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Month: July 2007

Flooding

So, despite all the floods, policy is still to build houses in flood plains albeit after a risk assessment with the Environment Agency. This is incredibly short-sighted and downright stupid. Flood plains are fertile areas suitable for growing crops – oh, silly me, I forgot we have systematically destroyed our farming community over the last 20 years…

Now we are increasingly dependent on food from abroad, how environmentally friendly is that? Not too sensible from a self-sufficiency perspective either.

Back to the floods…

Don’t people understand that building houses increases risk of flooding in any given area as less land is available for natural drainage? The Environment Agency might regard some areas as high-risk and others as low-risk but the fact is with climate change all bets are off, no-one knows what’s likely to happen next. Infrastructure upgrades will be required wherever new houses are built to accommodate increasing demand for transport and further reducing the natural drainage.

Why do we need all these extra houses? Well, it’s mainly ‘affordable homes’ that are required for people employed in essential services whose incomes are so low they can’t afford ‘normal’ houses. So, we can’t afford to pay our nurses and teachers a decent salary? Or is it that house prices have risen so much that it’s almost impossible to get on the property ladder? Maybe the prices are going up so much because property has, traditionally, been the only reliable investment increasing in value at more than twice the average salary rise. It’s certainly my best (legal) bet for a decent pension.

Perhaps all the affordable housing has been gobbled up by immigrants the number of which we don’t know because it’s no-ones job to monitor this!

Sounds like the plot is well and truly lost to me, if there ever was one…

Pensions

So, it appears that no-one is saving enough for their retirement with the young being targeted in a recent survey. Apparently, HSBC research showed that half of young people between 16 and 24 believed they were too young to start saving into a pension. A Moneynet report revealed the following:

“However, the group’s research has shown that while a 21-year-old making a contribution of £75 each month into his pension will end up with a pension fund of almost £13,000 each year, a 30-year-old starting up will only receive £6,470.”

Probably, most people are aware that they save too little but with everyone but the owner having access to the savings pot it’s little wonder more people are keeping their cash somewhere else. Some will just spend it while others will invest it in places where it can’t be easily accessed by Government, greedy or incompetent pension providers and the Inland Revenue.

I can’t say I blame them really, we’ve done everything recommended for the past 30-odd years and it’s still worth bugger-all. It’s all too easy to blame Stock Market performance but all I see are banks and insurance companies getting fat on someone else’s hard work. Plus, there’s a ready supply of cheap labour in the form of pensioners who have little or no pension.