Sunday, 15 May 2016

Eurovision Pensions

Well, I opened the BBC News website this morning to find the Eurovision Song Contest had come and gone without me even knowing. I was aware something was taking place, as a friend is closely involved and  regularly posts Facebook articles about it, but I was under the assumption is was some interminable vetting process that led up to the actual contest taking place later in the year. I have not heard a single song or indeed know who represented the UK.

The TTIP deal is now the cudgel in the IN/OUT debate, the logic of the OUT camp being that TTIP risks the NHS. However, in its current form, it is very unlikely that the deal will be sanctioned by the EU, as many countries are are concerned about the effect on public services which are not wholly public - not least among which is France, which has one of the largest public sectors in the world.

So, the choices are:
  • Stay in the EU, with a near-zero chance of TTIP, (in its present form) succeeding, or
  • Leave and have Cameron (or Boris) pursue their own version of TTIP with the USA, bearing in mind that the Tories are the ones being accused of dismantling the NHS and wanting to sell it off. It should be noted that Cameron is in favour of the agreement as it is currently written and Labour are in such disarray that they don't stand a chance at the next election.

It's a bit like the Turkey issue and the chances of the entire population of that country descending on the UK in the very unlikely circumstance that Turkey makes the necessary changes to permit EU membership, something it has said it will not do.

Opened a notification from one of my pension companies yesterday to find the value of the fund had declined by 2.1% over the last 12 months - and that's in a reasonably stable market. Another reason for not voting out - I don't want my pension funds being hit even more by the potential for market instability, although I think the level of household debt in the UK is going to bite us all in the bum shortly, whatever happens on the EU.

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