Monday 11 June 2012

Protecting savers from inflation - an email to my MP

Request for Parliamentary question re NS&I index-linked savings certificates

Dear Mr Xxxx

As one of your constituents, I should be grateful if you would ask questions in Parliament re the Government's intentions in respect of preserving our life savings against the ravages of inflation. This is especially a matter of concern because of continuing enormous financial support for the banking system, here and in other countries (latterly Spain) that seems destined to burst out as high inflation at some future point.

I note that Mr Cameron's private secretary has written recently to all members of the Cabinet saying, among other things:

"The Prime Minister wants to ensure that the Government as a whole is giving the highest priority to addressing the cost of living."


If this is so, why did National Savings & Investments withdraw Index-Linked Savings Certificates from sale on 19 July 2010, when they had previously been continuously available since 1975, a year in which RPI was 24.2%? Is this an indication that the Government expects RPI to be even worse than that figure in the intermediate future?

And why were these Certificates, somewhat grudgingly reintroduced (5-year term only) on 12 May 2011, withdrawn again on 7 September? Why are they not available now?

It is also worrying that the Government's 2011 Budget Plan (as given in Red Book Annexe B, page 90 - says "National Savings and Investments (NS&I) is expected to make a contribution to net finance of £2 billion."

Is this a sign that the Government is purely concerned about targets for government borrowing and not at all exercised about the protection of HMG's subjects' money savings, which in many cases have been built up slowly and with difficulty over many years. Why should simple savers have to accept risks to the real value of their deferred spending, as though they were speculators?

Is the Prime Minister's leaked pronouncement a misleading dog-whistle to the electorate, or is he really willing to put our money where his mouth is?

INVESTMENT DISCLOSURE: None. Still in cash (and index-linked National Savings Certificates), and missing all those day-trading opportunities.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content.

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