When is “an independent study” on Irish unification not independent?

When it has been commissioned, under cover, by Friends of Sinn Féin USA, perhaps…

Sinn Féin were quick to welcome the recent announcement of the “first-ever economic modeling [of the] economic benefits Of Irish unification” at the Harvard Club in Manhattan.  Twice, in fact.  An Phoblacht were too.

The press release from Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, “party spokesperson on the campaign for Irish Unity”, welcomed the “independent study which shows that Irish Unity would be economically beneficial for both jurisdictions on the island.”

The statement from his party colleague, Peadar Tóibín TD, claimed that the study “stated that the political and economic reunification of Ireland would lead to significant growth north and south and create up to €35.6bn of GDP growth in 8 years.”

Well, perhaps…  The Irish Times’ Francess McDonnell had a more sober look at the press release.

I’m not an economist, so I’ll leave the technical aspects of the modelling to someone more qualified in that field. [Above your pay grade? – Ed] Indeed.

What I will note is that, after collating their raw data, the study [17Mb pdf file], available via KLC consultants, makes five economically beneficial assumptions for the envisaged Irish unity.

1. Harmonization of the tax systems across the Island, with the North adopting the tax rates and regulations of the south. This harmonization of taxes would involve both changes in adoption of activity taxes as well as taxes on imports, commodities, and institutional taxes. These changes would likely foster greater FDI in the north and contribute to economic growth.
2. Diminished trade barriers and greater access of Northern Irish firms to the common market. The modeling in the KLC report assumes that unification would lower trade costs associated with transport and currency transaction between Northern Ireland, the ROI, and other Eurozone countries. This reduction in transactions costs is projected to increase per-capita income.
3. Adoption of the Euro in the North. Given the current strength of the pound against the euro, adoption of the Euro in the North would provide a short run boost to economic output associated with an improvement in Northern Ireland’s terms of trade.
4. Productivity Improvements. Currently there is a sizable productivity differential between Northern Ireland and the ROI. This differential is driven in part by differences in the industrial structure of the two economies, which in turn, is partly caused by the different political and economic institutions. Convergence of productivity levels in the North to those of the ROI would directly the impact of the output in the North and indirectly impact output and incomes in the ROI through higher trade volume.
5. Fiscal Transfers. Northern Ireland currently and historically runs a fiscal deficit that is financed by inter-governmental transfers from the UK. Unification would require that this deficit be financed and assumed by the ROI. However, unification would also eliminate the need for two parallel governmental structures in many domains and likely result in public spending in the north that diminishes over time. In the short run, reductions in public spending may reduce output and per-capita output to the extent that labor and capital once employed in the public sector are not reallocated towards other uses. In the longer running, public sector savings may be reinvested in the private economy or in public projects that enhance the long-term productivity of the country.

The model was then run through three increasingly optimistic scenarios.

The first scenario is the most conservative, indeed almost implausibly so. The unified Ireland finances the entire NI budget deficit; the harmonization of government functions reduces NI public expenditure by 2 percent; and NI’s adoption of the ROI tax system has no impact on attracting FDI or boosting productivity.
In the second scenario, ROI finances the NI fiscal deficit; NI reduces public expenditure by 2 percent. However in this scenario, the adoption the ROI tax system and approach to FDI catalyzes FDI inflows that drive a convergence of NI productivity to the level of ROI over a 15 year period.
The third scenario embodies the assumptions of the second scenario with the added twist that government savings are reinvested in the form of public investment.

Given those constraints perhaps the most surprising thing about the study is that the forecasted growth is not more significant.

As shown in figure 18 of the report, under scenario 1, there is an immediate boost to NI growth that peters out over the course of the simulation. Even though it converges back to its long-run path, NI is clearly better off due to the boost to growth in the intermediate years.
In scenario 2, the intermediate scenario, enhanced FDI inflows means that rather than petering out, unification amounts to a permanent upward shift in NI’s growth path as illustrated in figure 20.
Finally, in scenario 3 which envisions additional public investment, NI’s growth path is not only permanently higher, but diverges in an ever widening course from the no unification base case trajectory (figure 22).
In all three scenarios, ROI benefits to a varying degree, though as expected the impact of unification is not nearly as profound.

