Pensions In my last offering I referred to how I felt the Government should take over all our pension provisions. I don’t go back on that, but what I do feel is that all, every bit contributed, should be ring fenced for pensions and not, like all the taxes to do with motoring, from purchase to Vat on insurance, which we all believe is used for anything but road improvement.
Thinking about pensions made me realise two related aspects, my Grand Daughter’s mortgage equates to my total take home pay from my employment pension, my OAP and my investments, after deductions and tax, I’m not complaining, because, fortunately Nature, in her wisdom has cut down my ability to travel and add to that wide travel in the past, thus making the urge less strong. Also, I have enough clothes to last for ever, I can live reasonably within my income, but it makes me realise how close to the wind young people starting out are having to sail, if starting out is even feasible.
Watches, labels and other peoples’ opinions. Obviously I had basic, almost off the scale, pocket and wrist watches before I bought a self-winding Omega, abroad at half price. Then I entered a new world where watch enthusiasts talked to me, enthused and behaved like stamp collectors. I relished it, until I had to get it cleaned, and discovered it really was only for the rich. Later it needed an MOT, so I bought a halfway posh watch. When it needed cleaned the manufacturer lost the innards. Weeks elapsed and to fill the gap I bought a digital cheapee, and that was the end of posh watches. A month ago the strap came off my 10 year old £15 watch and the watch fell into the toilet. Passing a jeweller’s I saw a ‘gold’ wristwatch cheaper than a new strap would have cost. It only cost £10 and I loved it because it looked like an heirloom and was wafer thin. The male members of our family have expensive and terribly complicated chrome watches, my injured left arm might find it even hard to lift. They didn’t admire my purchase, neither did the women, who like labels. It was then that I realised the cheapee had an easy face to read, while all the posh watches had copper coloured hands (red gold) on a slightly lighter dial that needed a 150 watt bulb to tell the hour after lighting up time. I think ‘Fashion’ is a real pain,!
More NHS Dichotomies. Brown, in making his announcement concerning preventative medicine, was not discovering anything new, but he was being selective in applying it only to England, which may or may not have been a subtle ploy. I assume from this that N Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have their own budgets and can spend them how they like, but, I strongly suspect it really isn’t across the board. I find it amazing Brown sits in a hospital expounding a proposal for the future, instead of passing it round for comment in Parliament, especially when the Government is asking us to keep away from hospitals because of the current epidemic. Surely he is aware the hospitals are struggling with lack of funding, cleanliness, virulent virus epidemics, shortage of staff, waiting times and a differential service through the ‘postcode’ syndrome. Clearly he is seeking approbation, but at what expense to the service. He has added another previously unsought demand by the public, for more screening, when, according to the press, some of the standard screening required today is partly dependent upon charity supplying equipment that is in short supply and urgently needed, and the screening is behind schedule. Preventive medicine is the best way forward, but to announce, and launch into a nation wide scheme, rather than allow it to grow gradually, by referrals from doctors as required and as available, rather than demanded by right, defeats me. You decide why he did it this way!