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Government report shows equalising pensions for gay couples could cost £2.9 billion

  • http://twrl.github.com/ Tom Robbins

    Given the scale on which we waste money, it’s not that much really. £2.9bn is roughly what it cost the economy to give everyone an extra bank holiday for the royal wedding back in 2010.

    • That There Other David

      Better yet, the cost of maintaining the laughable personality cult around the Windsors costs this country some £300m a year. Ditch them now and the pension problem goes away in less than a decade.

      • MarkB

        A bit off topic David but since you brought it up!

        Not sure where you got the 300M figure from but it is completely wrong.

        Next year the money the Royal family will get is 40M 1/3 of that is spent on maintaining the Royal palaces many of which have been poorly maintained for 50 years or more. There are a few problems with getting rid of them.

        1) The Royal family is in fact good value for money. How much do you think a presidency costs? And of course who would want to come to the UK to see a presidents palace? The Royal family bring in a huge amount of revenue to the UK every year by there mere presence.

        And could you really imagine a president Thatcher, a President Blair or god forbid a President Cameron?

        It can clearly be seen if you look around the world that a presidency actually cost a lot more money than our Royal family.

        2) If we decided that the Royal family should no longer get money from the crown estates (40M next year) then that would abrogate the agreement between the Royal family and Parliament that was set up in 1760. The entirety of the Crown estates would legally revert to the Royal family. Instead of getting 40M a year they would get 400M a year.

        Here is an interesting article, granted it is from the Telegraph and please note it is a 4 year old article

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/7850335/The-Royal-family-is-a-bargain-for-Britain.html

        Whilst I am not a monarchist I am for maintaining the status quo, as this is the best value for money for us and in fact brings in a huge amount of revenue annually.

        As for fixing the hole in pension schemes it would take a hell of a lot more than 40M a year for 10 years to do that. Even the figure you gave of 300M a year would not fix the problem. The pension hole is about 50Bn.

        A better wy to fix that would be to make sure big company’s pay tax due in the UK. Company’s like Vodaphone (no tax paid for over 3 years) Virgin Media (no tax paid in over 2 years) and I could go on, but you get the picture. Big company’s and wealthy individuals are avoiding paying tax in the UK through legal loopholes this government has taken no steps to close! (and neither did the previous government)

        • gertieonherknees

          here here , and beside who would we wave a flag at?

        • That There Other David

          I’m afraid you’ve fallen for the spin my friend.

          http://republic.org.uk/sites/default/files/wortheverypenny.pdf

          And you know what, yes I would prefer a President Thatcher, Blair or Cameron, because WE would have chosen them. No accident of birth, no ridiculous made up on the go “traditions”, no obsequious reporting from Nicholas Witchell whenever the baby burps for the cameras.

          The Royals are not what we’re being told they are. They regularly interfere in policy, they live under intense secrecy, and as for the nonsense that they bring “stability” you only have to look at just how many monarchs of this land have caused bloodshed or political strife to put paid to that myth.

          Personality cult. If any other country were doing it we’d laugh at them, and rightly so.

          • MarkB

            Interesting but a lot of those figures are highly questionable. The biggest point David is the amount of money we, as a nation make from ‘Royal’ tourism. This money would dissapear if we got rid of them.

            Another point is as I said before they would be quite entitled to take back total control of the Crown estates as they belong to them.

            And no I would not have wanted to see a president Thatcher. I could not think of anything worse.

            I must admit however I was pissed off when William got his face on a stamp for his birthday. I thought wtf has that privileged brat done to earn that……..nothing.

            End of the day we have a system that works. A president would be far more expensive especially when you factor in what we would loose, in terms of tourism.

            I don’t want to see our politics become a cult of personality rather than party’s

          • John Whelan

            Do you really believe you/we would be choosing the president?? its hard to believe that a person writing so concisely would be so dumb as to think Joe public has much say in choosing our “great leader”

        • Cal

          Agreed. Well said. The institution is good value for money and decorative.

      • JonParker

        it’s £37.1m this tax year, more than a third of which is going towards the upkeep of the palaces which alone brings in billions of pounds from tourism, without it, we’d be bankrupt.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Too expensive is it? What about the billions paid out to save the too big to fail banks? No complaints about expense there.

  • Neil Rhodes

    Perhaps, making religious organisations pay the same tax as everyone else might help towards that …

  • Stephen

    Typical Tory scum. We have equal marriage in spite of the neo-fascist bigotry of the majority of Tory MPs and now these pigs are trying to penalise us financially.
    Who cares what it costs – it is f***ing owed to us as equal members of this society.
    How about taxing the banks to raise this money.
    Get the finger out Cameron, you toxic waste of space.

  • TomSatsuma

    Oooh… I tell you what would also save money… Stop benefits for Jews.

    Or maybe ban women from using the NHS?…

    No?… Then why is equality for gay people an economic issue?

    • Gerry

      Brilliant comparison, really makes its point by hitting you in the eyeballs !

  • john

    If that figure is true then it just shows the extent of the inequality and how disadvantged gay couples are compared to straight couples. This figure just highlights the fact that something needs to be done now.

