Saturday 17 December 2016

SPF Use Your Money To Help Fellow Labour Councillors

I have always disagreed with politicians having any control over the money in our pension funds.

That money is important. It's for our retirement, not for them to play with.

When members of the public work hard and pay in to a pension fund, they have an absolute right to demand that their money be invested wisely to give a good return that will ensure a healthy pension pay out when they retire.

Put simply, when you hand over that very large chunk of your wages each month you expect that your money will be invested wisely by financial experts to provide for your retirement - you don't want a bunch of sticky fingered politicians playing with it.

But they do.

And when politicians get their grubby little hands on your money and politicians decide where it gets 'invested' then you just know it's gonna end up getting channeled in to 'investments' that benefit them, not you.

A story about Strathclyde Pyramid Pension Fund - and where they have decided to make an investment of your money - has sparked my interest.

It seems SPF have made a new investment in a Port Glasgow retail park.

Nothing wrong in that at all, as long as it is a good investment which will deliver high returns for our pensioners.

But councillor Philip Braat - chairman of SPF - has curiously said that the development would deliver real benefits to Port Glasgow and Inverclyde as well as pension fund members.

My interest was piqued by the 'order' he placed the benefits of this SPF investment in his statement above. Because if I didn't know any better I would think he had placed the benefits to Port Glasgow before the benefits to the pension money (which he should be investing wisely to give the pensioners a good return on their money).

It becomes a little bit more suspicious when he goes on to gush that "The expansion of the retail park will not only be welcomed by local shoppers, it will boost employment and keep more money in the local economy."

Perhaps I'm overthinking this and worrying about nothing but let's look a bit closer at this...

Councillor Philip Braat is a labour councillor. Surely he wouldn't be over generously throwing a few quid of other peoples pension money over to the Port Glasgow area to help boost a fellow labour councillor in a labour area would he? That would, in effect, be saying something like hey, look what a great job your local councillor is doing for you here in Port Glasgow - vote our party back in at the next election please.

Hmmmm. Well, I just checked, and deary, deary me. Turns out the leader of Inverclyde council is a gentleman by the name of Stephen McCabe...and he's a labour councillor (see here).

What an amazing co-incidence. Who'd have thunk it.

Mr McCabe is also quoted as saying that "it is a very welcome show of confidence in Inverclyde and Port Glasgow as retail locations."

Perhaps he should have added " a fellow labour councillor using pensioners money".

Hmmm. Move along now, nothing to see here.