Interestingly, the bulk of the forecasted growth comes from the effective devaluation of the (northern) currency via the adoption of the euro.  [And damn the torpedoes trilemma! – Ed].  It does claim to be an economic study and not a political one.

Additionally some of the assumptions don’t require unification to be achieved.  The DUP and Sinn Fein recently agreed, Fresh Start, to lower the rate of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland to match the Republic’s 12.5%.  Although they might not have told everyone…

“As for corporation tax, we won’t be signing up to any cut unless we afford it and we won’t be able to afford it any time soon comrades.” [Sinn Féin Belfast City Council group leader Cllr Jim McVeigh]

To be fair to the authors of the study they appear to be aware of the limitations of their approach.

“Our modeling exercise points to strong positive unification effects driven by successful currency devaluation and a policy dependent industrial turn-around,” said Dr. Hubner. “While these effects occur in a static global economic environment, under ideal political conditions, they underline the potential of political and economic unification when it is supported by smart economic policy.”

[Adopting the Republic’s current low-taxation austerity model? – Ed]  Perhaps…   Whether certain economic consultants [and contributor to the study? – Ed] are as aware is one of those known unknowns.

Other economists may differ on their handling of “an endogenously determined 2009 fiscal transfer from GB
of 4.9 billion GBP.”

Fiscal Transfer
Fiscal transfer into NI, which covers the short-fall between government revenue and expenditure, is modeled as a revenue source and doesn’t impact government gross-fixed capital expenditure. The quantity of fiscal transfer, however, is affected by changes in both government expenditure and revenue imposed by other counterfactual components. In other words, changes in NI’s income tax revenue will change the amount of the fiscal transfer, as will changes in government consumption.
We found that changing the origin of the fiscal transfer had no effect on output or trade valuations, but did affect the quantity of net foreign capital, and thus at least the regional distribution of the current account balance. For this reason, all scenarios and components in the model are run under the assumption that the ROI funds entirely the fiscal transfer to NI, paid by GB prior to 2018. Again, given model architecture, this changes the ROI’s deficit but not the ROI’s investment level, the extra funding required to fund investment is sourced from the net foreign borrowings. For future exercises that can allow detailed analysis of the current account balance, NIROI is coded with alternative incidences in fiscal transfer. These include: 1) a scenario that assumes a 50% split between GB and Brussels (REUZ) in the incidence of fiscal transfer, followed by a 5% annual increase in the funds paid from Brussels and a commensurate decrease in funds paid by GB; 2) a 50% split of the transfer, in the policy year, between ROI and Brussels, with annual increase of 5% in funds by the ROI and a commensurate decrease in funds paid by Brussels.

Of course, as any fule noe, economics, and economic predictions in particular, is an art, not a science.

 

Given Sinn Féin’s promotion of the independence of the study, I was intrigued to know who had commissioned it.

The press release tells us that

The study was commissioned by K.R.B., a San Francisco Bay area–based non-profit social welfare organization that promotes social welfare and conflict resolution through education.

When we get to the study itself, there is slightly more detail

Report commissioned by K.R.B.
A voluntary California Non Profit Social Welfare organization that is based in the San Francisco Bay area. It promotes friendship and peaceful resolutions to conflict. We would hope that this particular project will come to the attention of those that are involved politically and /or economically in Ireland. Conflict resolution leads to a more stable form of government which, in turn, leads to a more productive workforce and economy which leads to better returns on investments. Our organization believes that in today’s world, if people are made aware of an alternative to the current situation, and that that alternative can bring a better quality of life then this may lead to a change in thinking of age old beliefs and prejudices. We believe that through totally independent studies such as this and by educating people and those of influence within governments on how their everyday lives may improve with change, that they may become more prone to cooperate and understand their adversaries point of view.

