Letter: Age of the saver

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The Independent Culture
Age of the saver

Sir: The Government expects those of us in employment to save for our children's university education, save for private pensions, save for private health care, save for periods of unemployment and now to save for residential care in our old age ("Ministers may reject free care for elderly", 2 March). All this when we are paying high income tax and national "insurance" - which is, in effect, nothing but a second income tax since it insures us against nothing.

Has the Treasury considered the effects on the economy of all this enforced saving? "Disposable" incomes will disappear into the coffers of insurance companies, banks and building societies. Manufacturing and the entertainment industry will have to do without a high-volume home market, without which they cannot support export markets.

When you add to this the Government's apparent desire to price us off the roads, is it too cynical to construe that New Labour's millennium ideal is a country in which the quietly obedient, poorly paid masses sit at home chewing genetically modified TV suppers as they reckon up their savings in front of shoddy game shows, docusoaps and animal programmes?


Tavistock, Devon