Category Archives: pensions

Pension triple lock scrapped for a year. But will the Tories stop there?

This Site predicted the suspension of the pensions triple lock, so it’s no surprise here.

The problem with the commitment to increase pensions every year by the highest of pensions, earnings or 2.5 per cent is that it did not anticipate a huge fall in earnings like that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by a similarly whopping rise when everybody went back to work and pay packets re-balanced.

It meant the highest of the three benchmarks – this year – is a massive eight per cent increase. And the Tories don’t want to pay it.

Back in July, I suggested the Tories were making a big fuss about nothing because they could impose a stop-gap increase that reflects the increase in the cost of living (which is what the triple lock is supposed to do).

It turns out that the Tories are doing something similar. Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said that – for this year only – pensions would rise by inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher. The earnings increase will be restored to the calculation next year.

The decision has caused bitter resentment in some quarters, because people are upset that the Tories have broken a manifesto promise.

But this misses the point completely.

The point is that the UK state pension is one of the worst pension deals in the whole world.

On retirement, our pensioners will receive, on average, 29 per cent of their former earnings. This compares with an increase of 0.6 per cent in the Netherlands, more than 90 per cent of former earnings in Portugal, Italy and Austria, and an OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development) nations’ average of nearly 63 per cent.

In fact, the UK’s pensions deal comes in at slightly worse than that provided in… Mexico.

This was a chance to level up the UK pension with some of our closest neighbours – but the Tories didn’t want to. That’s why people should be angry.

Of course, with the national insurance increase that the Tories say will pay for social care (eventually), pensioners will be worse off than ever – because pensioners who are still earning an income will pay towards it.

And there’s another aspect to this.

It is the rivalry between the old and the young over state benefits, the perception that pensioners get more than their fair share, and that they should lose some in order to correct a perceived imbalance.

This is utter piffle.

As Craig Berry states in The Guardian,

We can and should spend more on social security for young and old people alike.

To believe that a Conservative government would invest what it saves by removing the triple lock on today’s young people requires some magical thinking.

In practice, by reducing the state pension accrual rate (the entitlements we build up in return for paying national insurance), scrapping the triple lock would effectively amount to a significant tax hike on young people.

That’s because the tax they pay now would entitle them to a lower income in retirement than previously anticipated.

So it is ridiculous to suggest that we need to cut pension increases in order to help the young. It simply won’t happen.

Let’s face it – it simply hasn’t happened.

The (alleged) social care-related increase to National Insurance will affect young people and pensioners alike.

Because that’s what Tories are like.

They don’t take away from one group that needs help, in order to give to another.

They take from both, in order to give to themselves – as you can see with Boris Johnson’s National Insurance hike.

My only question is, do we believe them when they say they’re going to bring the triple lock back?

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Boris Johnson’s lie-ridden social care proposals are a disaster for workers – and pensioners

“I’m going to apply the pincers and drag every last penny out of the poor”: Boris Johnson explains how he’ll make sure rich people don’t have to pay a penny towards their social care, so they can pass their millionaire mansions to their kids [no, he didn’t really say that. But it is what he intends to do].

Boris Johnson’s announcement of a rise in National Insurance, claiming it will pay for social care, was expected. It seeks to camouflage a new catalogue of his lies and hide the fact that he is making the poorest pay for the care of the richest.

Let’s think about what we know:

Firstly, Johnson was lying in 2019 when he said he had a plan to overhaul social care. It is clear now that he didn’t. His current proposals are to fund the existing – predominantly privately-owned and poorly-functioning – system rather than replace it with one that actually works.

Yes indeed: he is imposing a 10.42 per cent increase on National Insurance contributions that are paid by people earning between £9,500 and £50,000 per year. People earning more will pay nothing extra.

Do not be confused: this is a 1.25 percentage point increase – NI contributions will rise from 12 per cent of earnings to 13.25 per cent – but this represents a rise of more than 10 per cent in the contributions themselves.

He is also imposing a 10.42 per cent increase on profits from shares in companies, saying that this means rich people will pay a significant amount towards the cost of social care. This is a lie. Shareholders will merely pass the cost onto employees by denying them wage increases. It means the de facto increase in payments for people earning between £9,000 and £50,000 is 20.83 per cent (the slightly lower-than-double figure is due to roundings-up and -down).

