Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy: Of Knights and Knaves, Pawns and Queens

By Julian Le Grand | Go to book overview

10 Partnership Savings

To be a prodigal's favourite—then worse truth

A miser's pensioner—behold our lot!

O man, that from thy fair and shining youth

Age might but take the things that youth needed not!

(William Wordsworth, The Small Celandine)

In Chapter Nine I presented an asset-based welfare scheme aimed at helping people to acquire assets at the start of their adult lives. This chapter examines schemes that help individuals accumulate assets throughout their working lives: schemes that help them to save. I concentrate on proposals for helping them save for their old age: for their pension and for their long-term social care, should they need it.

Again the focus will be on measures aimed at turning pawns into queens: that is, on schemes that increase the power of individuals and the sense of control they have over their own lives.


COMPULSION VERSUS PARTNERSHIP

Traditionally, most developed countries have endeavoured to increase people's savings, especially for pensions, through some form of compulsion. This usually takes the form of compelling individuals to contribute to a pension fund administered either by governmental or by private organisations. So, for instance, in Britain the government compels all employees (and their employers) to save towards a pension by putting aside a proportion of their earnings for this purpose, either through occupational or private pension schemes or through the state earnings-related pension scheme.

The British government also taxes individuals through the national insurance system and uses the revenue to provide a basic flat-rate pension. However, this is not a savings scheme since, contrary to many people's perceptions, there is no savings fund into which payments are made and out of which, once savings have accumulated, pensions are paid; instead, current contributions are used to pay for current pensions. In fact the state basic pension is really an income-support device for alleviating the poverty that would

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Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy: Of Knights and Knaves, Pawns and Queens
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • List of Figures xiv
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • Part I Theory: of Knights and Knaves 21
  • 2: Knights and Knaves in the Public Sector 23
  • 3: Motivation and the Policy Context 39
  • 4: A Theory of Public Service Motivation 51
  • Part II Theory: of Pawns and Queens 71
  • 5: Agency and Public Services 73
  • 6: Agency and Public Finance 85
  • Part III Policy 93
  • 7: Health Care 95
  • 8: School Education 107
  • 9: A Demogrant 120
  • 10: Partnership Savings 137
  • 11: Hypothecation 147
  • Epilogue : Doux Commerce Publique 163
  • Index 183
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