Welcome, and remarkable news that – amidst all the punch ups between politicians over the EU referendum and football fans in France – Britain’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level for a decade.
In the three months to April, the unemployment rate fell to just five percent. Even more remarkable, it is believed 45,000 of the 50,000 increase in total employment is due to a surge in self-employment.
If so, it’s proof that the entrepreneurial spirit which has typified the UK for so long, is alive and well, particularly among young people.
On the same day the figures were released, Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance wrote a piece for The Times drawing attention to the huge disparity between the pension benefits of those who work in the public sector, and the NHS in particular, and private sector workers.
He said that there were 16,000 NHS staff receiving £50,000 a year in pension income, while someone from the private sector who had managed to save £100,000 into a pension pot could receive just over £3,000 pa.
He further pointed out that the NHS scheme, like those of the civil service, teachers, armed forces, police and firefighters, is entirely unfunded – and has a deficit 683 times greater than that of the BHS pension scheme.
Given the continued vibrancy of the private sector – the engine of the economy – there are those who ask whether it’s about time the taxpayer-funded pensions of those who work for the State were re-balanced in favour of those in the private sector who pay for them in the first place.