Tag Archives: pensioner

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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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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Malnutrition in the UK has tripled under the Tories

Kwashiorkor: The so-called “swollen belly disease” used to be a staple of news reports from countries facing starvation. Now the Conservatives have ensured that it is on the rise in the UK.

See the picture, above? Once upon a time, when British people saw images like that, they were being asked to reach into their wallets and help starvation-hit people in developing countries. Now the country in danger is the UK.

Due to Conservative government policies, malnutrition – the principle cause of the “swollen belly disease” kwashiorkor – has tripled in the UK since 2009. According to the Mirror, the government tried to sneak the figures out last week, while MPs were on holiday, but they have been picked up by eagle-eyed journalists.

Malnutrition cases treated by the NHS have risen from 2,893 to 8,537 since that year. Kwashiorkor is caused by a lack of protein and is almost always fatal if left untreated, or if treatment starts too late.

The Department of Health has said it is committed to training staff so the early signs can be spotted and treatment put in place.

That’s not the point!

The issue is the fact that the Tories have allowed this disease to arise in the first place.

As readers are no doubt tired of reading by now, the UK is the fifth-largest economy in the world. There is enough cash here to ensure that nobody goes without.

But the Tories have rigged the system so most of the money goes to people who are already rich, while the benefit and healthcare systems – that should save the people they have impoverished – have also been starved of the resources they need.

The Telegraph has said the vast majority of the increased admissions involve elderly patients, with malnutrition only diagnosed after they were admitted to hospital for other reasons, such as a fall.

That paper quoted charities who said the figures were “shocking,” with vulnerable people being left to starve for want of help at home or in care homes.

Yet a majority of pensioners still, it seems, religiously vote Conservative – despite the fact that Tory policies are threatening them with early death.

According to Welfare Weekly, the UK’s largest food bank network, Trussell Trust, provided a record 1.6 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, a 19 per cent increase on the previous year. This included more than half a million children.

The charity blamed Universal Credit for leaving households without the financial means to feed themselves adequately.

And figures released on August 23 revealed that the NHS is spending only £3 a day on meals for each patient. How much nutrition are they going to get with that?

It seems clear that the Conservatives are failing vulnerable people across the spectrum, from children right through to pensioners – and justifying it with mealy-mouthed excuses.

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Tories will strip the elderly of pensions while they’re in ‘worst poverty in western Europe’


Iain Duncan Smith’s plan to raise the age at which people may claim state pension above the age at which many people may expect to die is evil enough.

It strips people of even the hope of receiving the pensions they have funded for their entire working lives.

But it becomes even worse when you realise that the Conservative government has already put UK pensioners in the worst poverty of any country in western Europe:

The SNP has warned the Tory government against a “callous assault” on UK pension policy by increasing the state pension age, which they say would have dire and disproportionate consequences across the UK.

Pension Reforms and Old Age Inequalities in Europe in a new report … found the proportion of elderly people living in severe poverty in the UK is five times what it was in 1986 – the largest increase among western European countries.

The SNP’s Westminster Pensions spokesperson, Mhairi Black MP, said: “The Tory’s government’s approach to the UK’s elderly population and state pension policy has been cruel and callous, and has punished the UK’s elderly population.

“From the burning injustices facing the WASPI women who have been denied the right to their state pension, to the stripping away of pension credit for the over 75s, this government’s attitude towards its older people is shameful.”

That is simply diabolical.

In contrast, perhaps you should bear the following in mind:

Labour’s election manifesto rejects increases in the state pension age above the age of 66.

That was Labour’s manifesto position in 2017 and it hasn’t changed.

That’s worth remembering, next time an election is called.

Source: UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

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Why is the TV Licensing authority persecuting this pensioner?

This is another indictment against outsourcing giant Capita, which collects TV licence fees on behalf of the BBC.

Capita recently had to drop an appeal against a court ruling of maladministration after it advised the Department for Work and Pensions that a claimant did not deserve the Personal Independence Payment. She was dead within four months.

Now it seems the firm has perpetuated the 22-year-long harassment of Derek Cheesbrough, who gave up watching television in 1997 but has received an intimidating letter demanding that he pay his licence fee every month since.

