Category Archives: Pensioners

‘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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Johnson’s Covid policies are killing his core voters but the mass media are hiding it

Get the message? You won’t see Boris Johnson actually sitting over a dying pensioner making rude gestures at them (and the rest of us), but he might as well. Until pensioners realise that his policies on Covid-19 add up to the same, he can carry on – aided by the papers and TV channels that keep the over-60s tranquillised – easy prey for the cull.

Simon Wren-Lewis makes an excellent point here:

The people most at risk from this pandemic are those who predominantly voted this government in.

The article points out that people aged over 60 are most at risk from Covid-19. There are 16 million of them and 60 per cent – 9.6 million – voted for Boris Johnson and his Conservatives.

Meanwhile, Johnson has made mistake – if you can call them that – after mistake and more than 70,000 people have died, according to official figures. Unofficial figures put the number much higher.

How can a government that lived through March 2020 not just repeat the same mistakes again, but make worse mistakes?

When a Prime Minister, supported by his ministers, ignores medical advice again and again, the responsibility rests entirely with him.

Now comes the really nasty bit: the mass media – your friendly daily paper; your cuddly favourite TV channel – has been misleading those at-risk over-60s by hiding the truth from them.

The newspapers they read are doing their best to hide the truth from them, the broadcast media with a few honorable exceptions chooses not to enlighten them, and recently it appears the government has resorted to trying to hide what is happening in hospitals.

So those over 60 will continue to vote for a government that through its failures is literally killing them.

How perverse.

READ: mainly macro: Why the UK’s COVID crisis should be personal for so many Tory voters

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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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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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Elderly man’s health failed and he died after council sent his wife to a care home

When care isn’t so caring: one partner was taken into a home and the health of the other deteriorated until he died. Why didn’t the council consider this? Or was it just a financial consideration?

In these days of Covid-19, one might be forgiven for thinking this gentleman was worrying himself sick that his wife would catch the virus and die.

But it is also a recognised phenomenon that if a couple who have been together for many years are split up, most commonly because one of them dies, then the remaining partner’s health often suffers – possibly to death.

So This Writer is led to question why the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead didn’t take this into account when it split up the couple in this story. Was it just a question of money – that it was cheaper to split this couple, and never mind of one of them died? And what happened to the house where the deceased gentleman had been living?

An elderly couple of 59 years were split up with little regard for their welfare by Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

The couple were separated when the wife was discharged to a care home after leaving hospital.

The husband was left to live in the family home with the help of care workers, but quickly deteriorated.

He became very low, did not eat or drink properly and lost weight. He stopped going out and instead spent a lot of time in his bed.

When the family complained a few days later the council agreed to take more steps to help the man visit his wife, but he passed away just a few weeks after.

A report by the Ombudsman found the council did not do enough to consider the man’s situation when his wife left hospital, despite his family telling it he would suffer at home.

Windsor and Maidenhead Council has a history of ill-treating people. Back in 2018, it tried to get police to arrest homeless people under the Vagrancy Act so they wouldn’t be on the streets during the Royal Wedding.

Then it imposed a fine on aggressive or proactive begging, requests for money, leaving bedding and belongings in a public area and other behaviour associated with homelessness – totalling an unaffordable £1,000.

Needless to say, it is a Conservative-run authority.

Source: Elderly man suffers after council splits him from his wife

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Date fixed for judgement on change in women’s pension age

WASPI protesters: they’ve been waiting for justice for a very long time.

Every WASPI woman should take note of this.

The Court of Appeal has announced that its judgement on whether the Department for Work and Pensions correctly handled the change of the women’s pension age will be handed down on September 15.

This change meant some women who would have been entitled to their pension when they were 60 have been forced to wait six years for their first payment.

The WASPI women – it stands for Women Against State Pension Inequality – say the handling of the change was wrong in that they were not given enough warning.

This meant they did not have an opportunity to change their financial arrangements to cope with the extra years without a pension.

Further information is available on Westminster Confidential, where David Hencke tells us:

The decision will be on the merits of whether the DWP handled the policy change properly not on the merits of the plight of the women.

If the judges decide that there were faults in the system the women will have won and be entitled to compensation. If they decide that the DWP acted properly within the law they will lose.

Source: Judgement on Court of Appeal for 50s born women pensions fixed for September 15 | Westminster Confidential

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Tories force £100 million payout so outsourcing giant can chase over-75s for TV licence fee

The Conservative government’s relationship with private outsourcing firms is becoming more questionable by the day.

It has been revealed that the BBC is having to pay nearly £100 million to Capita so the firm can hire new staff to chase down senior citizens who fail to pay the TV licence fee.

People aged over 75 had been exempt from paying the fee because the government subsidised it – until George Osborne decided that he was going to axe the subsidy for no apparent reason other than cruelty.

