Tag Archives: Christmas bonus

Taxpayers’ Alliance: ‘Cut pensioner benefits now – they’ll be dead in 2020 anyway’

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Following on from the Torygraph‘s revelation that Conservatives believe us all to be selfish, backstabbing and stupid, here’s the Tory-supporting Taxpayers’ Alliance, displaying all three of those qualities at once.

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 (stupid – pensioners have long memories when they’ve been wronged).

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.

Here’s the introduction to the Torygraph article (it is also in several other papers). Please read it, go on to the original article if you can stomach it, and share with as many people as you can, to ensure that the wider public is made aware of what is being suggested here.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has been criticised after suggesting the government could cut pensioner benefits now because they might “not be around” at the 2020 general election.

The group, which seeks to cut the bill taxpayers are faced with, also hinted that some pensioners might forget about the cuts when they go to the ballot box in more than four years time.

The comments were made by Alex Wild, the group’s research director, during a fringe meeting at Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Source: Taxpayers’ Alliance: ‘Cut pensioner benefits now, they will be dead in 2020 anyway’ – Telegraph

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Get your votes out, lads and lasses!

Is the government is right to maintain benefits to older people, whatever their financial situation, while cutting benefits to more vulnerable people?

This was the popular issue on BBC radio’s Any Questions/Any Answers this week – popular because it highlighted the contrast between pensioners, who influence governments, and youngsters, who don’t.

The simple fact – nailed by a tweeter – is that old people vote more than young people. Therefore, it is the choice they make that can decide who forms the next government. Therefore any party (or parties) in power will pander to them and try to ensure that they take as few hits as possible during a time of cuts.

Remember the old adage that, if you don’t vote Tory when you’re old, you’ve got no brains? They try to look after their support base.

So pensions stop being linked to RPI and get linked to CPI instead, meaning a drop of 0.4 per cent in their annual rise (which was 5.2 per cent last year – well above average pay increases). They get a Christmas bonus. They get winter fuel payments whether they need them or not. Free TV licence.

Meanwhile, youth services are cut hard. Student tuition fees are tripled. The number of young adults out of work skyrockets and they are faced with crippling sanctions on their Jobseekers’ Allowance if they don’t comply with slave-labour Workfare schemes. The Universal Credit will cap the amount of benefit they receive to keep them in poverty. The Localism Bill will bring in county-based council tax relief schemes instead of Council Tax Benefit, which will push low-earners (traditionally the young) out of their homes to look for accommodation in less-desirable areas.

The government can get away with this because young people don’t vote – so they are no threat.

Of course, we’ve all heard the naysayers banging on that there’s no point in voting because it won’t change anything; whatever happens, you’ll end up with a politician representing you. We’ve all heard that sort of tripe. Their point – that politicians are no different from each other; that they’re all in it to line their own pockets, may seem valid. But just look at the evidence of the last century in Britain alone and you will see that it is not true.

Was Aneurin Bevan lining his own pockets when he set up the NHS? Of course not – but Andrew Lansley and many other MPs are lining theirs by breaking it up. And that’s just the obvious example.

So, young people of the UK – and in that I count anybody from 18 up to retirement age – it’s time to start thinking seriously about your situation.

Do you really want to be a Conservative politician’s helpless pawn? Do you want to be consigned to poverty, to a life of endlessly being shifted from one inadequate set of digs to another? From one Workfare placement to another?

Or will you take charge of your own political life and make it clear that you won’t be pushed around like that?

There are more of you than there are pensioners. You can choose a government that is fair; that actually wants to help you. Remember, the government that formed the NHS did it when there was supposed to be “no money left”, and in a time of far worse proportionate debt. And it wasn’t a Tory government. Or a Liberal Democrat one.

So get your votes out.