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article imageOp-Ed: Financial news from the UK — Pension reform and new minimum wage

By Alexander Baron     Oct 1, 2012 in Politics
The British public is not the only entity that has lost patience with the banks; the Financial Services Authority has also had more than enough.
There was the collapse of Northern Rock, the PPI scandal, the LIBOR much more? According to the FSA, no more.
Back in 2008, a hedge fund manager was caught manipulating share prices in a sophisticated scam. He was fined a total of £900,000, and on Saturday, this fine was upheld on appeal. It remains to be seen why he was hit only with a fine rather than a prison sentence.
Yesterday, Labour leader Ed Miliband said on The Andrew Marr Show that a future Labour Government would split up the banks, in particular he would separate their high street branches from what he alluded to as their casino arms that were literally gambling with people's money on the international markets.
For us little people, there are two very important pieces of financial news today. The Government's long mooted reform of the pension system comes into force with auto-enrolment. This will initially affect only the larger employers, but it will be rolled out for the rest over the next three years.
The minimum wage is also rising today; the rates, which can be found here, are indeed minimal, but the minimum wage is and always has been the wrong way to tackle poverty, the poverty trap in particular. The correct way to do that would be to institute a Basic Income for all, something the Government could easily afford if it hadn't instead created £325 billion of new money and literally given it to the banks.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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