The changes are expected to raise around £12 billion a year – a paltry pittance in comparison to the amount that would have been raised by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had proposed a tax on the UK’s wealthiest people.

Johnson has said that none of the money raised will go towards social care for three years after the NI increase is imposed in April 2022. Instead, it will be used to ease the backlog of NHS treatments that has been caused because Johnson’s Tory government had weakened the health service so badly that it could not cope with Covid-19 and continue to carry out these procedures at the same time.

Johnson has not said how much of the annual £12 billion will eventually be diverted to social care. Nor has his health secretary, Sajid Javid.

After April 2023, this extra payment will become a separate tax – called the Health and Social Care Levy – on earned income. It will show up separately on payslips.

Unlike NI, people who work beyond retirement age will also pay this Health and Social Care Levy, meaning Johnson’s already-broken promise to keep the pensions ‘triple lock’ is smashed to smithereens and pensioners will be punished hard.

The government says people earning £20,000 a year will pay £130 to the new levy. Those on £30,000 will pay £255; those on £50,000 – £505. It provides figures for people on £80,000 (£880) and £100,000 (£1,130) but these must be notional amounts as their NI payments will be unchanged. People with shares that provide those amounts in dividends (as already noted) will merely pass the burden onto employees.

Johnson has said the increased payments will fund changes meaning that, from October 2023, nobody will pay more than £86,000 for care costs (excluding accommodation) in their lifetime. Is that a permanent commitment? So even as inflation means £86,000 is worth less and less as years pass, people will still have to pay no more than that amount? This Writer doesn’t think so. I reckon Johnson was lying again.

Once people have paid this amount, their ongoing costs will be paid by local authorities. Those with between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will get means-tested help from their council; those will less than £20,000 won’t have to pay from their assets but might have to contribute from their income – an additional burden for low-earners.

It means people are still likely to have to sell their houses to pay for care – unless they are rich.

As far as I can see, the exception if spouses still live in the family home still applies.

That’s a lot to take in. It is likely that Johnson is hoping ordinary people will not recognise the enormity of the impact his plan will have on poor and working people.

Fortunately, we have clever people available who are able to work out the facts.

Here’s the headline:

So, for example, here’s the impact on graduates:

So such a graduate would take home slightly less than £16,000 a year.

And do you remember that measly three per cent pay rise for NHS workers? It is now, once again, a pay cut:

And people employed in the social care system – such as it is – will now pay more towards it than their bosses, who profit from it:

Average earners lose a lot too…

… and if you earn less than the average, you get hit by the Universal Credit cut as well…

… and this means child poverty will increase:

Johnson has tried to justify this new attack on low earners by claiming that the Covid-19 crisis has cost the nation billions of pounds. That could not have been foreseen when he promised no tax increases in the run-up to the 2019 election, and that is the reason this measure is necessary. He was – of course – lying.

The government created new money to pay for the Covid crisis; there was no cost to the nation at all. So the situation now is exactly what it was in 2019, as far as tax increases are concerned.

And there is the issue of what Johnson did with all the money that was created to handle Covid – like blowing £37 billion – more than three times what he expects to raise every year with his NI increase – on Dido Harding’s ‘test and trace’ service that did not work at all.

And what happened to all that Brexit money?

Back in 2016, Johnson campaigned for the UK to leave the EU, in a big red bus emblazoned with the message, “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund the NHS instead”. The UK has now left the EU and not a single penny of that so-called “Brexit bonus” has reached the National Health Service. Instead, Johnson is taxing the poor on the pretext that they will pay for it.

Johnson’s apologists have leapt up to praise him for doing something about the social care crisis in the UK – but they haven’t been able to hide the fact: what he has done is worse than nothing.

They don’t mention facts like this, either:

The failure of the mainstream, mass media to hold Johnson and his government to account has been monumental – if expected. That doesn’t mean it should be accepted:

Particularly damning has been criticism of Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose feather-light opposition to the proposals makes a mockery of his party.

The best he had to offer was an attack on Conservative claims to be the party of low taxation…

… but Labour’s philosophy has always been that tax is fine, as long as it has a purpose and is fair. Johnson’s plan for social care demonstrates neither of those traits but Starmer couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see it.

