Here are three subjects that we will hear lots about in the next parliament but that politicians won’t want to address in the election campaign.
- The ending of final salary pensions schemes for public sector workers. Certainly for new entrants, anyway, with adjustments for existing members.
- An increase in MPs’ salary (to go alongside a reduction in their number)
- An increase in direct taxation for middle income earners (Say £20k to 50k)
When it comes to money, we all get a bit squeamish about the specifics- especially when it’s us who pays (I declare a small interest here; I’m the member of a Kent County Council scheme albeit amongst a plethora of others). It’s easy for most of us to be at ease with the prospect of a tax for rich bankers, we’re generally positive about tax breaks for the poorest and it works well for us in the middle when the former funds the latter. But what about when it’s unavoidable, we have to pay? Are we open to receiving this news and giving it a thoughtful response? The parties will want to avoid being specific about the bad news and we may prefer it that way for now. But being straight with each other is surely about knowing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Or to put it another way, letting our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no’.