What does Brexit mean to many people? It probably means 5 years* if you have a personal pension.
“It’s the economy, stupid”
The vote has come and gone and our political betters have decided that the folks have spoke.
Let’s get on with it, but what is IT?
The pound has plummeted, share prices are crashing and Europe is very keen to show us the door.
We’re okay, really. Honestly. We are making more cars in the UK than ever before.
Toyota, Nissan, Ford engines, Vauxhall Astra, Honda, BMW, Tata (Land Rover and Jaguar).
They’ve all invested here to get to the UK market? Wrong. It’s to get to the European market.
Let’s play a scenario – Renault own Nissan.
Renault is a French company.
Peugeot/Citroen is also French and is currently in a poor way.
France is staring at potentially a lot of empty factories and workforce redundancies.
The French find a way to subsidise a Nissan move from Washington.
Cheerio to a lot of Nissan employees in the North East.
Cheerio to component manufacturers
Cheerio to the papershop outside the factory gates.
This is what happens. The picture at the top is of Freight Rover. I used to work there.
Here’s another picture of the site.
The Morris van on the Borrowers? Probably built here.
“The Brain Drain”
In the 1970’s there was an exodus of well educated, intelligent British graduates to anywhere else.
Most of them probably didn’t come back.
There is a deluge of similar talent about to leave our shores.
The loss of revenue to the exchequer of these educated, highly skilled people will be grim.
The losses caused by the closing of London offices of multi nationals will be horrendous.
That exodus will be a drop in the ocean to what’s about to happen. Unless. Unless.
We can’t afford them.
HS2 needs to come off the drawing board.
Any project above the OJEU threshold should be put on hold, where possible, until after Brexit.
This may seem like a protectionist measure, but we simply won’t be able to afford it.
These projects can be re-tendered, if we can afford them after EU exit when we no longer have to give European bidders a fair crack of the whip.
To steam ahead with large projects which go to foreign bidders is once again selling out our young people.
They will have to pick up the tab. Again.
The Health Service
“To each according to their needs”
The NHS is under incredible strain, the emotional appeal lodged by the leave campaign showed that people understand this.
Yet, instead of helping the front line staff focus on delivery, these folks are subject to audit which feels like the worst bits of OfSTED.
“From each according to their ability”
Successive governments seem to have backed off from delivering one crucial message.
Your health is your responsibility.
The provision of health service, free at the point of delivery, is wonderful, but it is bleeding money.
The way out of this mess is to make sure that the next generation of bright young folks is bright on the international scale.
We need to make sure they want to stay and rebuild this mess.
The way to do that is to surround them with skilled, excited, enthusiastic teachers.
The way to get them is to. Oh, we’ve already got them.
Let’s get the bureaucratic rubbish out of the way and let them teach.
This may be one of our greatest earners of export cash for some years to come.
We need to value this and cherish it.
Gove wanted no more ‘expert advice’ as he pushed for Brexit. Smart.
We need to make sure quality education is available to British (still saying British, but England feels pretty isolated) students.
Our young people are going to be hampered enough in the future by the stupid decisions of the current politicians, do we need to put more on them?
Is there a way to write down student debt, otherwise how will our young people prosper?
Politicians have played pass the parcel with this one for far too long.
Public sector pensions are a massive black hole £1,400,000,000 in 2015.
Our children and grandchildren have that burden to carry.
Now is the time to take some very, very tough decisions.
Fraud / Gambling
Both these activities appear to take a huge amount of money from the economy.
On line gambling advertisements are prolific. This has to stop.
Gaming companies and sport club sponsorship? It has to stop.
We need to recognise gambling for the addiction it is.
Let’s recognise the lottery for what it is, a hidden tax on the poor.
Fraud is on the increase because it seems like an easier one to get away with.
Will the UK have a nuclear deterrent?
Will it be the UK – Scotland doesn’t seem to want Faslane or nuclear.
The Trident replacement should be put on ice.
Are we really still a ‘big hitter’ in the military world? Should we be?
Will we be happy to see our soldiers on the streets? Plan to avoid it.
The High Street
There are still many jobs on the high street, but why do we always see ‘retail sales’ as so important?
The vast majority of goods on the high street are imports.
Shopping areas are too large, with money lenders and bookies taking up too much space on the edges
Politicians and Parliament
A cost of £5.7billion has been mooted for rebuilding Parliament.
This citadel of manners and good judgement.
The future of our children has been sorted out by a bloke down the pub
Now is probably the time to let the place sink.
There will be plenty of empty multi-national HQs going cheap in London soon enough
One of those will do nicely. Leave Westminster for the tourists
I feel that this decision is going to hit young families very hard.
The 90s boom and bust, (who remembers the fall out from the ERM?), happened without social media.
Imagine the vitriol and hatred on Twitter and FaceBook when the same happens again.
We will see house values fall and interest rates rocket
Council charges will not go down.
Councils are paying a fortune in to pension funds.
A lot of that is coming from the council charges.
Figures on my local council (Harborough) suggest that the employer is paying 26% of salary values in to pensions.
Where can this lead?
Adding this lot together paints a strange view of where we are going.
It feels a lot like this – out in the dark and the cold and on your own.
Nobody seems to have a plan A or plan B
Rioting on the streets and ageism of the worst sort feel like they are in the shadows above.
So, here’s plan C
We must retain our bright young folks. We need some ‘bows and arrows against the lightning’.
There has to be a way to write off student debt in a responsible way.
Something like work 1 year in UK (England?) after graduation writes off 10%, 2nd year writes off 20%, then 30% then 40%.
4 years of working and paying taxes and it’s written off.
We also need to find a way to repay those students who have stuck in the UK after their degrees and paid it off.
These are now the people starting families and are going to get clobbered.
Whilst looking at students there needs to be a way to tackle the exploitation which is student rent in large cities.
Whilst looking at rent we need to develop some sustainable, responsible way to tackle the crazy rents that are out there in general.
The city centres are becoming ghost towns.
Give local authorities the right to compulsory purchase whole streets of failing shops and turn them into flats and houses.
Let these out on a buy/rent scheme yet to be devised.
Do not rebuild Parliament. Do not push ahead with HS2.
There was an argument by the boss of the project that HS2 is needed to bridge North / South divide.
Utter garbage. And I do know first hand.
Very carefully scrutinise all capital projects above OJEU thresholds.
Allow the effected public sector bodies to carry budgets past the April 5th timescales
Abandon some of the politically driven schemes like the mad dash for academies.
Let the front line staff in the public sector get on with their jobs.
Take BIG decisions on pensions. Especially public sector, index linked ones.
Here’s a thought – if YOU have an index linked public sector pension.
Did you get a degree at University?
Did you pay tuition fees?
Perhaps you’d like to adopt a random, unnamed student and pay off their loan?
Or rather, independents.
Perhaps the only good thing to come from busted Britain is the realisation that our political system is properly busted.
Perhaps we’ll see a serious rise in quality, experienced men and women who will stand up and be counted.
A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman thinks of the next generation.
If ever we needed statesmen.
* The 5 year comment
Personal pensions are probably taking a bath (guess who was born one week later than current cut off dates?).
There will be inflation.
There will be reductions in house values.
The purchasing power of my current house minus a smaller house will reduce.
‘Money purchase’ personal pensiosn feel such a poor idea. Now.
I feel that it’s going to take 5 years extra at work to get my effective pot back where it was last week.
The road in the picture above?
This is what that road ahead genuinely looks like.