6 August 2012
John Gray, formerly professor of European thought at the London School of Economics, said the uncertainty over pensions and retirement was leading to “chronic uncertainty" among ordinary people.”
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘A point of view’ the philosopher said the government expected people to plan for the future when interest payments are so low that savings lose money.
He stressed the importance of pensions commenting: “If you can’t look forward to a time when you can enjoy the fruits of a lifetime’s labour, what you have in front of you is a lifetime of chronic uncertainty.”
Professor Gray went on: “By shifting all the risks of saving for the future onto the shoulders of ordinary people governments are forcing them to accept a level of risk that only the very rich can afford.”
He compared the UK to a Charles Dickens novel – where everyone but the wealthy is in fear of destitution.
The professor said: “We seem to be reverting to an older past in which a mega-rich minority pre-empts much of the profit of any growth in the economy while the rest of the population has to scramble for whatever they can get.”