So who are K.R.B –  the voluntary educational “non-profit social welfare organization”?

The study’s list of references reveals

Knights of the Red Branch Inc. (K.R.B.)

And this is where it starts to get interesting.

Because this isn’t the mythical Red Branch, nor is it the 19th/20th Century Irish Catholic fraternal organisation.

This Knights of the Red  Branch, Inc. appears to have been established in June 2010 – at the fag-end of Gerry Adams’ World Tour for Irish Unity [including New York City and San Francisco], and around the time that economic consultant, and ex-CitiBanker, Michael Burke, was telling ‘Unity’ audiences that the economic case for reunification and independence was stronger than ever.

According to an on-line listing for Knights of the Red  Branch, Inc. the registered agent for the organisation is Ciaran Scally and the business address is in Oakland, California.

Ciaran Scally made the news in 1999, when he convinced Oakland City Council to name a previously un-named “50-yard stretch of roadway” [going nowhere? – Ed] “Gerry Adams Way”.  The SF Gate report tells us that Ciaran Scally “emigrated here from Northern Ireland 15 years ago” [1984].  According to the report

Scally, an electrician by trade, also felt as if he has some say because he is developing a plot of land just across the street that would be named for Adams.

The Sinn Féin president visited Oakland in 2002 for an unveiling of the street sign.

Ciaran Scally is listed on CorporationWiki as being associated with two companies, according to public records – Scally Electric Inc. and Rathlin Properties LLC.

It’s Ciaran Scally’s property development business, Rathlin Properties LLC, that shares the same business address as the Knights of the Red Branch, Inc.

Ciaran Scally, of Scally Electric Inc, Piedmont California, appears in the list of donors to Friends of Sinn Féin that the Irish Times compiled [xlsx file].  Between 1997 and 2011 over $14,000 was donated in his name.  Included in that is around $7000 in various amounts in just one month, April 2003.

It won’t be a surprise to learn that in December 2008 Sinn Féin’s Representative in the USA, Rita O’Hare, was quoting the San Francisco “head of FOSF [Friends of Sinn Féin] support group, Ciaran Scally”, in An Phoblacht – “Sinn Féin’s Friends in America“.

In the aftermath of Gerry’s World Tour for Irish Unity in 2009, and the setting up of the Knights of the Red Branch Inc. in 2010, Ciaran Scally appears in the Irish American Unity Conference National Newsletter for the summer of 2011 [pdf file].

In that newsletter Ciaran Scally is reported speaking at the April 24, 2011 San Francisco Easter Rising Commemoration, where the then Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre De Brún also addressed the audience.   He’s also pictured in July, 2011, along with other members of the “Campaign for a United Ireland”, with Senator Leland Yee at the San Francisco Mayoral Debate “to thank him for authoring and steering a resolution through the California State Senate calling for the re-unification of Ireland.”

His name also appears in the 2013 Ancient Order of Hibernians request for help in the US Campaign for a United Ireland.  Under Section “II Strategy” “some general principles” is noted

  • Targets:  Limitless.  Obviously target legislative units from the largest to the most local, but also organizations like political parties, colleges, churches, clubs, labor unions, editorial boards and charities.  Also target individuals like political, religious, and educational leaders and notable actors, writers and people in the news.   Have a local meeting to brainstorm ideas.  You may be surprised who knows whom or who is connected to what organizations.  Ciaran Scally, of the United Ireland campaign on the west coast, put together a sample letter that can be sent by an individual or group to a target person or group.  Use it as a general guide of you wish, but follow up with a call and set up a meeting [see sect III]. [added emphasis]

More interestingly, perhaps, is the detail in Friends of Sinn Féin’s official declarations to the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In the submission for 2011, the itinerary for Sean Crowe, then recently elected TD, during his September visit to San Francisco notes [pdf file, scroll down]

Staying at the home of Ciaran Scally

The submission for 2013 contains two references of note.  Among the itineraries at the end of the document is a reference to a Sinn Féin representative, it isn’t entirely clear who, flying from San Diego to San Francisco on 30th March to be “Met by Ciaran Scally”.

