"It is an ugly spectacle. Over the past eight years, the Government has lifted £60 billion - equivalent to the entire GDP of the Czech Republic - out of private pension schemes. It has forced millions of retired people into the indignity of means testing. Yet, at the same time, MPs have finagled their own pension entitlements so that, after 25 years' service, they are guaranteed an annual income of £37,000.
Even Lord Turner, rarely a critic of New Labour, has been driven to protest. And who can blame him? The poor chap has been beavering away for three years to come up with a solution to our demographic crisis. His recommendations are not perfect, but they are an honest attempt to get to grips with the problem. Yet he now finds them traduced and scorned by the one set of people who have least to worry about.
Lord Turner's call for MPs to lose some of their pension privileges might have been prompted by testiness; but he is on to something. MPs can hardly ask the rest of us to tighten our belts while heaping their own plates higher. This is about more than pensions policy. The impression that MPs are exempting themselves from the rules they impose on the rest of us has prompted a contempt for politicians that is starting to translate into disdain for democracy."
MPs to reduce their pensions entitlement? Nice thought, but it will never happen.