The newspapers today headline the news that 7 million Italian pensioners are living on a State pension of €1,000 or less a month. Now this is not a good news story here, more one of hardship and struggle for the pensioner as they see it. There are 16.6 million pensioners in Italy so the figure represents 43% of them. That, of course, leaves 57% who are on more than €1,000 but again they make much of the fact that of that figure 70% are on between €1,000 and €10,000 a month.
These figures, of course bring a wry smile to any UK State pensioner . The UK monthly State pension is €572 a month and only Mexico has a worse pension in the developed countries. Italy however has the best.
The UK pension is equivalent to 32% of yearly earnings whereas Italy’s is based on 70% of earnings putting it well ahead of France at 58%. Of course if a pensioner is having to live on €572 a month in the UK the government tops it up by some €475 a month so in the end the UK pension is at the top end of what 43% of Italians receive. There is even a Savings credit in the UK which rewards people who did save for a pension but it is only claimed by 1% of those entitled as the rest have no idea it is there. But don’t worry the present government is about to cancel it.
The only slight downside to the Italian pension is that with Italy’s ageing population the State pension is completely unaffordable ! It already accounts for 18% of GDP ( UK 6% ) and this is expected to keep rising .By about 2024 Italy will not be able to pay it without massive reform that doesn’t just mean raising the pension age but must include savage cuts to the amount paid. Only 16% of italians have any other form of pension ( and why would you as you get 70% of your yearly earnings ) whereas 85% of present UK pensioners do ( and you can see why with that State pension). However there is little or no political will in Italy to tackle the problem.
On a lighter note as it is the weekend Demitri Marchessini who is a wealthy Greek businessman and blogger living in London has stirred up something of an hornets nest and lots of women on his blog with his concern that women wear trousers rather than skirts
What caught my eye was his poll that in London only 1 woman in 10 now wore a skirt rather than trousers, in Paris 1 woman in 6 but in Milan 1 woman in 3 would be seen wearing a skirt, a much higher figure. Was it true I mused . Well I haven’t been to Milan for years and at that time all the women were in skirts or dresses but certainly in Martina Franca it was true . In fact the ratio was probably 1:1 or often, especially in the summer more in the skirt camp than the trouser camp. Not you understand that I make a habit of studying this I hasten to add.
Indeed I like women in trousers and I have to say that as my wife wears them most of the time.
However I am in the minority according to a New York Times poll that said 71% of men prefer women in skirts.
Demitri goes on to say some nasty things about women of a certain size wearing trousers and attempts to correlate the wearing of skirts with a woman’s love life. He also believes that liberal feminists have led the charge away from skirts and into trousers.
In fact according to another poll in the New York Times he couldn’t be further from the truth about liberal leaning women. In fact they, according to the poll, were more likely to have worn a skirt in the last month as would have high income earning women . Indeed the majority of liberal minded women said they dressed with men in mind ( remember the earlier poll I mentioned ) than do low income women.
He is also wrong about love life and skirts as though he quotes a figure of some 95% of British men ( because apparently women wear trousers now) who said at the last world cup they would prefer to be watching the world cup than having sex. Like the New York poll who reported that actually the most popular answer when men were first asked what they preferred women to wear was nothing. I am sure that had the British males been actually offered sex the world cup would have been forgotten trousers or as it were no trousers.