I dont know much about how they were produced so I certainly dont know that they are fantastical. I'm willing to listen to arguments about how specifically they are flawed but I'm not seeing much besides assertions that they must be overly optimistic.
If you are right and they are completely over-optimistic and the fiscal position turns out to be much worse than anticipated do you think that all the resulting pain should be managed through reneging on promises made on pensions or do you think that cuts to pensions should only be one element of dealing with that?
Personally I think any element of common sense can conclude that 4% per annum over the next 5 years isn't happening. It was barely happening on a regular compounding basis when we were in our pomp. And in those days you had some inflation and regular payrises to kick things along as well as a plethora of new well paid jobs.
In the current environment most companies are not giving pay rises are they? I'm assuming PS/CS isn't or shouldn't be much different and that's tax payers money anyway to a large degree so self defeating.
I don't think it's difficult to see. The only real growth area (especially in relation to taxable income and NI) of any note in the last 6 or 7 years has been eGaming. That growth has filled in the hole caused by the financial crisis which has seen banks cut staff and in the case of irish banks leave altogether/go bust.
Add to that the CSP industry which at one point was a sizeble growth area is now contracting. Mainly though efficiencies made in the acquisitions. The consolidation in the CSP sector has been very active especially where you have Private Equity companies involved in the likes of EQUIOM and First Names There are substantially less licence holders (at least 30) from the peak and for every take over done the end game is that jobs go. It may be little, it may be more. But none the less that is tax take lost. The insurance business is the same with RL360 now owned by PE and buying the likes of CMI etc. This doesn't increase jobs and tax take.
The only way we would see substantial tax revenue growth to 4% per annum ongoing is through the eGaming industry IMO and that is unlikely. I think it'll continue to expand a bit as a sector but not to anywhere near the levels to compensate for the above points.
" If you are right and they are completely over-optimistic and the fiscal position turns out to be much worse than anticipated do you think that all the resulting pain should be managed through reneging on promises made on pensions or do you think that cuts to pensions should only be one element of dealing with that? "
To get things sorted two things need to happen. Going forward things needs to be sustainable. That only happens if people pay much more and get less. It's that simple. The current system needs employees and employer to contribute at least 45% to make it work with the current benefits levels.
As for cutting people already in benefit - i agree with the principal but the method of doing it is going to be extremely difficult. You are of course right in that there are many people who do not have huge pensions. My mum for example did 38 years in the health service and retired in March with about £8k per annum. For which she paid in Superannuation for her whole career and probably deserves her retirement and pension.
But then contrast that with a couple of people i know. One got a £400k lump and over £50k per annum pension. Paid next to nothing for it. That has to be a target to be cut at some point surely?
And, I was told by a friend, who had this from the horses mouth, that someone in the fire service was recently offered £1.1m to retire. I don't know exactly how that is made up but my mate is adamant this is exactly what the fella said.
Again, that sort of package is the first in line to be cut in my view.
That's the point. These headline-making figures are the vast exception rather than the rule.