Perhaps most significant of all, the other reference of note doesn’t directly mention Ciaran Scally.

In the itinerary for Des Mackin, Sinn Féin Director of Finance, a meeting is noted for Saturday 2nd March 2013.

Met with Board of Knights of the Red Branch
At Hilton San Francisco 333 O’Farrel St.

I’m sure it was money well spent…

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  • barnshee

    There is th eother side -as population levels decline as children /married couple decline so in the longer term will the number of old people decline – make em work a bit longer -(including looking after old people) and there is no need for alarm

  • barnshee

    Where exactly are these “people who accepted the new reality of the Free State and subsequent ROI”
    Hint they ain`t in the ” subsequent ROI”

  • Alan N/Ards

    “So, what I want explaining is this, what conceivable purpose would there be in continuing to refer to yourself as a ‘unionist’ in the absence of a union?”

    If there is a UI then of course the union is over. But, I have no doubt that the majority of the people (from the unionist community) will come together under whatever name they choose. It could well be the Orange Party ( just to match the flag) who knows. But I think that they will choose it, and not you.

    “All citizens will be equal under the law, no matter what their background – or passport they choose to hold – providing that they reside in the country and are prepared to obey it’s laws, they will be regarded as citizens, correct?”

    That is absolutely true. The GFA has protected that right.

    You were saying yesterday that a OO member should not be given a cabinet position in the government of Ireland. This was in reference to Heather Humphrey. Are you prepared to go against the GFA and deny members of the new Orange Party (if they choose that name) their right as Irish born citizens, to hold office.

    “Will current unionists be prepared to join in and look to the future of Ireland and be prepared to regard it as their country?”

    Of course they will. You just need to stop dreaming of republicans reneging on the GFA ( it isn’t going to happen) and let the new “Orange Party” and the rest of the Irish people sort it out.

  • Greenflag 2

    There is always that other side you mention but sooner or later the law of diminishing returns sets in . Population declines come with all kinds of consequences some may seem favourable in the short term but could be disastrous longer term for societies and their economies . Eventually the younger people cannot afford to pay for the elderly as there are too few of the former and too many of the latter . Young immigrants help to kick the can down the road but that then can present existential issues for some societies .

  • Anglo-Irish

    You keeping making the mistake of assuming that I am ‘ dreaming ‘ of any particular conclusion to the matter.

    Other than a peacefully achieved united country I have no particular axe to grind..

    I do however have views on what shouldn’t happen.

    Not only would it be quite correct for like minded people to form and support a political party to provide a voice for them in the running of the country, that is exactly what should happen.

    However, no one should be allowed into the legislature of any country if they do not have the interests of that country at heart and have any allegiance to a foreign power.

    Would you agree with that principle?

    In order to take part in government it is necessary – in virtually any country that I know of – to take an oath of allegiance to that country.

    In the UK of course it’s to the queen, a fact that I strongly object to, no one should ever give an oath of allegiance to another fallible human.

    Part of the oath usually includes the promise to renounce all other allegiances.

    It is also fairly standard practice for political parties to outline their principle policies in order to show what their aims and objectives are.

    If a UI were to come to pass it could only happen as a direct result of the will of the people, agreed?

    Therefore for a political party to be formed with any intention of overturning the democratic wish of the majority of the population it would by definition be undemocratic and like the English Defence League proscribed.

    You have made several references to the GFA and how it must be honoured because of the majority vote for it, so presumably you would also agree to honour any majority vote for a United Ireland and agree that following such a decision everyone should support the country as a whole and cease to dream of ‘ The captains and the Kings ‘?

