Old hat

There has been a flurry of statistics, memos and reports in recent days, going on and on about how old we are all likely to become in the Netherlands and how much we are going to cost the state when we do.


Today, a government quango suggests we should pay less tax if we carry on working past the official retirement age. Another report says we are likely to live well into our 80s, which will push those pension premiums up.
But what if we are among the growing number of migrants who have not been the 50 years in Holland to qualify for a proper state pension? The government was warned about them last week.
And yet another report earlier this month said that pensioners were increasingly finding it hard to make ends meet.
The bottom line is that time and time again, we are being told that we will cost the state, our children and their children a lot of money – not because we haven’t paid our way, but because we are living too long. Old age is seen as a burden, not something to be celebrated.
But is there really anyone out there under 50 who believes they will be able to take early retirement at 59 and live a life of luxury until they pop their clogs? The government should just whack up the retirement age, stop all tax breaks on corporate early retirement schemes and be done with it.