The BBC was then forced between betraying all licence fee-payers by cutting its output significantly, or betraying over-75s by demanding that they pay the fee again.

It wasn’t any choice at all.

At least we’re all laying the blame where it’s due. As the Mirror article states:

Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “The BBC has taken this decision but in reality the principal responsibility lies with the Government.

“Until a previous administration transferred these free licences to the Corporation under a tapering funding arrangement they had taken the form of a welfare benefit for a generation, and to have done that without any consultation left a really bad taste in the mouth.

“The Government cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the upset and distress being caused to many of our over-75s today, the poorest and most isolated above all – and the sadness is that these older people have already endured so much over the last few months.

“The Government needs to sit down with the BBC urgently to keep these TV licences for over-75s free.”

Ms Abrahams’ suggestion is right – but we know the Tories won’t act on it.

They’ll say the Covid crisis, Brexit, and the collapse of the UK’s economy (all their own fault) mean the nation cannot afford to take back the TV licence subsidy.

In reality, though, the real reason is that they’ve given all the money to privatised outsourcing firms like Capita.

Source: BBC to spend ‘£100m of taxpayer cash chasing over-75s not paying licence fee’ – Mirror Online

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What will you say when they ask what you did in the class war?


I seem to have hit a nerve when I said the Tories are waging a class war on anyone who isn’t filthy rich.

In fact, two Vox Political articles touched on this class war – the first implied it, the second made it explicit.

Today I opened Twitter to discover those words all over the place:

I’m not claiming credit for calling a thing by its name – this is “multiple discovery”, “simultaneous invention”, “synchronicity” or, if you like, an expression of the “zeitgeist”. More and more people are simply coming to realise, understand and accept that it is the policy of the UK’s Conservative government to push them down unfairly.

That is what the decision – and it was a decision, deliberately made – to punish ‘A’ level pupils who weren’t from private schools was all about. Yes, Gavin Williamson and the other Tories are saying it was down to a mechanical system, an algorithm – but that algorithm was written by a human being who intended it to give an advantage to the children of very rich people.

In this way, the Tory class war has stolen your children’s futures and given them to the undeserving rich.

It’s what the decision  – and it was a decision, deliberately made – not to fight Covid-19 in any meaningful way was all about. Tens of thousands of people in care homes have died – your relatives, maybe – because Matt Hancock and the other Tories said people with Covid-19 who lived in those homes should be sent back to them – never mind the fact that they did not have isolation facilities and the virus would run through those places like wildfire and be transferred to others by part-time staff who worked in different homes run by the same – private – firm.

The Tories – and their private business collaborators – failed to source personal protective equipment, ventilators, tests and the facilities to carry out tests. The lockdown they imposed was half-hearted and failed to stop the progress of the disease. Now that they have lifted it, albeit with a few measures still in place, more people are contracting the virus again. So they have stopped reporting the daily number of infections.

And the Tories have rewarded their private business collaborators for their failures with hugely expensive contracts to continue failing us – all at the public expense. Serco’s test and trace contract has been renewed, even though we know it won’t stop any second wave (really just a resurgence of the first wave that was suppressed but never went away).

You won’t get justice against the Tories by the normal means available to civil society because the Tories have either corrupted them already or are in the process of doing so. Boris Johnson illegally terminated Parliament’s last session in the autumn of 2019 and what was the result? He called a general election, lied to us until he was purple in the face and was rewarded with an 80-seat Parliamentary majority.

Now he is using that power to ensure that the courts will not be able to stop any more of his corruption by planning a curb on judicial review of government activity. He is imposing a dictatorship – just as he told you he would, if you could have been bothered to read page 48 of his election manifesto.

The police won’t help. Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Gavin Williamson and the others are all above the law – no matter what they do. Try reporting a cabinet minister for a crime and see how far you get. They’ll tell you they’re treating it seriously, bounce the accusation around a few different departments and then say there’s no evidence. I’ve been there.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died already because it is Tory policy to kill claimants of sickness or disability claimants, who they consider to be “useless eaters”. That’s why the newspapers have been full of reports showing people with long-term illnesses and disabilities starving to death.

They wanted your homes so they imposed the Bedroom Tax and took them away from you.

The list goes on and on.

And still, too many people think they are the best choice to run the UK – even though the economy is in its deepest recession ever, and Brexit means it may never recover. You will suffer – they won’t. They have been stockpiling your cash and will simply use it to sit out any unpleasantness in the future.

But I feel sure a tipping-point will come – a flashpoint. I wonder how much we will all have to lose before that happens. I’m guessing it’ll be pretty much everything.

By then, many people may think there is nothing they can do. I am reminded yet again of Martin Niemoller’s poem about how the Nazis came for different groups who received no help from anybody else until, by the time they come for the author, there was nobody even left for him to ask.

