Alex Salmond has promised 16 and 17-year-olds who vote for independence that they can retire after the referendum.
He is understood to be fed up with the idea that pensions only apply to the elderly and the retiring and are just as relevant to teenagers. His spokesman said: “Why should pensions only be available to those of a certain age? We believe in all Scots sharing the same social benefits and since we will have a budget surplus, it makes sense for us to reward the next generation with early pensions.”
Critics say it is a bribe to teenagers who are heavily against independence according to the polls. “What on earth are they going to do if they retire by age 18?” asked Better Together. “The whole thing is ridiculous.”
“We’ve thought of that,” said the First Minister’s spokesman. “We imagine they will hang around street corners, form gangs, graffiti the walls and ride their bikes on the pavement. In other words, just what they do now. It’s what the Scottish Government has been trying to tell Scots, that after independence nothing much will change.”
Asked why teenagers should be able to retire before the working population, he said it was part of the drive to be inclusive and to help youngsters to mature more quickly. “They will have to learn to live on a limited income, get on the bus without spitting and cut discount coupons out of the paper. Also they will be able-bodied so they can replace care staff losing their jobs in lunch clubs. They will be able to lift the elderly in and out of buses and wheelchairs.”
The government is also keen to cut the unemployment number and by taking teenagers out of the system altogether, the Scottish rate will steadily decline.
“We know how hard it is to get a job,” said the spokesman. “So this avoids them being depressed by job hunting. It also avoids employers being depressed by the low quality of applicants.”
By making them instant pensioners, the government also saves money through not having to educate them in university or college. “This is a sign of a rich and radical country making the most of its resources,” he said. “All we have to do now is work out how to keep the working population paying enough in tax to cover the pension bill. We’ll get back to you on that one.”