Category Archives: pensions

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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Continuation of Tory business by other means: disabled people make up six in 10 Covid-19 deaths

Targeted: more elderly and disabled people have died of Covid-19 than anybody else. Doesn’t that suit the Tories’ purposes perfectly?

It’s a sickening thought but it just might be possible that Boris Johnson and his Tories have been allowing Covid-19 to go unchecked – in certain places – because it is fulfilling their goals.

We all know that the Conservatives hate – I mean they absolutely hate – people with disabilities, for no reason other than that they have disabilities. It’s a classic prejudice that, if it were drawn along racial line, would demand prosecutions.

That’s why Tory policy since 2010 has been so brutal towards people with disabilities and has caused so many deaths. Just read back through This Site’s posts over the last nine years and you’ll see what I mean.

Covid-19 seems to have given them an excuse. It’s not just their policies causing the deaths any more – it’s the virus.

What a great way to excuse themselves!

I fear that is exactly how people like Therese Coffey and Iain Duncan Smith, not to mention Johnson himself, think.

Here’s Metro:

More than half of people who died of coronavirus in England and Wales had a disability, new figures revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 59% of all deaths involving Covid-19 from March 2 to July 14 were of disabled people.

But only 16% of the population have disabilities, according to 2011 Census data, meaning they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Targeted is the word I would use.

After adjusting for region, population density, socio-demographic and household characteristics, the coronavirus mortality rates between disabled and non-disabled people was 2.4 times higher for females and 2.0 times higher for males.

And the benefit to the Tories was even greater among pensioners, who the Tories consider a huge burden on the Treasury:

For women over 65 with a severe disability, the mortality rate was 589.63 compared with 187.95 for non-disabled women.

Out of the 19,405 deaths of females aged 65 and older from March 2 to July 14, the proportion of disabled people was the largest, accounting for 67.2% (13,048).

In contrast, among the 2,766 deaths of males aged 9 to 64, the share made up by disabled people was the smallest at 38.5% (1,066).

I know: it’s a disease and it most strongly affects those who have the least resistance to it.

That’s exactly what they want you to think.

Source: Coronavirus UK: Disabled people make up six in ten Covid-19 deaths | Metro News

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Prejudiced Tories are unfairly denying benefits to people whose relatives die of Covid-19

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Sanction centre: it isn’t a sanction as such, but anyone receiving compensation for the death of a relative due to Covid-19 will be automatically denied state benefits.

Doesn’t this show how sly, sneaky and underhanded Boris Johnson and his Tory friends are?

If any low-paid frontline NHS and social care workers die of Covid-19, their relatives are entitled to claim a £60,000 lump sum under a Tory compensation scheme.

But if they are already claiming benefits and they do this, they will lose their entitlement to those benefits, meaning they could not claim Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.

Some of you might think that’s fair; £60,000 is a lot of money, after all.

But this is at a time when Boris Johnson has been dishing out huge sums – £563,400 to consulting firm McKinsey for ‘advice’ that is likely to see the new National Institute for Health Protection sink without a trace, £150 million on face masks that can’t be used, an unspecified amount to Public First for the ‘A’ level results fiasco. Why should benefit claimants lose out when these fat Tories are making such a killing?

Perhaps more to the point, other compensation schemes such as those for the Windrush scandal and the Grenfell Tower fire do not affect entitlement to state benefits. Why should this be different?

The Tories have no answer to this question. Their spokesman is quoted as saying, “It has always been one the central principles of Universal Credit that decisions on awarding the benefit should take into account individuals’ existing ability to meet their basic needs, so that we maintain our focus on supporting families in most need.”

But the Windrush and Grenfell schemes are exempt from being taken into account.

It seems the Tories have created a hierarchy of merit – and relatives of Covid-19 victims have been ruled undeserving, even while ministers’ cronies are mopping up the last coppers from the Treasury that Johnson has emptied.

Source: UK families bereaved by Covid-19 lose eligibility for welfare benefits | Universal credit | The Guardian

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Pensions set for 18 per cent increase after being omitted from Sunak’s summer statement – or are they?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak dodged a major headache in his summer statement – failing to address a burning issue affecting pensions.

He has a choice between giving senior citizens a massive increase in their pensions next year, or breaking a long-standing promise to them.

Here’s the problem, according to the Mirror:

Current rules mean the Government will need to find enough money to raise the state pension by an estimated 18.3% when we can least afford it.