  • Alan N/Ards

    “Not only would it be quite correct for like minded people to form and support a political party to provide a voice for them in the running of the country, that is exactly what should happen.

    However, no one should be allowed into the legislature of any country if they do not have the interests of that country at heart and have any allegiance to a foreign power.”

    If there is an agreed deal then of course unionists support the state. At the same time the Irish Government (GFA) will give : full respect for, and equality of, civil, political, social and cultural rights,of freedom from discrimination for all citizens, and of parity of esteem and just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos and aspirations of both communities;
    So, yes, we should all adhere to the outcome of any agreed deal. Being a British Citizen does not exclude one from obeying the laws of the land. for me, That’s not a problem. It’s my duty, as a follower of Jesus.

    “In order to take part in government it is necessary – in virtually any country that I know of – to take an oath of allegiance to that country.”

    I have already stated that if an agreement is reached, then it should be honoured -by all sides. That is why the GFA important to me. At the minute there are issues around the Irish Language and they need to be resolved. Hint hint DUP.

    I.m sure the oath (if there is to be one ) will not make anyone feel uncomfortable. It’s time for a change at Westminster.

    “It is also fairly standard practice for political parties to outline their principle policies in order to show what their aims and objectives are.”

    Yup, I’m all for that.

    “If a UI were to come to pass it could only happen as a direct result of the will of the people, agreed?”

    Absolutely.

    “Therefore for a political party to be formed with any intention of overturning the democratic wish of the majority of the population it would by definition be undemocratic and like the English Defence League proscribed.”

    I’m not sure how you overturn the democratic wish of any majority, unless by violence. So, yes.

    “You have made several references to the GFA and how it must be honoured because of the majority vote for it, so presumably you would also agree to honour any majority vote for a United Ireland and agree that following such a decision everyone should support the country as a whole and cease to dream of ‘ The captains and the Kings ‘?”

    Yes, I am very supportive of the agreement. It was, and is, ( for me) the only show in town. It was a compromise between both sides in NI. It allowed nationalists the right to vote themselves ( and the rest of us) into a UI (if they get the numbers). It gave us an Assembly (albeit one that isn’t really working – but it can be fixed). It gave us a new police service. But, more importantly, it gave parity of esteem to every person in NI. Both culturally and politically. That’s why it’s important. The people of this island voted for it and it’s an internally binding agreement and it has to adhered too. Are you supportive of the GFA.

    I have already said that it should be honoured. Unionists cannot stop a UI if they cannot outvote nationalism. It’s as simple as that. It is up to unionism to make a case to, convince people that they have changed and it is better to stay in the Union. Unfortunately, for us, the DUP and TUV are a making that a near impossible task.

    The hard bit ( if a UI comes about) will be getting the right deal to pacify the “not an inch brigade” (on both sides) who will be opposed to any kind deal that can make the “new Ireland” work. I have great faith (it wasn’t always so) that the parties in the south are going to make a decent fist of it. If that happens then we are honour bound to respond in a positive way.

    There you go, we seem to agreeing on some things. Can I just say to you that you kind of come across as some one who thinks unionists, or indeed, NI people, as some kind of sub species. You have even commented on our “unfortunate accent” (a while back). Our accent is the very same accent you would find in Monaghan, Cavan (Heather Humpreys part of the world)and Donegal.

    Seriously, no one will encourage anyone to change their thinking by treating people and their traditions as inferior, or as something that you would scrape of your shoe. I have come across fundamentalist preachers, who would have stupidly mocked catholics and their church, and said that they were doing it because they wanted them to see the light about the teachings of Rome. It seldom works. Mary McAleese, more or less, went the right way about reconciling the traditions. It earned her a lot of respect – even among loyalist paramilitaries.

  • Anglo-Irish

    We seem to be in broad agreement about the situation.

    Any impression which I may have given as regarding NI people as some type of ‘sub species’ was a false impression, but may well have come about because of my tendency to be rather harsh in my replies to people who I regard as bigots.

