Pensioners: Prepare to be betrayed by the government you thought was your friend

161004-pensioners-backstab

For years, pensioners have been the social group most likely to vote in elections – and most likely to vote Conservative.

They do this because they think Tories have their interests at heart – raising pensions by at least a set amount every year, ensuring they receive extra payments to cover cold weather, and of course the free TV licence (now at the expense of the BBC).

But it seems the Tories are preparing to stab their most loyal voters in the back.

Tories like to set people against each other; it’s how they win elections. They demonise one group and then claim to be standing up for another, when in fact they are only standing up for themselves.

Now it is the turn of pensioners to be demonised.

The BBC article, quoted below, states: “Part of the problem is that the older generation has been lucky at the expense of the younger generation.”

It seems the Tories are considering turning on their elders in order to win the votes of a new generation of politicised younger people, then.

They may even follow the strategy proposed by the Tory-faithful Taxpayers’ Alliance a year ago.

I wrote at the time: “The TPA, if you recall, exists to cut the tax bill (primarily – and selfishly – for the very rich, hence the close connection with the Conservative Party) – and has called for the Conservative Government to cut pensioner benefits right now (backstabbing) on the grounds that either they’ll be dead or won’t remember what happened by the time of the 2020 election.

“Not only is this suggestion selfish, backstabbing and stupid – it is also homicidal. Robbing pensioners of their winter fuel allowance or Christmas bonus could force them into choosing between (and I know it’s a cliché by now) heating and eating.

“Unfortunately for pensioners, the idea may turn out to be attractive to the Conservatives, who may see it as a way of conducting a ‘stealth’ cull of the very old, in the same way they have been thinning the number of incapacity benefits claimants by nudging them in the direction of suicide. Any death – despite being caused by the benefit cut – would be blamed on the choices of the individual, rather than the government.”

David Cameron’s Conservatives didn’t go through with the idea but Theresa May’s government may just decide that its time has come.

An opportunity to save cash by cutting pensioner benefits, save more cash when pensioners die off, and then get the young to vote Tory by using some of the money to bribe them, and still be quids-in?

It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Has the time come for the government to break pledges made to pensioners, asks Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The fact that they have much improved life expectancy, and much higher levels of income and wealth than any generation before them is a fantastic achievement. Those reaching retirement now are better off than any other age group. This is a historic first.

The worry is that the generations coming up behind them may end up rather less well off.

Earnings are stagnating. Home ownership rates have collapsed for younger generations over the past 20 years. And the generous occupational pensions enjoyed by many baby boomers are simply unavailable to younger people unless they are lucky enough to work in the public sector.

At age 30, those born in the early 1980s have only half the wealth of those born a decade earlier at the same age.

Source: Time to break promises to pensioners? – BBC News

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20 thoughts on “Pensioners: Prepare to be betrayed by the government you thought was your friend

  1. Barry Davies

    Well they have done it to the sick incapacitated and disabled so the elderly were the obvious next choice, after all the tories keep telling us they are for hardworking people, which automatically means that none of these groups is in their plans.

  2. NMac

    Didn’t one Tory let the cat out of the bag a few months ago when they were apparently discussing cutting pensioners’ various concessions, when he said that they didn’t matter because most of them wouldn’t be here at the next election.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That was the Taxpayers’ Alliance, as mentioned in the article. It was last October, believe it or not.

  3. Jonno Raab

    They have already started. My pension has been stolen from me and I have to pay the tax man for the privilege. It’s the DWP again who cancelled my income support for no reason at all and have still not explained why after 3 years. To avoid starvation I intended to cash in my pension but was offerred a lump sum and an enhanced annuity as I had been exposed to dangerous chemicals at work. I had 5 weeks to change my mind so I informed the DWP and asked them to sort my benefits out within 5 weeks. After 7 weeks I received an apology for stopping my IS and a promise that it would be paid and backdated. The letter also had a note to say that as I now have a pension the ammount paid would be deducted from my IS. Then they misinformed the tax man about my earnings so the pension was taxed at source. So I get a few pounds pension every 6 months but £23 per week is taken from my IS
    I Have tried to complain but they ignore my complaint letters

  4. Christine Cullen

    I have never voted Tory, even as a pensioner, nor am I ever likely to. I think hell will freeze over first! This type of reprehensible behaviour on their part comes as no surprise to me. But perhaps the many older people I do know who vote for the Tories, will now sit up and take notice of a political party which has not only stolen life chances from their children and grandchildren and replaced them with high rents and fruit picking, but is now looking like becoming a direct threat to their own welfare.
    I live in hopes for a mass “road to Damascus” revelation experience and a 2020 Labour government.

  5. Vivienne E Heatley

    The Pensioners in my age group, ie Pre War babies, are tougher than they could imagine. However the worse thing they could do to me and many others would be to take away our Travel Cards. Most of my family and friends have moved out of London, ‘ I’m in rented accomodation’ and l would be extremely lonely if I could not get around and meet people or have the pleasure of visiting places of interest.

    1. p j walsh

      The pension does not belong to any party but to the people who have paid it for all their working life. How dare the Tories even attempt to interfere with pension funds because of mismanagement by successive governments they are now taking action against us. HANDS OFF TORIES.?????