He has become a sick joke, as critics have been quick to point out:

Worse, Labour had solid plans for a well-funded National Care Service – along NHS lines – under former leader Jeremy Corbyn – as he, and some Labour MPs, remember:

Do you know how much a wealth tax would bring in? See for yourself:

But Starmer has thrown Corbyn’s plans away because they would lift people out of poverty – and he seems uninterested in helping poor or working people (a strange stance for a Labour leader).

Another Twitter user, @aconda_an, added – referring to Corbyn: “They had someone with solutions and meaningful policies. They didn’t want it. Shame on them.”

And shame on everybody who voted Conservative in 2019 because they believed Johnson’s lie that he wouldn’t tax them. He’s a Conservative – it is his nature to lie.

You only have yourselves to blame, and you have dragged the rest of us down with you.

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Freebie-guzzling Tory couple spark fury over poverty wages

Philip Davies and Esther McVey: they’re raving it up on the profits firms have made by paying employees practically nothing.

Tories Philip Davies – the Friday morning filibuster king who takes joy in “talking out” legislation, not because it is bad but because it doesn’t come from the Conservative government – and Esther McVey – whose attacks on benefit claimants are notorious – have come under fire because of the free perks they have taken for themselves.

They have claimed £18,000 worth of VIP goodies on top of their £82,000 salaries (plus expenses).

And they were among 65 Tory MPs who have taken the bulk of freebies available – £160,000 worth between May and July alone.

In contrast, 23 Labour MPs have taken nearly £32,000. That puts Davies and McVey’s greed in context: between them they have claimed more than half as much as all the Labour MPs put together.

Among the gifts are several from gambling firms, coming at a time when the government is reviewing betting laws, provoking speculation on whether they came with strings attached.

Davies should be even more embarrassed because some of these gifts came from Entain, a company for whom he was paid almost £50,000 as an advisor last year, when it was known as GVC Holdings.

Here are the details:

Now you know the story, here comes the fury as people responded to this astonishing display of scrounging by members of the party that accuses people in extreme poverty of scrounging:

How indeed? Davies said his contract with GVC Holdings explicitly stated that he must not lobby on the firm’s behalf while employed by it – but he isn’t employed by it any more. And in any case, RD Hale’s comment shows that others would be imprisoned simply for accepting corporate gifts. Why not Davies and McVey?

Others have focused on McVey’s pronouncements on people who have to claim benefits in order to make ends meet because their wages don’t cover their costs – meaning that the government pays a de facto subsidy to under-paying employers.

Remember:

So the benefits paid to working people in extreme poverty are intended to help business bosses profit – not the struggling workers. Meanwhile MPs’ salaries have nearly doubled in the last 25 years:

So MPs are on an extremely good screw – and those like Davies and McVey are scrounging more freebies out of corporations (that may even be profiting by paying low wages and expecting their employees to claim benefits). Meanwhile the same MPs are happy to demand that benefit claimants must take the worst-paying jobs available, or lose those benefits:

Now, of course, the government is preparing to remove the £20 “uplift” that was provided to UC claimants during the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

Let’s put this in a little more context:

ToryFibs is slightly mistaken; making the £20 uplift permanent would not cost any money because there are hidden costs associated with cutting incomes to a point where people cannot afford the cost of living.

But we can see that the UK’s billionaires are raking in the cash as a result of not having to pay a living wage to employees.

And saying that the “uplift” costs a huge amount of money is a handy propaganda tool – that, it seems, has been used to good effect by certain news reporters…

… who are also doing very well for themselves.

And the assumptions about the amount that people need, in order to meet their living costs, has raised questions about other government payments. So the government’s claim to have legislated to ensure that people receive a “National Living Wage” has come under attack, not just because it isn’t enough, but because it reflects badly on the UK’s woefully low state pension:

So you can understand why people are furious at Davies and McVey.

While most of us struggle to survive in jobs that force us to claim benefits that still won’t cover our living costs after the Tories cut the uplift, in order to subsidise big businesses that are raking in the profits, the same firms are handing out free luxuries to these hugely well-paid Tory MPs. And when we retire we will have to try to survive on even less.

The whole system reeks of corruption and Davies and McVey stink worst of all.