But I am reminded of another group who were put in a similar position. When I visited Bosnia in the 1990s, I was told how – when the tanks from other countries moved in – the people, who were weaponless, left their homes and went up into the hills. They came back at night, when they took weapons – and lives – from the soldiers who had taken everything from them. And slowly, they took back their land from their oppressors.

I can see that happening here in the future.

I would rather it didn’t.

But it will, if people of good conscience don’t wake up, get up and put up a fight.

Keir Starmer won’t do it. He agrees with the Tories. That’s why he’s busy turning the Labour Party into Tory Lite Mk II (New Labour was Mk I) and accusing anybody who disagrees with him of anti-Semitism.

If you don’t want this to fall into violence, then you need to think what else you can do.

The ‘A’ level fiasco creates opportunities. Already some further education institutions have said they will take students who were downgraded, on the basis of their predicted results. Some haven’t. Clearly we should take note of the side that each University, each college, takes. Those who do the right thing should be rewarded in whatever ways we can. Those who do not should be shunned – meaning not only that we should not even try to send our children there, but that we should reject their graduates when they seek employment with our businesses. We know they won’t be any damn good anyway.

And employers who turn down applicants on the basis of the Tory algorithm’s discredited results should also be named, so we can stop buying their products.

That’s the best – non-violent – response I can conceive on the spur of the moment, and these things need to start happening now.

We’d better get to it, if we don’t want to roll over and die. And yes, that means you.

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Johnson ADVISES on coronavirus containment – at what cost to businesses and people?

Boris Johnson has suggested that people might be well-advised to avoid their place of work, their local pub, and travel in his latest bid to stop the spread of coronavirus:

  • He has suggested – not ordered – that everyone should avoid public gatherings and places like pubs, clubs and theatres.

That’s fine if the pub has insurance to cover an interruption of business – and if the insurance company pays out. Johnson has only advised people to stay away, and interruption of business insurance is specifically to cover losses suffered by a business after a disaster. Considering the number of pubs that may have such insurance, and therefore the likely number of claims, it seems likely that the insurance companies might themselves go bankrupt if they pay out.

… That’s unless they have insurance too.

I don’t think they’ll pay. I think Johnson has deliberately tried to avoid forcing the insurers to take a financial hit by restricting his announcement to advice, and they will take advantage of that, no matter what it does to the economy in the long run.

Personally, I do much of my best work in pubs so this is a bitter blow.

  • He wants everyone who can work from home to do so.

That won’t go down well with some companies. One newspaper that formerly employed me (which shall remain nameless) refused point-blank to allow home working during normal working hours because the bosses were convinced that I would bunk off and enjoy myself instead.

That decision proved to be catastrophically myopic (although this firm didn’t actually go to the wall, like many others after I left them).

  • All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease, he says.

How do you define a “necessary” visit to a friend or relative in a care home? I’m assuming that they’ll just close their doors to visitors.

  • People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible, he says.

This is transparent enough; he knows he and his party have ruined the National Health Service to the point where it cannot cope with a pandemic.

So he is loading the burden onto the general public to decide when they are sick enough to need professional treatment. I predict that people who aren’t really ill will clog up the hospitals while the genuinely sick will stay away – possibly until they are beyond help.

Oh, and

  • Schools will not be closed for the moment.

Why not? School pupils are among the most prolific transmitters of illnesses we know.

And what will happen if parents take the decision to keep their kids away? Will they face punishment?

Once again we say a weak figurehead – and a poor excuse for a leader – making confusing and contradictory pronouncements in a bid to look decisive. At what cost to the rest of us in the future?

Source: Coronavirus: PM says everyone should avoid office, pubs and travelling – BBC News

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Whose fault is it that people in the UK have the lowest state pension in the developed world?

Firstly: it isn’t news that the UK pension is the lowest in the developed world. The OECD has been telling us this since at least 2017.

The statistic has come to light again because there is pressure to improve the situation in the 2020 Budget, due to be announced very soon.

It is a forlorn hope.

In case everybody has forgotten, the government has been increasing the pension age over the last few years – and will continue to do so well into the future – because it doesn’t have enough cash to pay everybody currently eligible.

That’s what the WASPI protests have been about – the fact that the government suddenly forced them to wait periods of several years in some cases, putting them severely out-of-pocket.

But here’s the operative question: if all the other countries in the developed world can pay more, why can’t the fifth-largest economy in the whole world?

Doesn’t it indicate that our leaders for the last several decades – going back to… I don’t know… 1979 at least – have squandered our cash on stupid things like tax breaks for people who are obscenely rich, when they should have been investing it in our future?

Doesn’t it indicate that, as a certain billboard campaign puts it, we have been led by donkeys?

The people ultimately responsible were called Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May and Johnson.

Isn’t it time we laid the blame where it’s due and demanded sensible redress for their stupidity?

Source: UK pensioners receive the lowest state pension in the developed world – Welfare Weekly

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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