Why don’t UK citizens retire as early as the French?

There seems to be no UK publicity about the general dissatisfaction with the suggestion of Macron’s retirement age increases in France. The video below is only the half of it…

But although this is, in many ways, a welcome protest it is not a call for solidarity, but for self interest.

Thus the train drivers who retire at age 53 do not, nowadays, have to inhale years of coalsmoke in order to do so – they have it as of right.

I find myself agreeing with Macron on the train drivers at least – and the pension system is not fair – and I understand that he suggests 64 is a reasonable retirement age, although most retire earlier.

What really is not to like?

I fear that this is, in the end, the sham idea that money is short (although of course the Euro, sort of, ensures it) but, remarkably, even so, the French will all manage to retire earlier than we do in the UK.

I have to wonder why on earth is this not given more publicity?


  1. Bill Hughes -

    More publicity on the pension age level in the UK compared with France/Europe is probably due to several factors. Workers and the public in general have been ground down by over 40 years of relentless “market driven” forces which sees the payment of pensions as a negative or “burden” on the economy and the “taxpayer”. The media is in thrall to business interests and the crushing of trade unions and worker’s autonomy in the workplace is in stark conttast to the European social model which has workers interests more at heart. France still has large trade unions and a militant tradition that is prepered to stand up to the government and the bosses. UK workers have been cowed into submission by 40 yerars of Tory and New Labour governments who slavishly follow US managerial and economic policy. Also the whole Brexit “debate” (or lack of) has fostered xenophobia and ant-European feelings (especially in England) which the media has fostered with delight and either ignores or ridicules any positive news from Europe. The only bright spot in this situation is the campaign by women born in the 1950s against the raising of their pension age to 67 with no or very little notice.

    1. Peter May -

      That’s a very good summary – but I think the French are liklely to reach a reasonable compromise over pension age – nothing wrong with that. But I think whilst the unions make a lot of noise there is little popular support for the ‘special cases’ which they say must stay when they are just featherbedded state employees – the ordinary private employee retires at 63 I think it is – (with, true, a pension generally better than in the UK) but rightly in my view, sees no reason why he should as a matter of law have to retire later than many of his fellows…
      The irony is of course, the French don’t have a sovereign currency, the Brits do. But we know our place and that we cannot afford it!

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