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Why did ex-Gurkhas have to go on HUNGER STRIKE in DOWNING STREET over unequal pensions?

Hunger striker: the government agreed to talks after Dhan Gurung (pictured) returned to the hunger strike outside Downing Street. He had been admitted to hospital after his heart slowed.

The answer to that is simple: racism, ingrained into the way British governments treat people.

Allow me to tell you the story:

Once upon a time (1814), the British East India Company, then in control of India, declared war on neighbouring Nepal because of Gurkha incursions that had taken place.

The war was extremely civilised, with both sides controlling looting and respecting non-combatants.

The war ended in 1816 and both sides decided to build a friendship in which 10 Gurkha regiments were recruited into the East India Company’s Army.

After the partition of India in 1947, a tripartite treaty between Nepal, India and the UK meant four Gurkha regiments were transferred to the British Army.

Here’s the problem, though: the terms on which the Gurkhas joined the British Army were not the same as those for any UK-born soldier.

Those who retired before 1997, like Mr Gurung, currently receive a fraction of the pension the rest of the British Army receive because the Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS) was based on Indian Army rates.

The Not New Labour government of Tony Blair tried to paper over this racist injustice in 2007, when it eliminated the differences between Gurkhas’ terms and conditions of service and those of their British counterparts.

The change was backdated to July 1, 1997, because that was the date when the UK became the home base for the Brigade of Gurkhas (it had previously been based in Hong Kong, which itself transferred to Chinese rule on that date) and changes in immigration rules meant retiring Gurkhas may settle in the UK after discharge.

The difference between pension rates pre- and post-1997 has long been a subject for grievance because it seems to be impossible to live comfortably on pre-1997 rates, either in the UK or in Nepal. Former Gurkhas who had served the UK as some of our most effective service personnel were therefore consigned to lives of poverty and misery because they weren’t British.

That is why Dhan Gurung, Pushpa Rana Ghale and Gyanraj Rai went on hunger strike on August 7.

Challenged to meet the hunger strikers and discuss their case, current UK prime minister Boris Johnson did what he always does when offer the chance to be a statesman: he ran away.

Previously, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had said he would be happy to meet  protesters, but argued no government “of any colour” had ever made retrospective changes to pensions of the kind they were demanding.

We can see from the actions of the Blair government in 2007 that this was a lie of the kind for which the Boris Johnson government is now justifiably infamous.

It seems the politicians’ position only softened when it seemed likely that one of the hunger strikers may suffer serious harm to their health on the prime minister’s doorstep.

Dhan Gurung was hospitalised after his heartbeat slowed, after refusing food for 12 days. It was initially believed that the diabetic veteran was having a heart attack.

He returned to the protest yesterday but shortly afterwards the government announced that it will hold talks with the group, and with the Nepalese government, and the hunger strike has now ended.

Further information on the situation is available in this House of Commons Library briefing.

I think it is important also to note that a petition, calling for Gurkhas to have equal pensions as other British veterans of the same rank and service, has reached the 100,000 signature threshold for a debate in Parliament.

How would any such debate run, if one or more of the protesters had suffered significant harm to their health because they had to go on hunger strike even to have their demands noticed?

And the discussion with Nepal seems dishonest, too. The four Gurkha regiments suffering the pension prejudice at the heart of the protest have been employees of the British Army since 1947; their pay and conditions are really nobody else’s business.

Whatever happens, this is another opportunity for Boris Johnson to drape himself in disgrace. He has already fled from dealing with this matter and his Defence Secretary has lied about it.

Who can doubt that they’ll concoct an excuse to short-change – once again – some of the bravest soldiers the UK was ever lucky enough to have?

#DWP bungled #Waspi women’s #pension-age rise. How long must they wait for #compensation?

WASPI protesters: this image is from 2016 and women born in the 1950s had already spent years protesting against the way the Department for Work and Pensions mistreated them.

The so-called Waspi women have finally won recognition that they were mistreated by the government, after an ombudsman found maladministration by the Department for Work and Pensions.

But they won’t get any compensation for it – at least, not yet – because the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has no power to order it.

The PHSO found that the DWP failed to act quickly enough, once it knew a significant proportion of women were not aware that the age at which they would qualify for the state pension was going up.