    There are posters on this forum who continuously attempt to lay the blame on one side only for the tragedies that have taken place in NI, my response to them may not always have been temperate.

    I do not regard you in that way and my only problem with you is that I couldn’t quite understand what it was you wanted in order to satisfy you in the event of a UI.

    All the parity of esteem and cultural recognition seemed to me to be catered for by the fact that as Irish citizens in a UI everyone would be treat equal, you can’t have discrimination for any reason religious, racial or political in a true democracy.

    That was my main problem with Northern Ireland, it had institutionalised sectarian discrimination from its formation and that was a recipe for disaster.

    To repeat that nonsense in a UI would be beyond stupid and it won’t happen.

    The impression that I was getting from your posts and comments was that you were envisaging some form of PU ‘fifth column’ operating in an attempt to sabotage the country in an attempt to bring about reunification with the UK.

    That would of course be futile for a number of reasons, not least that there is no way the UK would want to go through that again.

    Can’t say I have any recollection of disparaging the NI accent but if you say so. In fact I quite like the Derry/Londonderry accent as it is quite soft and melodic.

    I do remember vaguely pointing out that although some NI people may think they are British to the English, once they open their mouths, they will be regarded as Paddy’s.

    Sheffielder’s are in a weak position when it comes to criticising anyone’s accent as it isn’t exactly music to the ear, having said which I don’t have a particularly strong accent but some of my family and friends do.

  • John Collins

    Barnshee
    What proportion of all those RCs born in NI since 1922 have actually stayed there? There must have been an awful of them born there if your ‘trouser snake’ argument is anything to go by.

  • barnshee

    What part of “continuous production line of demands on society and additions to the unemployment register” is unclear

    Where have those whoi provide ” the slow erosion of the 1921 Unionist gerrymander” a burst of virgin birth? materialisation out of the ether or indeed “”continuous production line of demands on society and additions to the unemployment register. ?

  • barnshee

    “What proportion of all those RCs born in NI since 1922 have actually stayed there? There must have been an awful of them born there if your ‘trouser snake’ argument is anything to go by”About the same numbers of Prods who stayed in NI after 1922.

    Funny that where ” all the children” were cherished the prod has all but vanished– wherby in NI where the were “discriminated off the face of the earth” they now claim to being close to majority status.

  • barnshee

    They should perhaps not have used the flag with the “orange” as murderers shroud -particularly when those murdered happened to be “orange”

  • Paddy Reilly

    All parts. I hope you know what you are on about, because I don’t, but I gather you seem to think it’s Sinn Féin’s fault, whatever ‘it’ is.

  • Anglo-Irish

    And perhaps the PUL community should not have instigated the whole tragedy by not starting it off by being in charge of a sectarian state, and being responsible for the first bombing and killing of the first innocent civilians, the first RUC officer and the first British Army soldier?

    But don’t worry, when you are as bigoted as you then you are entitled to ignore facts and carry on being a moron, it does provide the rest of us with amusement, so no problem.

  • John Collins

    No No – You, and such illustrious figures as Mr Paisley, have more or less stated that Roman Catholics ‘bred like rabbits’ and yet after over 90 years there is only a small increase in the RC proportion of the NI population. BTW the Protestant population is on the increase south of the border and was only ever about 10% anyway and never 25% as some contributor so outrageously stated here.

  • John Collins

    No No – You, and such illustrious figures as Mr Paisley, have more or less stated that Roman Catholics ‘bred like rabbits’ and yet after over 90 years there is only a small increase in the RC proportion of the NI population. BTW the Protestant population is on the increase south of the border and was only ever about 10% anyway and never 25% as some contributor so outrageously stated here.

  • John Collins

    No No – You, and such illustrious figures as Mr Paisley, have more or less stated that Roman Catholics ‘bred like rabbits’ and yet after over 90 years there is only a small increase in the RC proportion of the NI population. BTW the Protestant population is on the increase south of the border and was only ever about 10% anyway and never 25% as some contributor so outrageously stated here.

