Ageing white men at the BBC earning more than women and black people is hardly a surprise. Income and other inequalities based on race and sex are not a thing of the past. Away from the heady heights of entertainment, where salaries far exceed London’s average £27,000 pa lies an issue that affects most of us. The stealth increases in the age at which we can draw our state pensions. But the corporate media headlines have us focused on hating the Beeb. It’s time we got as angry at state pension injustice as we get unnecessarily enraged about the BBC.
The BBC costs a household 40p a day, that’s £2.82 a week. That is not enough to buy a Mc Donald’s meal which you can eat in minutes. The BBC broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It airs some of the best television and radio. The Beeb also provide news from around the world that is overall impartial. Undoubtedly, the BBC is value for money. I am happy to pay 40p for the News.
The BBC’s published salaries are just a small part of the running costs. However, they confirm the pay inequality that we know exists. I do not agree with the government forcing the BBC to publish salaries. Nevertheless, the transparency will force reform. And for that reason, I would like to see all business and organisations publish salaries.
While the corporate media focused on the BBC, the government was raising the pensionable age. Again. In a less than transparent manner. It was no coincidence the two events happened on the same day.
The government is unilaterally and retrospectively eroding our pension rights. It started with the contracts of public employees. Their protests against the government enforcing reduced pension terms did not find public sympathy. That is probably because the corporate media has encouraged hostility toward the public sector. They also give the impression that firefighters and other public services have too generous a pension.
Women who started contributing to their pension at age 15 have also had their pension rights snatched away. Their contract with the government was after 45 years of work; they could retire at 60. Back then there were no childcare benefits and a wider pay gap.
However, with little or no notice the rules changed. The coalition government brought forward proposals and increased the age at which women could draw their state pension. Suddenly, these women had to wait until they were 65.
That is a loss of income averaging £40,000, and it is causing severe hardship. So the WASPI fight back began. They are asking for compensation for women who are adversely affected. Sadly, again it has not made news headlines.
BBC v Pensions
Now it is the turn of those born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978, (aged 39 – 47). Forget about retiring at 60, or 65 or 67. It is now 68. But that can change!
The Tory plan was to increase the retirement age in 2044. However as with the public sector employees and WASPI’s the plans have been quietly brought forward. I don’t think it is the end of changes. However, if we continue to focus on the trivial, pension injustices will go unchecked.
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