It should have written to the women affected by the change, at least 28 months – more than two years – earlier than it did.

The ombudsman’s report said

Between 1995 and 2004, accurate information about changes to State Pension age was publicly available in leaflets, through DWP’s pensions education campaigns, through DWP’s agencies and on its website.

[But the DWP} failed to give due weight to relevant considerations, including what research showed about the need for ‘appropriately targeted’ information, what was known about the need for individually tailored information, or how likely it was doing the same thing would achieve different results. Despite having identified more it could do, DWP failed to provide the public with as full information as possible. DWP failed to make a reasonable decision about next steps in August 2005.

It did not ‘get it right’. And its failure to use feedback to improve service delivery meant it did not ‘seek continuous improvement’. That was maladministration.

DWP then failed to act promptly on its 2006 proposal to write directly to affected women, or to give due weight to how much time had already been lost since the 1995 Pensions Act.

It did not ‘get it right’ because it did not meet the requirements of the Civil Service Code, and it did not take all relevant considerations into account. And it failed again to use feedback to improve service delivery and ‘seek continuous improvement’. That was also maladministration.

The maladministration led to a delay in DWP writing directly to women
about changes in State Pension age. If the maladministration had not happened, DWP would have begun writing to affected women by December 2006 at the latest, 28 months earlier than it did (in April 2009).

It follows that affected women should have had at least 28 months’ more individual notice of the changes. For women who were not aware of the changes, the opportunity that additional notice would have given them to adjust their retirement plans was lost.

The investigation is not over; its next stage will consider the impact that the injustice had on the women it affected.

The co-chairs of the All-party parliamentary group on State Pension Inequality for Women, Andrew Gwynne (Labour) and Peter Aldous (Conservative) have both welcomed the findings.

“The DWP must urgently address these findings, and advise 1950s women what actions they will take to right the wrongs committed by successive Governments. For too long 1950s women have been ignored, and this must change,” said Mr Gwynne.

And Mr Aldous added: “We now must see a cross-party effort to sort this problem out. This issue is bigger than any administration and has been raised repeatedly over the last 25 years. The PHSO findings must now be scrutinised by the DWP and parliament, and then we must set out about compensating women for this injustice.”

It seems the DWP itself isn’t ready to comment yet:

Waspi women have already waited many years for an admission that they were mistreated by the government, and that they have suffered loss as a result.

It seems they may not have to wait even longer before getting any compensation for the loss they have suffered and the huge amount of distress it has caused.

Source: Women’s state pension: Compensation closer for Waspi campaigners – BBC News

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Why are the Tories making such a big fuss about pensions?


Poor Tories, complaining about giving a pay rise of eight per cent to pensioners.

They don’t reckon it’s fair that OAPs should get such a huge increase, and to be honest, they’re right.

The problem is in the so-called Triple Lock guarantee, that means pensions rise in line with the rising cost of living seen in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation, increasing average wages, or 2.5%, whichever of those three is highest.

The guarantee did not anticipate wages falling by a huge amount in any particular year, and then rising back to – or beyond – their original level, as is happening now.

This means that, because pensions did not fall, pensioners seem set for a windfall. The Tories reckon that is unfair and, in fairness, they have a point.

But there’s a simple solution. Instead of increasing according to the difference between last year’s wages and this year’s, they could calculate the difference between the wages of the year before – in other words, before Covid affected wages – and now, adjust it according to the amount that pensioners received last year, compare that figure with CPI and the 2.5 per cent figure, and increase pensions by whichever of those three numbers is highest.

It’s not rocket science.

The problem is that the Tories simply don’t want to give pensioners anything at all.

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‘Compassionate Conservatism’: Covid deaths to cut state pension costs, says BBC

This BBC story could explain much about the Corporation’s wholehearted support for Rishi Sunak, even though he’s utterly vile.

The Beeb presents as a good news story the deaths of so many over-65s that the cost of paying pensions is set to plummet by £1.5 billion by 2022.

And wait! because there’s even more Good News!

The government will also receive an extra £0.9bn from inheritance tax, partly due to Covid-related deaths.

Every cloud has a silver lining, eh? As in thirty pieces of silver, if you recognise the reference.