  6. Roland

    The Pensioners are sat on a big pot of money and they want it, But there are more and more pensioners dying of hypothermia in winter times each year, around 20,000 more people aged 65 or over in England and Wales die in winter months than in other months. In some years (e.g. 2008/09), the figure is much higher. Pensioners dying from Malnutrition The British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrician (Rapen) estimates that 1.3 Million of people aged 65 and over suffer from malnutrition.

  7. mohandeer

    If I were a younger person I would surely be asking myself how will I get by when I have to find money for a private pension plan and money for private health care and what will my private pension buy me in 30, 40, 50 years time? The question would then be “how much can I afford to pay out for a guaranteed private pension”?
    I’m not sure the young will be that easily persuaded, except for the totally self absorbed and really selfish, there may be many but so many will have grannies or grand pops, will they go along with this?
    Hope not.

  8. Pjay Mac

    I have some advice for the Young, please take it in if this Facist Government carry out the culling they plan for the elderly ask the question where will they stop, the theft on the elderly is only the 3rd part of their long term economic plan for plan look up (Disaster), the people who have worked all their lives paid all their dues i.e. Tax Insurance etc have paid for their pensions they are not a Benefit the State Pension is the Elderly Persons Right, and one Final thing when I was young I took strike action I marched against tyranny I fought to protect everyone’s Right to a decent Life including Your Lives, “Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts” and remember you are deciding your own fate in old age Because You if Lucky Enough are Going To BE OLD and what goes round comes round.

  9. Pjay Mac

    I’m due to receive my rightful payout from the coffers a huge amount of my earnings along with my peers earnings helped to fill and which successive Governments have continually STOLEN FROM, in January I will if I’m lucky receive some of my hard earned back not as a Benefit but As A RIGHT, And I have never in my Life Voted for The Devils Party.

  10. Florence

    This has been on the cards for a couple of years. That’s when in comments sections online there started to be a roll-out of what was obviously the Nudge Unit “feeding in” phrases in a constant drip feed of poisonous propaganda against the pensioners or just “the old”. It usually involves the phrases baby boomers, gold-plated pensions, rentier house hoarding, free education, better off, Tory voting, protected, had it all on a plate, now “happy” to deny the young to protect their own living standards, Brexit voting (that’s a relatively new addition to the list of insults), etc etc. The plight of the WASPI women (like myself) and the older people who are marooned on unemployment benefits, or on the sickness and disability benefits (with all the attendant hate being piled on them,too), are now being “blamed” for all the problems of the younger generation. They are a lost generation who have of course been hit hard by the financial crash and the Tory govt taking away the welfare state. The hate that has been generated towards the sick and disabled is now being rolled out quite cynically to the older working class. They are not all pensioners, and many now over 60 will never be pensioners, because we’ll die from neglect and hardship first as the State Pension Age will continue to be raised to prevent any more becoming state pensioners.

    1. Blissex

      Using “pensioners” is quite inaccurate because they are a quite diverse group.
      The Conservative party is only really on the side of pensioners who own property in the south and have large savings, that is people like Conservative MPs.
      Pensioners in the north and poor pensioners in the south are not really part of the Conservative core constituency.

      As to the entitlement to the state pension (or the NHS…) given by national insurance contributions, many of the people who receive it (especially women) have only paid a small part of the contributions that would fund it. It has been a long time that the state pension (or the NHS…) is no longer much contribution based, and involves a significant redistribution, usually from better paid workers to poorer pensioners, and mostly from men to women, overall. This is probably as it should be, but most people cannot claim that their contributions entitle them to much.

      1. PensionCredit60

        The NHS is not funded by the National Insurance Fund but by general taxation, in the main. Neither is the NHS contribution based but free at the point of use. Every adult pays the 75 per cent of tax that only comes from each £1 we spend, with Income tax not even a quarter of tax take from the people. Pensioners contribute around £50bn a year in taxes, mostly from indirect taxation on spending. Pensioners are also the last, best customers on the high street, and all those vacant shops in town centres show how much poorer pensioners have become.

  11. PensionCredit60

    This loss of pensioner benefit has already happened and has already caused winter excess deaths in men and women in their 60s without a state pension.

    Since 2013, 1950s born ladies lost state pension from 60 til 66. They also lost pension credit and winter fuel allowance as replacement money to help with winter fuel bills. A great many such ladies were already early retired from the huge austerity job cuts.

    Then the Tories sneaked in taking pension credit from men from age 60 who fell out of work / early retired (usually on ill health).

    The flat rate had anyway abolished Savings Credit top up to guarantee pension credit to new pensioners who got state pension from April this year.

    Neither pension credit nor the additional top up pension kept by the few (80 per cent of workers have been opted out of SERPs since 1978) have the triple lock guarantee annual rise, and neither of these had a yearly rise last year.

    Public sector works pensioners got nil rise this year, which include a lot of early retired under the large number of austerity job cuts, including a lot of women who had been low waged and so had a tiny works pension below the pension credit limit of top up.

    Winter campaign to get back pension credit at age 60 for men and women is on my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/660199184128266/

Comments are closed.