up in Word or whatever.
    Or it may simply be that people enjoy making what started off as a few kilobytes of data into a couple of megabytes.

  5. Murray McCallum says:

    Very transparent for the “Proposals for independence” column to have the words “for at least the first term of an independent parliament” in the narrative.

    Surely a similar point can be made in the “Status Quo” column. Obviously, UK State and Public Sector pension arrangements are open to change by future Westminster governments – they are not a fixed obligation for all future Parliaments.

  6. Ken Johnston says:

    O/T But I normally look-in at night when comments are nudging the hundreds.

    Just a line to say, a bit late like,  good to have shaken your hand at the rally.  I saw the tweet ? about being in the hollow and then saw the Flag. As I said, thank you for giving us a platform for news and discussion. Without it, well, I don’t know. And remember, contributions are there if needed.

    Kind Regards,   Ken Johnston

  7. Simon says:

    A PDF is a screen version of a printed document. What other way is there to distribute a printed document? Don’t say a Word document, that doesn’t display properly on screen or print, unless you are using the same system as the creator of the document.

    Of course it would be better if they produced a parallel HTML version alongside the PDF…

  8. Erchie says:

    DO not most SG publications also have an HTML option?

  9. Doug Daniel says:

    Well, there’s always .odt…

  10. Dan says:

    PDFs are easy to edit, if you have the right software. The name of such software escapes me right now, but they are usually free and easy to come by.

  11. Paula Rose says:

    Can we have a page like quarantine for computer chat? 😉

  12. Dcanmore says:

    You can save a document as an editable or non-editable PDf file. If you don’t want anybody changing the document or copy and pasting it into Word, then it’s saved as the latter. PDfs are the standard portable file format in the printing industry so they won’t be going away anytime soon. However, as Simons says, there should be an HTML version for the luddites 😉

  13. Horacesaysyes says:

    I’m not seeing anything outrageous or concerning there – it all seems sensible enough to me.

    However, I’m going to bet that the lines of attack from BT will be the costs of setting up a Scottish Pensions Regulator and Scottish Obudsman Service, the ‘uncertainty’ over the cross border arrangements (they’ll paint the worst possible scenario as being the most likely) and they’ll point out the sections that say ‘for at least the first term of an independent parliament’ as bring more ‘uncertainty’, conveniently ignoring the fact that exactly the same thing applies for each point in the status quo too.

  14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Cheers Erchie, edited in.

  15. Murray McCallum says:

    The Intergenerational Foundation (an independent, non political charity) published a paper in March 2013 on affordability of existing UK State and Public Sector pension commitments.

    It makes for grim reading. The projected (by almost 50% of the economic experts providing opinion) means-testing of the UK state pension by 2014 would herald the end of the principal of universality.

    Any of the Unionists who question the principle of an oil fund and/or who rejoice at the prospect of declining oil revenues seriously need their heids examined.

  16. The Rough Bounds says:

    Just finished listening to First Minister’s questions. Dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

    How Mr. Salmond puts up with this every week bewilders me. He’s a better man than me that’s for sure. If I were in his position I’d have been climbing over the desks to get at that Rennie, Lamont and Davidson in order to bang their stupid thick heads together.

  17. Murray McCallum says:

    The projected (by almost 50% of the economic experts providing opinion) means-testing of the UK state pension by 2040 would herald the end of the principal of universality.
    Too late to edit.

  18. Barontorc says:

    On FMQs today, did I notice a new form of contact betwixt the FM and the numpty questioners lining up with their usual drivel?
    Did the FM take more than usual enough time to fully answer their dire barbs?
    Didn’t this exasperate the poor wee dears?
    Didn’t he shred Lamentable, virtually ignore the other two and put the compulsive stranger to the truth Baillie firmly in her place?
    And what about  the closing (only) comment from Blubber – that this would be the last time we’ll see him on FMQs – did I hear right, or am I mistaken?

  19. Murray McCallum says:

    Wasn’t Alistair Darling Chief Secretary to the Treasury when Gordon Brown completed the work of the Tories in 1997 and removed ACT relief altogether for pension funds?
    Alistair went on to be Secretary of State for Work & Pensions after that.
    While pedaling his tales of UK safe-haven pensions he has actually been complicit in their erosion.

