A little like the, "I know it when I see it", test applied by US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold for obscenity, I guess we could use a similar approach to trust.
Trust could be defined (at its most superficial level) as doing what we promise and doing this consistently.
I suspect most of us will want to go further as Financial Planning professionals but that seems to be a good starting point.
As I write today, I'm thinking about trust because a promise is on the cusp of being broken.
Despite making it clear in their election manifesto that they would not raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT, the Tories look set to do precisely that in an attempt to fund the broken adult social care system.
The Telegraph reports that ministers are close to agreeing to a tax hike, adding 1% or 1.25% to the rate of National Insurance. In return, we could get a lifetime cap on care fees along with a higher threshold for means testing and some dough for the NHS to help clear their waiting list backlog.
No doubt, the government will use the cover of Covid to introduce this tax hike. They will argue we are living through extraordinary times and the pandemic has exposed a need to better fund care for our elderly.
While I wouldn't argue for a second against better funding for the NHS and adult social care, I will fight this unfair and unjust tax rise.
Instead of squeezing the working-age population further, the government needs to do the politically unpalatable and tax pensioners.
As things stand, we stop paying National Insurance when we reach the state pension age. To fund adult social care and NHS services, this age limit for the tax should end.
Only wealthier pensions will feel the squeeze if the government takes this approach, as the tax is income-based.
We've spent a significant amount of time through the pandemic making sacrifices to protect the elderly, those in society at the greatest risk of severe illness or death from Covid.
Now that society is starting to reopen, it would be a travesty to hit the working-age population with a tax rise to pay for the oldest old.
Economic inequality across the generations is already pronounced, and, voting intentions aside, now is time for the wealthy post-war Baby Boomers to pay their fair share.