It’s because of an old promise to make sure pensions rise by at least as much as average earnings each year.

Earnings have collapsed in 2020 thanks to a combination of the furlough scheme, lockdown and pay cuts – and that means next year average wages will look like they’ve rocketed and pensions will have to rise despite never having fallen.

The Government’s needs to choose between breaking a promise to pensioners, or handing them huge increases because working Brits lost money.

Sunak didn’t say a word about pensions in his statement – he ignored the issue completely.

But the problem won’t go away and he will have to decide soon whether to blow a huge hole in the pension fund – or upset a huge swathe of mostly Tory voters.

This Writer is willing to bet he’ll upset the oldies – because there won’t be a general election for four years and he’ll expect them to have forgotten or died by then. That’s the usual rationale.

Source: Three glaring omissions from Rishi Sunak’s mini Budget – young mums, pensions and renters – Mirror Online

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Tories to cut £70 a week from 11,000 state pensions

Short-changing the elderly: the Tories love taking money from people who depend on it.

Statistics show older people constitute the majority of Conservative voters – I bet they never knew the Tories would stab them in the back so soon!

It’s even worse because the allowance for adult dependents is being phased out in any case – the Tories are simply cutting it earlier than it would have ended.

It turns out 11,000 pensioners are still receiving the allowance. From April, those people will lose £3,500 per year.

The DWP is claiming that current recipients of the allowance will be able to claim a means-tested benefit like Universal Credit or Pension Credit. Good luck with that, folks!

The simple fact is that Tories love to take state money away from people who depend on it.

And they don’t even care that they’re attacking people who helped put them in office; they think you’re so stupid you’ll vote for them again. Are they right?

Source: Government to cut £70 a week from thousands of state pensions – Mirror Online

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Tory propaganda war to push over-65s back into the workforce

Over 65? LOOK OUT: the Tories are backstabbing senior citizens by forcing them to stay in the workplace longer. In some cases, they could be literally working people to death.

This is sick from the Tories and their shills in national papers like the Express.

The state pension age is rising steadily, month by month, after successive attempts to stop the changes have failed.

This means hundreds of thousands of people at a time are being forced to wait longer for the pensions that their elders received earlier in life.

And how do papers like The Express report this?

BRITAIN’S booming economy will be powered to new heights by over-65s who want to carry on working.

Because they are being forced to work the extra time!

The nonsense continues:

The 282,000 expected to take up jobs when over 65 will be crucial to British economic performance in the years to come, say experts.

Really? Why’s that, then? And what experts?

But last night employers were urged to end age discrimination against those who still have much to offer.

Were they? Or were they just told that they have to retain people who would have retired otherwise?

You can read the Express story (if you’ve got the stomach for it) to see comments by the shills (including one from Age UK) who are supporting this propaganda bid to make pressganging people into work acceptable when they should be drawing their pensions.

You may be particularly sickened by the paragraph claiming it is “ageist” to turn down older job applicants.

It is unreasonable to accuse employers of ageism for rejecting somebody who is only looking for work because the Tories have raised the retirement age without anybody else’s consent.

If they genuinely wanted a job because they wanted to work, and were rejected, that would be ageist – but that isn’t what’s happening here. Be prepared to hear a lot of whining from Tory apologists who want to use this as justification, though.

This is pro-Tory propaganda of the lowest, sickest, vilest kind because it tries to put a shine on cruelty. But (of course) 14 million people voted for it and dragged us all into the Tory mire with them. Expect much more of this in future.

Source: Job boom for older workers: Britain’s economy to be boosted by 282,000 over-65s | UK | News | Express.co.uk

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For 3.7 million older women, the choice in this election is between Labour and injustice

WASPI protesters: For these women in Norfolk it seems clear that voting Labour is their only opportunity to get justice.

When you’ve had tens of thousands of pounds taken away by the Conservatives in a historic injustice that they won’t correct, voting Labour for £58 billion in compensation is a no-brainer.

It might even cost Boris Johnson the general election.

Mr Johnson has exhibited a callous indifference to the plight of the so-called WASPIs (Women Against State Pension Inequality):

Don’t be mollified by his tone; it is simply an attempt to mask the fact that he is quite happy to plunge millions into poverty by stealing the pensions they have spent decades funding and to which they are entitled.