    • http://www.equality-network.org Equality Network

      The figure is misleading. £2,9 billion is the cost of removing the discrimination between wives’ and husbands’ survivors pensions in mixed-sex marriages, in public sector pension schemes. The report says that the cost of removing the sexual orientation discrimination against same-sex marriages and civil partnerships, which is in private sector pension schemes, will be £80 million – a tiny fraction of those pension schemes assets. There is no reason why the Govt could not make that change now.

      • http://www.equality-network.org Equality Network

        Sorry, I should have written £100 million, not £80 million. To put it in perspective, the total pension liabilities of British private sector pension schemes is 1 1/4 trillion pounds. £100 million is less than 0.01% of the schemes’ total pension costs. Their liabilities bounce up and down by far more than that due to unpredictable variations in investment returns, marriage rates and life expectancies.

        • john

          I suspected that was the case , but for me the figure of 100 million to equalise it for same sex couples or 2.9 biillion to correct the whole system based on a person’s sex (ie husband is disadavantaged) simply shows how unfair the system is althogether, the cost is not an excuse to do nothing it is a very good to do something. It’s horrendous that people are losing out on this amount of money.

  • Benji

    If you aren’t going to give me my pension, can I have my contributions back then?
    This is not their money, it’s money that we contributed & they invested (ha ha!) on our behalf. If they won’t give us the pension and they won’t give us back our contributions that seems like stealing to me

  • Mihangel apYrs

    it isn’t as though all the potential recipients haven’t contributed to the pension pot funds from which they are excluded

    • REALrenovato

      This is the point that is being skirted around isnt it. Its not that this will cost pension schemes this EXTRA money but is money they have FAILED TO PAY, or saved paying in the past because of discriminatory practices they were allowed by our estemed libertarian and equality pronouncing politicians who failed to act!!!!
      Its really time they fessed up to their own tardyness and double speak – YES it is their fault, and they want to continue with this disgrace by trying to pull the wool yet again, if we let them get away with it.

  • http://www.equality-network.org Equality Network

    It’s important to know what the real cost figure is. The main problem for civil partners and same-sex married couples is the discrimination in private sector pension schemes, where survivors’ benefits can be far lower than for mixed-sex married couples. The UK Govt report published today puts the cost of giving us equal benefits, to widows or widowers in mixed-sex marriages, in those pensions, at a total of £100 million, not £2.9 billion. £100 million is 0.01% of private sector pension schemes’ total pension costs.
    The £2.9 billion figure is something different – it is the cost of removing the discrimination that exists in public sector pension benefits between husbands and wives in mixed-sex marriages.

  • Ra

    Since we should not have been discriminated against in the first place, this is the righting of a wrong caused by homophobes; so hang the price tag on their error, not us.

  • lee

    Gay people make a MASSIVE contribution in they pay full tax many of us don’t receive tax credit nor use or receive monies for having children. Most gay people I know pay the full whack for everything. So i don’t see why we should not receive equal pensions

    I don’t have kids and use none of the services schools etc and paid far too much already in tax

  • Ed Woody

    No amount of cost is sufficient excuse for not doing it.

  • qv

    Conversely, we have been subsidising straight couples’ pensions for way too long!

  • Gerry

    If the cost is £100 million, that’s less than two days’ membership of the EU. If it’s £2.9 billion that’s less than eight weeks’ worth.

    Either way, it costs what it costs. You can’t use the cost to justify discrimination.

  • Ivan

    No – they will no longer be saving billions by discriminating against us.

  • Hue-Man

    We – your government – imprisoned, tortured and castrated you. We hounded you from your jobs. We belittled you in schools. We neglected your health as AIDS mowed your brothers and sisters down in a painful lonely death.

    But everything’s changed now – we’ll let you get second-class married so that you can starve to death on the pension we won’t give you for all those years we made your lives so miserable. Vote for us! You’re welcome.

  • Cal

    Great arguments on this thread for righting the injustice of different pension rights. I don’t see how it would even be legal to deny payment.

  • GulliverUK

    This government soured the “equal” marriage legislation by not providing true equality. The £2.8bn figure is just bunkum, but let us imagine it was a good figure. Not making survivor pension benefits equal would be, an affront to equality, and deprive those eligible in the LGBT community of £2.8bn in benefits they are owed. I will not vote for any party which does not commit to equalise pensions, not even Labour. It is absolutely fundamental to equality that pensions are equal, otherwise we do not have equal rights. The fact the government said it would appeal the Walker v Innospec ruling absolutely disgusts me, in a way that very little else has. The figure being bandied around for ages was around £90m.

    Let’s be clear. EVERYBODY dies. If you have a partner either you will die first, or they will, so it affects everybody who has a Civil Partnership or is married. In the Walker case (he was well-paid and had a final salary scheme) it was the difference between about £500pa and £41,000pa. It is theft on a massive scale to not provide equal pension rights, and currently 2/3 of pension providers do NOT provide equal benefits. Do you know if your provider will give you equal pension rights?

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