This week saw three announcements from the coalition. One that seemed to be badly handled, one that doesn’t offer obvious benefits and one that seems understandable and reasonable.
Building Schools for the Future has laudable ideals even if the schools seem over designed and therefore expensive. In reality this programme was almost certainly going to get some cut backs or delays. However it seems the list of schools that are to be cut or delayed, which presumably was put together by a long standing team, contained errors and seems to have been presented as a cancellation when in reality it is presumably more of a delay or perhaps subject to other change. Such as the change enabling new schools started by new entrants or academies could make this programme redundant. Can’t say it is intuitively fully convincing, although at the moment the coalition is to be supported.
Then there is the change to the NHS which seems to imply that GPs are going to control 80% of the budget. It will be interesting to see how this works as it’s hard to imagine how my GP will manage this as it’s almost impossible to see him. It would be a surprise if he has such foresight and oversight. Again the coalition is to be supported blindly for now.
Finally it was announced that private sector pensions will be subject to regulation that makes inflation link to the CPI rather than the RPI. This has the effect of reducing the increases and over a long period of time, say for a deferred pension, could be substantial. Yet in principle this is a good move. Pensioners don’t pay mortgages and although council tax is paid it is a fairly known cost. It also takes some of the pressure off pension schemes which are gradually disappearing. So overall it seems a reasonable move and might mean some people are able to retain their final salary schemes.