  20. call me dave says:

    The Rough Bounds
    But  in the papers tomorrow you will wonder if it was truly what you witnessed, funny old world.  Which is the problem very few watch the weekly slaughter of the unionist arguments by AS.

    Mr Bateman skewers David , Flipper Darling & Ruthie today and still has time to expose the hypocrisy about the oil revenues.   Go on sneak a look you can get the link at the top.

  21. Seasick Dave says:

    Re the Kevin Bridges invite…
    The Prime Minister requests the company of Kevin Bridges at a reception to celebrate St Andrew’s Day and the contribution that Scotland makes to the United Kingdom and the wider world at 10 Downing Street.
    I’m speechless.

  22. Weedeochandorris says:

    Herald reporting, Kaye Adams moves away from BBC Scotland show to rejoin ITV’s Loose Women

  23. X_Sticks says:

    Weedeochandorris says:

    “Herald reporting, Kaye Adams moves away from BBC Scotland show to rejoin ITV’s Loose Women”
    Oh, PLEASE be true. I really can’t abide that snide, supercilious whining woman. Loose Women is a much better platform for her.
    Can we have Lesley Riddoch back? That might go some way to restoring the bbc’s reputation on radio.

  24. AyeRight says:

    Here’s a wee thought for everyone.
    I contributed to the Norwegian State welfare scheme for two years back in 1983/4 and today I recieve £184 per month from Norway.
    That £184 is over 30% more than the basic state pension paid by Westminster, for a lifetime on contributions.
    I’m very lucky, I don’t have to decide if an Independent Scotland is the answer….from my life experience, I KNOW IT IS.

  25. Morag says:

    Aren’t you confusing weeks and months, though?

  26. AyeRight says:

    I don’t think so Morag,
    Norway pay me monthly and the UK pay something like £625 per month basic.

  27. HandandShrimp says:

    Getting an invite is one thing, is Kevin Bridges going though? He could be a Better Together buff for all I know, he doesn’t do a lot (any?) political comedy AFAIK.

  28. Bella says:

    Dan – you can use Issuu or Scribd to view pdfs online.

  29. Horacesaysyes says:


    Did you read the text that went along with the photo in his tweet?

  30. Tom Hogg says:

    No Kevin Bridges is not going.  His Twitter comment was “F*ck that!”

  31. MochaChoca says:

    ummm…. so is that £184 per week then (£797 per month)?
    Sounds too good to be true?

  32. liz says:

    Re Kay with an e moving to loose woman – is this a plus side of Derek Bateman coming out?
    Re Kevin Bridges – he has stated openly that he is pro Yes and is the type of chap non-politcos will listen to.

  33. HandandShrimp says:

    The office computer does not do Twitter. So no I saw nothing 🙂

  34. Horacesaysyes says:


    Fair doos. I’d recommend having a look when you get that chance though, it certainly brought a wee smile to my lips. 🙂

  35. liz says:

    Is this Cameron ‘fighting with every fibre of his being’ by issuing dinner party invitations? 

  36. Desimond says:

    “All i am seeing here is  vital funds that coudl go to hospitals being wasted in setting up more and more Scotland version of Pension Bodies that already exist and pathetic bribes by trying to entice pensioners with an extra 20 pence!”

    Alastair, Johann, Ruth…feel free to use my words in public. Im sure we will here plenty of variations over next 72 hours while you offer absolutely no positive argument whatsoever. 

  37. Desimond says:

    If Kevin Bridges who was at the Barcelona game the other night goes to Number 10, please just say no, he is bound to meet a good few of Union loving Celtic Board fraternity. Brian Wilson, Lord Parkhead etc.
    If he is really unlucky Dr John Reid will probably turn up too!

  38. heraldnomore says:

    More from The Fear Factor

    Remember Vitol, Taylor etc?

  39. muttley79 says:

    O/T  The Jimmy Reid Foundation are raising money for the Common Weal Project.  Still has 3 weeks to go.

  40. Alex Taylor says:

    On the BBC phone in this morning Kay (with an ‘e’, for erse?) was discussing the £2billion pounds needed to repair Scotland’s roads. Where would the money come from?

