Pensioner incomes are higher than those of working families. Will the Tories use it to divide us?

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It would be wrong to use the findings of the Resolution Foundation to turn public opinion against pensioners.

Their incomes have not grown hugely – it is the incomes of working families that have shrunk due to Tory economic policies.

But 12.29 per cent of the government’s annual spending went on pensions in 2014, with a further 5.13 per cent on pension tax reliefs. That’s more money than was spent on the NHS.

You can see why the Tories might want to find an excuse to restrict this spending.

There are plenty of opportunities to create dissent – with more senior citizens still working, why do they need pensions? If they have private pensions, why should they have money from the state? If they own their own home, that is an asset that could be used to support them, rather than demanding money from the state.

These are silly arguments because the answer to all of them is the same: They have fully paid their National Insurance and are entitled to the money they draw out.

But This Writer fears Tories don’t think like that.

They’ll want to point out that working-age people are struggling to find gainful employment; that private pension funds have been raided and many are no longer available; and that owning their own home has been priced out of the reach of most working people.

These are all due to Tory policies but that won’t stop them, if they think they can get away with a shift in public thinking and a saving they can turn into a tax cut for the rich.

They have been looking for this kind of opportunity for years.

Typical pensioner incomes now outstrip those of working-age people, a report from the Resolution Foundation says.

Pensioners are also now more likely than their predecessors to still be in work, own a home and have access to generous private pensions, it adds.

The think tank says growth in pensioner incomes has been coupled with weak income growth for working-age people.

Pensioner households are now £20 a week better off than working age households, but were £70 a week worse off in 2001.

However, the report, called As Time Goes By, adds: “This strong growth is not the result of a boom time for all pensioners, with most finding that their personal situation changes little from year-to-year. “

Source: Pensioner incomes ‘outstrip those of working families’ – BBC News

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10 thoughts on “Pensioner incomes are higher than those of working families. Will the Tories use it to divide us?

  1. Roland Laycock

    Some people are better off but these where the people that had goo jobs that paid into a pension fund and good look to these people but for the most that are on a basic state pension no way are they better off as you say its all propaganda to split the working class

  2. John Thatcher

    The propaganda war against pensions and pensioners has being going on for at least the last 2 years, but the pace is definitely quickening. It will take them a bit longer to soften up opinion amongst their own supporters to accept that “cuts are needed”. They will not worry about opposed views, especially as they can rely on the right of the PLP to muddy the waters for them.

  3. NMac

    Tories are always looking for new ways to divide society against itself. It’s one of the few things they’re good at. “Divide and Rule”.

  4. Christine Cullen

    You’re right Mike that this is a device the Tories will try to use to set the younger general public against pensioners. They’ve done it with the unemployed and sick/disabled and now it’s seriously the pensioners’ turn. Demographics show that the proportion of pensioners is now larger, so of course there are more pensions being paid out of the pot, but pensionable age is getting older and older every year. If state pensions get reduced for those with a private pension, (for which they have paid often well over the odds as well as paying for the state pension,) it will be a signal for today’s younger generations to abandon private pensions altogether. As many big companies lean on private pension providers to invest in them, it’s a pretty short sighted, short term government attitude, as usual.

    We are given the impression by advertising that today’s pensioners are all gadding about in the Caribbean, taking river cruises around Europe or golfing holidays and wondering about health insurance, or living in expensive retirement villages. If only! And those who are not gadding are selfishly stealing unwarranted attention from the NHS or deliberately becoming frail so they can use up all the social care resources. The truth is that most are getting by, struggling to help their kids, grandkids or even parents. And what’s wrong with pensioners still working with today’s high employment figures? We’ll need even more of them working once Brexit kicks in and the ” flippin’ immagriunts” go home “where they belong.”.

    It’s good that many pensioners own their own homes because it means they’re not occupying the sadly decreasing amount of social housing for families; and it’s not the pensioners’ fault that the housing market is broken and housing is so expensive. Pensioners didn’t cause that, and there are answers to it which the Tories won’t implement.

    I’m looking forward to the Chancellor, or Theresa May, or perhaps both adding to the chorus of Tories denouncing pensioners as the scourge of the earth, no doubt taking food from babies’ mouths and clothes off their backs! Soon “pensioner” will be an insult word used down the pub by the likes of UKIP, like “unemployed” or “migrant” or “Muslim” or “disabled.” But most people have a mum, dad, auntie, friend who is a pensioner and hopefully most of the public will see through all this.
    The current Tory and previous coalition government can be described with several adjectives, many unprintable, but I would select two in particular – “spiteful” and “divisive” as the ones to use currently. And they live up to their names time and time again.

  5. wildswimmerpete

    It should be borne in mind that the State pension is paid out upon the maturation of a insurance policy – National Insurance. The insurance company concerned (in this case, the State) can’t decline paying out simply because they believe the policyholder “doesn’t need it”. Today’s Baby Boomers have worked and contributed for five decades or more – it’s our money.

    As for people working past their retirement age, that’s their choice. I suspect most can’t. I’ve got what was once a marketable skill, electronics, but the truth is that there’s little work out there for those who are unemployed and seeking work let alone those like me who’d like some part time work to keep our hands in.

  6. Stu

    Been waiting for this to happen. was wondering how the Tories would “frame” it.

    The disability benefit bill has been cut as much as it can be so the excuse to cut it further is to regard the pensioners, who represent 80% of the total welfare spend as “benefit scroungers”.
    A 5% cut from 90% (Pensions + Disability) seems more reasonable than halving the disability bill which would never happen.

  7. Bookworm

    Off course they’ll use it to divide and conquer. They used same tactics on single parents, immigrants, jobless and disabled.

  8. casalealex

    Oh dear. the Tories are now using a backhanded ploy to turn public opinion against pensioners. With all the recent rhetoric regarding our ‘aging population’; especially with regard to the NHS and Social Care, this appears to be their next target for their ‘divide and rule’ doctrine. Gawd help you, if you are old, disabled, sick, poor, working zero hours, homeless, getting any kind of welfare (even though you have paid your subs), illogically sanctioned, a refugee from war provoked by our government, the list goes on…..

  9. Barry Davies

    Well if you believe this BS like the claims about the NHS, and benefits they will fool the gullible into believing the pensioners are underserving and rich, I can assure you as a pensioner I are 50% worse off than when I was working.

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