Here’s an interesting slip, though:

More than 144,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have occurred in the UK since the start of the pandemic, figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show.

That’s 21,000 more than the official figure of 123,000 at the time of writing.

I think somebody’s been lying again – don’t you?

Source: Budget 2021: Covid deaths set to cut state pension costs – BBC News

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Torygraph politics: paper praises Tories for saving money because senior citizens have died of Covid-19

Some institutions have twisted priorities:

That’s the Daily Telegraph for you.

But doesn’t it make you question whether the Tory intention really was for Covid-19 to kill as many pensioners as possible, in order to cut the National Insurance bill?

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The Tories are cheating us out of our pensions – and our retirements

Arguments used by the Conservative government to justify increasing the age at which we may draw our pensions are increasingly false, it seems.

Fellow social media journalist David Hencke has all the information on his website.

He says the Tory claim is that as life expectancies continue to rise, it will be impossible for the pension fund to pay out for everybody unless the pensionable age rises too.

There’s just one problem:

Ministers always quote figures up to 2011… [the] last year of any big rise in longevity which had risen for decades.

Since then the rise has flattened – in one year it actually fell – and last year was the first in five years that showed a small rise. Next year the ONS is warning will be the first year they will have figures of the effects of Covid-19 – and the hint is that longevity will fall because of the disproportionate deaths among pensioners.

Worse still:

When you compare the UK to many other developed countries both men and women have lost out big time in the longevity stakes. The countries that make up the UK (with the exception of Northern Ireland) are all near the bottom of the table.

So while we all are being expected to wait longer for our pension in the UK, our extra weeks of life expectancy fall well below many comparable developed countries. We are being cheated – or at least not given the full facts – by our political leaders. So don’t believe any facile claims we have a world beating system for pensioners. Far from it.

The increased longevity argument was used strongly by the Department for Work and Pensions in its court battle to avoid paying compensation to 3.8 million women whose pension age rose from 60 to 66 – but who were not given enough warning to make proper preparations for it.

But our people aren’t living as much longer as people in other countries. What are those nations doing about pensions? And how are they doing it?

It seems clear that Mr Hencke is right and we are being cheated.

I wonder what we can do about it, if DWP representatives are prepared to perjure themselves in court to preserve a lie.

Source: The chances of living longer are getting shorter – new Office of National Statistics figures show only small rise in longevity | Westminster Confidential

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Rishi Sunak thinks taking cash from the starving poor is the way to pay for Covid-19

Remember this? It led to a huge rise in Covid-19 infections. Now Sunak is planning to make the poor pay for his mistakes.

The absolute state of this.

The Chancellor who told us to “eat out to help out” – triggering an exponential increase in Covid-19 infections that led to new restrictions – is now trying to work out how the UK will pay for his government’s mistakes.

And of course he isn’t going to ask the filthy-rich corporates who have made a fortune while the crisis has been happening to pay a bit more.

No – he wants to grind you further into the dirt:

Rishi Sunak has looked at a freeze on benefits and public sector pay to fight the spiralling cost of the coronavirus crisis, it is reported today.

Sources failed to rule out the crushing blow to millions of workers and the poorest – just a few years after long austerity freezes finally ended.

The Chancellor is also said to be trying to persuade Boris Johnson to suspend the “triple lock” on pensions, reports the Mail on Sunday – amid fears it will artificially rise due to the economic turmoil.

So he’ll freeze wages and benefits at a time when his boss Boris Johnson’s international law-breaking Brexit is likely to cause massive price increases on basic food items.

And he wants to freeze pensions as well, to put the pensioners who were left after his government’s Covid-19-fuelled cull into the same predicament.

It has all been about protecting the super-rich, of course. The lockdown that was supposed to kill off Covid-19 didn’t, because Sunak, Johnson and their gang wanted to get us all back to the coalface, making money for the big corporate bosses who donate to the Tory party.

Now, despite the fact that this corporates have increased their riches steadily over the course of the pandemic, Sunak still doesn’t dare tap them to help pay for the results of their government lackeys’ efforts to keep them in gravy.

And this creep was supposed to be the great white hope of the Conservative Party?

Source: Rishi Sunak ‘considers freezing benefits and wages’ to pay for Covid crisis – Mirror Online

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