    An eloquent mature lady suggested that given the ability to raise its own taxes and decide what to spend them on, this would not be a problem.
    Kay (with an erse) quickly told the lie that there was a terrible buzz on the line and cut her off.

    I’ll not be sad she’s going if it’s true.

  41. Desimond says:

    People mentioning KAYE….well it just happens that our work are having a ‘Diversity Week’..speeches of inspiration….look who is speaking and amazingly there are lots of tickets still available….whodafunkit?
    Friday 4th October 12.30 – 1.30pm
    Kaye Adams is one of the country’s most experienced live TV and radio broadcasters.Probably best known for her seven years at the helm of ITV’s award-winning, daytime chat show ‘Loose Women’, she is a regular presenter on Channel Five’s ‘The Wright Stuff’ and Radio Five Live. She is currently presenting her own breakfast radio show, ‘Call Kaye’, on BBC Radio Scotland every weekday morning
    Kaye will be talking about the challenges she has faced combining the roles of working parent and successful broadcaster, while also reflecting on broader diversity topics encountered through her years of involvement with topical TV & radio shows 
    Monday 7th October 6pm
     Scottish politician, Ruth Davidson will be discussing her experience of diversity and the challenges she has faced as a gay woman in becoming the leader of her political party.

  42. David says:

    Stu, have you seen Kevin Bridges’ latest tweet? Maybe we should all RSVP to the email address haha.

  43. gerry parker says:

    O/T but I was in Argyll and popped into the Yes scotland shop yesterday.
    A dreich day but well staffed and I got a couple of Yes car stickers.
    Keep up the good work lads.

  44. Edward says:

    David and others
    Those of a certain age that couldn’t make out the e-mail address
    its rsvp1 [at] no10 [dot] x [dot] gsi [dot] gov [dot] uk
    Say this for Cameron, he does have a brass neck!

  45. Edward O'Neil says:

    James…..send me a copy of that PDF file ““Pensions in an independent Scotland”.” and I’ll convert it into an editable Word doc for you.   edie [at] tfori [dot] com

  46. Edward O'Neil says:

    sorry that should read     eddie [at] tfori [dot] com   damned keyboard!

  47. Morag says:

    On the BBC phone in this morning Kay (with an ‘e’, for erse?) was discussing the £2billion pounds needed to repair Scotland’s roads. Where would the money come from?
    When I was in Norway on holiday in the summer, a tour guide told us that Norway’s roads had been absolutely terrible, she said third world standard, total embarrassment.  Not to mention dangerous.  The Norwegians kicked up merry hell, saying what was the point of having all this oil fund if they couldn’t mend the roads.  The government raided the piggy bank and fixed the roads.
    Probably provided a lot of employment, and put money into circulation.  Actually, that may be what they’re worried about – having too much money in circulation.  But they mended the roads anyway.

  48. Bill B says:

    No mention of War Pensions. They blew it!

  49. The Flamster says:

    Mentioning War Pension there reminded me.  If you are on ESA due to being disabled fighting in a war after 365 days your War Pension (or any other pension) gets taken into account and you receive very little of your Pension.

  50. handclapping says:

    One of the great benefits of independence is that we will be able to have a proper debate about the whole welfare package. In Westminster nobody dare as they might be voted out so nothing will be done. In iScotland we can tell Holyrood to have a proper debate on all aspects of it and if they dont do it properly get rid of the lot of them. After the referendum people will have had experience of being given the information and having to make their own mind up, very different to Westminster keeping us in the dark, feeding us bullshit and then telling us what they are going to do.
    My own view on the pension problem is that we should go back to the original idea that this is a benefit for those who have outlived their capacity for work. At nearly 73 its only the illness of this summer that would have stopped me working if there wasn’t a pension so I think the pension age should be put much higher like 75 and if you cannae work before that age you get age related sickness benefit. After all when you look at all the pensioners on Saga cruises, the young fok can well ask so why can’t the Government give us all a cruise to the Caribbean when we are 35 and take the cost out ouf the fit and able 65+ year olds pension instead of the other way round?

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