“There is a sense of déjà vu as you read the SNP pension promises in their manifesto. Like other parties they’ve committed to keeping the triple lock and supporting the WASPI campaign. In some respects the SNP is going further: promising not to increase the state pension age, establish an Independent Savings and Pension Commission and call for pension credit awareness. Despite being not the hottest topic of conversation at the dinner table, pensions are a heavily emotive for the voting public. Particularly the grey vote and the SNP’s package of promises is playing to those emotions. However, the cost of such promises is hard to stomach particularly when pensions are already costing the government mindboggling sums. As with most election promises these are focused on the here and now, while kicking the problems down the road. And they will have to be picked up by someone, most likely the younger generations. And they shouldn’t underestimate how much of a problem pensions can cause – it has the capacity to bankrupt the nation.
“While well intentioned the SNP have also suggested they will push the government to extend auto-enrolment to the self-employed and lower paid. For the lower paid, auto-enrolment may not be the best option and previous explorations of auto-enrolment for the self-employed has revealed that is not a suitable mechanism for their savings. Just because a policy has been successful for one group it does mean it will be successful for every group and this is something government needs to be mindful.
“A noticeable omission from the manifesto was regarding the NHS pension issue and if they really wanted a crowd pleasing promise it would be to end the tax trap that has paralyzed the NHS.”