When I was younger I spent several years working in construction and roofing. I'm not even 40 and I'm glad I'm out of the industry now. As a young man it was fine, but the toll that this kind of hard physical labour takes on your body gets bigger and bigger with age.
Today I'm imagining what it would be like to be still working as a roofer at the age of 74, because that's what Iain Duncan Smith and the Tories are plotting for the working classes.
Iain Duncan Smith and his vile hard-right CSJ think tank are planning to hike the retirement age to 75 to create a work until you die dystopia for millions of British workers, especially manual workers with physically demanding jobs.
The UK government does remarkably little research into the life expectancies of specific professions, but from what little evidence is available, they know that hiking the pension age to 75 will mean that manual and low-income workers will end up contributing entire lifetimes of National Insurance payments, in return for little or no pension at all at the end of it.
The average age of death for males in routine and semi-routine trades are 76.6 and 77.9 years, meaning just a few paltry years of pension before death, if you're lucky enough to live to average age.
And that's before you factor in that forcing people to continue working in demanding physical labour jobs until their mid-70s is obviously going to significantly increase the death rate from factors like heart attacks and accidents.
The Westminster establishment class has already proven its willingness to steal people's state pension pots already with their attack on 1950s women, in some instances confiscating six years of pension payments whilst forcing them to continue paying six years extra National Insurance as an insult on top of the initial theft.
The theft from WASPI women adds up to £40-50,000 per woman, but hardly anyone even blinked an eye when this happened, because they weren't directly affected by this pension theft.
But now that the Tories realise they can get way with brazenly stealing people's pensions, they're coming for the entire pensions of following generations, hoping to work us to death before we even get to state pension age.
And the economic reasoning behind this Tory pension theft is just as economically-illiterate as the rest of their nonsense like "let's cut our way to growth" austerity blibber-blabber.
They treat pension payments as if they're essentially "waste", but in reality they're economically beneficial.
When pensioners receive their state pensions they don't just burn the cash in their back yards, they spend it into the economy, which creates economic demand. It doesn't just disappear, it goes straight back into circulation.
And most pensioners in their mid-sixties to mid-seventies don't just sit there idly doing nothing, they look after the grandchildren, they act as carers for spouses and other elderly relatives, they contribute to their communities, spend money on the hobbies and activities they were too busy to do when they were working ...
If the Tories insist on working this generation to death intead, then the social good that they currently provide will have to be provided in different ways.
This means young families paying rip-off child care fees because granny is too busy cleaning hotel rooms or whatever at the age of 74, and too shattered from this living nightmare to ever help out in her spare time.
This means that if one partner becomes seriously ill or disabled, the state will have to pick up the tab for a full-time carer for one pensioner so that the other can go out to work!
This means elderly people will never get the final decade or so before stuff like extreme frailty and dementia set in to contribute to their communities, explore their hobbies and interests, and enjoy their retirement, unless of course they're wealthy, with a bumper private pension to live off ...
And that's the real Tory agenda.
The idea of ordinary people enjoying a few years of retirement before they die fills Tories with absolute fury.
In their minds a happy retirement is a valuable commodity to be bought by the rich, not a right to be enjoyed by the majority of people.
So they're determined to work the rest of us to death, even if it doesn't even make any kind of economic sense, because to them, the money we've all paid in National Insurance doesn't belong to us, it belongs to them, to lavish on corporate fat cats, and bankers, and the mega-rich in tax cuts and handouts, so they can make even more cash to stuff into their gold-plated pensions, so they can retire early to idle lives of luxury, while the rest of us break our backs until we die to pay for them.
The Tories believe that our pensions belong to them and their kind, and they're going to work us to death to make damned well sure of it.
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