  • John Collins

    No No – You, and such illustrious figures as Mr Paisley, have more or less stated that Roman Catholics ‘bred like rabbits’ and yet after over 90 years there is only a small increase in the RC proportion of the NI population. BTW the Protestant population is on the increase south of the border and was only ever about 10% anyway and never 25% as some contributor so outrageously stated here.

  • John Collins

    No No – You, and such illustrious figures as Mr Paisley, have more or less stated that Roman Catholics ‘bred like rabbits’ and yet after over 90 years there is only a small increase in the RC proportion of the NI population. BTW the Protestant population is on the increase south of the border and was only ever about 10% anyway and never 25% as some contributor so outrageously stated here.

  • John Collins

    No No – You, and such illustrious figures as Mr Paisley, have more or less stated that Roman Catholics ‘bred like rabbits’ and yet after over 90 years there is only a small increase in the RC proportion of the NI population. BTW the Protestant population is on the increase south of the border and was only ever about 10% anyway and never 25% as some contributor so outrageously stated here.

  • John Collins

    Well with the World population having doubled from 1956 to 2008 there is definitely very good reasons for keeping Global population down. However in Europe the population in most countries is in decline and I have heard it quoted that for every two children conceived in Germany one is aborted ( however true that statistic is). It is suggested that in some European countries for every youngish productive worker there will be two or three elderly dependent people. It seems that working ‘a little longer’ will definitely not suffice.

  • John Collins

    Well with the World population having doubled from 1956 to 2008 there is definitely very good reasons for keeping Global population down. However in Europe the population in most countries is in decline and I have heard it quoted that for every two children conceived in Germany one is aborted ( however true that statistic is). It is suggested that in some European countries for every youngish productive worker there will be two or three elderly dependent people. It seems that working ‘a little longer’ will definitely not suffice.

  • John Collins

    Well with the World population having doubled from 1956 to 2008 there is definitely very good reasons for keeping Global population down. However in Europe the population in most countries is in decline and I have heard it quoted that for every two children conceived in Germany one is aborted ( however true that statistic is). It is suggested that in some European countries for every youngish productive worker there will be two or three elderly dependent people. It seems that working ‘a little longer’ will definitely not suffice.

  • John Collins

    Well with the World population having doubled from 1956 to 2008 there is definitely very good reasons for keeping Global population down. However in Europe the population in most countries is in decline and I have heard it quoted that for every two children conceived in Germany one is aborted ( however true that statistic is). It is suggested that in some European countries for every youngish productive worker there will be two or three elderly dependent people. It seems that working ‘a little longer’ will definitely not suffice.

  • John Collins

    Well with the World population having doubled from 1956 to 2008 there is definitely very good reasons for keeping Global population down. However in Europe the population in most countries is in decline and I have heard it quoted that for every two children conceived in Germany one is aborted ( however true that statistic is). It is suggested that in some European countries for every youngish productive worker there will be two or three elderly dependent people. It seems that working ‘a little longer’ will definitely not suffice.

  • John Collins

    Well with the World population having doubled from 1956 to 2008 there is definitely very good reasons for keeping Global population down. However in Europe the population in most countries is in decline and I have heard it quoted that for every two children conceived in Germany one is aborted ( however true that statistic is). It is suggested that in some European countries for every youngish productive worker there will be two or three elderly dependent people. It seems that working ‘a little longer’ will definitely not suffice.

  • Skibo

    Reader I cannot understand how you think I want to take my entitlements and abandon my liabilities. I have paid my liabilities for the past 30 years. where do they go?
    You are not correct in saying there is no pot. Please see http://hbhelp.co.uk/theangryclaimant/?p=97 and http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1992/5/section/163/enacted.

    The fund is there. See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/472143/National_Insurance_Fund_Accounts_Northern_Ireland_2014_to_2015.pdf

    Do not let the treasury bluff us that there is no fund.

  • Skibo