Labour, on the other hand, is offering compensation.

The party agrees with the WASPI women that the decision to change their pension age without giving them proper notification was a ” betrayal” that “left millions of women with no time to make alternative plans – with sometimes devastating personal consequences”.

The party’s manifesto has promised to “work with these women to design a system of recompense for the losses and insecurity they have suffered”.

And it says: “We will ensure that such an injustice can never happen again by legislating to prevent accrued rights to the state pension from being changed.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has added that Labour would pay the money as a “contingency”, comparing it with compensation the Conservative government had to pay to mesothelioma victims after losing a long-running legal battle last year.

Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have attacked Labour’s plan, saying it is unclear how it will be funded.

For the WASPI women and the 3.7 million people who have lost money due to the pension age rise, this makes it impossible to vote for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

These are people who have lost between £15,000 and £32,000 as a result of a decision to change their rights without letting them have any choice in the matter.

Even if they have been lifelong Tories or Liberals, that makes the choice obvious.

The Tories and Liberal Democrats are offering them worse than nothing; they are pushing these women towards poverty and debt.

Labour is offering them a way to avoid it.

Even if they have spent a lifetime opposing Labour, it is in their own interests to support that party this time.

Source: General election 2019: Labour pledges payouts to pension age rise women – BBC News

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Pension age ‘could rise to 70’, say the Tories. But what do we get in return for the delay?

A knife in the back: This is the Conservative offer to pensioners. Labour is proposing a higher quality of life in our twilight years. Which would you prefer?

Look at the state of the Conservatives.

Having been slammed after Iain Duncan Smith suggested raising the pension age to 75 – past life expectancy for people in several parts of the UK – they are now trying to get us to accept a rise to 70.

Don’t they understand how badly they upset people with the ham-handed way they handled the increase to 67 for everyone?

The Labour Party manifesto has it right: “Under the Tories, 400,000 pensioners have been pushed into poverty and a generation of women born in the 1950s have had their pension age  changed without fair notification.

“This betrayal left millions of women with no time to make alternative plans – with sometimes devastating personal consequences.”

Labour says it will legislate to prevent accrued rights to the state
pension from being changed.

There’s no such promise from the Tories, who are simply pointing to a study by the Office for National Statistics that says life expectancy is increasing. They say this means the pension age could be pushed back to 70.

But this is based on a belief that men can expect to live to 85 and women to 87 – and this is disputed.

The Independent published a report within the last fortnight saying life expectancy for women in the least deprived areas of the UK is now 86 years and two months – but this is more than seven years more than women in the most deprived areas.

Average expectancy is 83 years – not 87 – and is among the lowest in comparable countries.

Men in deprived areas suffer a similar deficit – with some likely to live only to 74 – not 85.

So claims that increased life expectancy supports raising the pension age are bunkum – they would be an excuse to steal our twilight years away from us.

Going back to the ONS report, it says, “More older people means increased demand for health and adult social services, and increased public spending on state pensions.”

But the report adds, “It might mean the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends and to pursue personal interests with more time for leisure activities.

“The key to shifting the balance from challenge towards opportunity… is for older people to be able to live healthy lives for as long as possible.”

It seems clear that such claims are based on very shaky ground.

Under the Conservatives, health care has been increasingly hard to find, with people of all ages struggling to make appointments with their GPs and hospital waiting lists skyrocketing.

What are the opportunities available for older people to enjoy their lives, post-retirement? Under the Conservatives, they have been increasingly restricted.

And of course, any Tory-run plan to increase the pension age means people in the targeted age range will automatically lose thousands of pounds in pension entitlement with no right to recompense.

And they will probably be informed about the change in a completely inadequate manner, meaning they will have no opportunity to make alternative plans.

It is a trapdoor leading to poverty.

Labour’s manifesto offers a much more reasonable view: “The Conservatives have repeatedly raised the state pension age despite overseeing a decline in life expectancy.

“Labour will abandon the Tories’ plans to raise the State Pension Age, leaving it at 66. We will review retirement ages for physically arduous and stressful occupations, including shift workers, in the public and private sectors.”

This reflects the different aims of the Labour and Conservative parties.

While the Tories want to save money (presumably so they can give it to fat cats who already have too much), Labour’s offer is to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Doesn’t that seem better all around?

Source: Pension age ‘could rise to 70’, new government figures suggest | London Evening Standard

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