A pensioner who gave up watching “rubbish” television 22 years ago has blasted TV Licensing for sending him 100 “intimidating” letters.

Fed-up Derek Cheesbrough wrote to officials in 1997 telling them he would no longer be watching the box as he thought he was “one of those clever people who could be selective and switch off”.

But he claims that he had a letter telling him he was breaking the law within a week.

Mr Cheesbrough, of Plymouth, Devon, has now received his 100th monthly warning – each one advising him of the consequences of illegal viewing.

Who is responsible for giving contracts to this firm and do they ever check its record first?

Source: Pensioner without TV gets 100th letter from TV Licensing

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BBC spits in supporters’ faces with huge pay rises while forcing OAPs to pay licence fee

I was willing to support the BBC over the licence fee controversy, because it’s the Tory government that is forcing pensioners aged over 75 to pay.

But this new move by the Corporation makes no sense at all.

In a move that seems intended to push supporters away, BBC bosses have announced wage hikes averaging nearly £7,000 per person and accounting for a £7.9 million slice of the licence fee.

The money could have paid the £154.50 annual licences for around 51,000 pensioners.

This is not responsible use of the licence fee when people whose annual income is only slightly more than this pay rise are being forced to fund huge income increases for already very rich BBC employees.

BBC bosses are under fire after it was revealed staff received bumper pay rises while free TV licences are being withdrawn to the over-75s.

Salary increases of between 10% and 20% were handed to 889 staff – and 256 were given more than 20%.

The news has been blasted by campaigners for OAP rights.

Source: BBC dishes out over 1,000 huge pay rises while it axes pensioners’ TV licences – Mirror Online

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Nearly a quarter of the UK population has been pushed into poverty – but Tories don’t care about the poor

Tory fail: Pensioner poverty has risen under Conservative government policies.

Around 14.3 million people in the UK are now living in poverty, with seven million suffering “persistent” poverty and 4.5 million at least 50 per cent below the poverty line.

The revelation, in a report by the Social Metrics Commission, comes after it was revealed that Boris Johnson’s senior advisor believes Conservatives don’t care about the poor.

Dominic Cummings, who was also a chief architect of Brexit, said at the Conservative Party Conference in 2017: “People think, and by the way I think most people are right: ‘The Tory party is run by people who basically don’t care about people like me.’

“I know a lot of Tory MPs and I am sad to say the public is basically correct. Tory MPs largely do not care about these poorer people.”

It means Mr Johnson is unlikely to do anything about the fact that illness and disability disproportionately influences whether people live in poverty: 6.8 million people – 48 per cent of those in poverty – are in a family where someone has a disability.

Overall, 22 per cent of the population now live in poverty – and Tory policies appear to be responsible.

Poverty among pensioners rose from nine per cent in 2014-15 to 11 per cent in 2019.

Among children, it stood at 31 per cent in 2014-15 – and is now at 34 per cent.

And with Boris Johnson determined to push through a “no-deal” Brexit that is already damaging the economy and has sent the value of the pound plummeting, we can expect worse to follow.

Because he’s a Tory, and he doesn’t care about the poor. We’ve got that from his senior advisor so we can believe it.

Source: 7 million people in the UK are ‘living in persistent poverty’, report says

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Tories to inflict poverty on millions of pensioners after secret licence fee deal with BBC

Conservative pensioners: Why do you vote for a party that is determined to reduce you to poverty and misery?

The latest step in the Tory attack on pensioners is a stealth tax on television and the radio: From June 2020, 3.7 million pensioner households will have to stump up £154.50 a year for a TV licence.

The change will push many elderly viewers and listeners into poverty, according to charities including Age UK.

The BBC says it needs the money – it says the cost of the over-75s subsidy is £745 million (if you check that against the number of households affected and the cost of the licence, those numbers don’t add up, by the way) – equivalent to the cost of BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, the BBC News channel, CBBC and CBeebies.

What does that leave? BBC1 and the radio channels? And they cost 80 per cent of the licence fee?

It seems to This Writer that someone must be drawing down an extremely fat salary!

That’s a question we need to discuss, but there is an even more important issue here:

This is another stealth tax by the Conservative government.

The intention is to ‘nudge’ people into believing that the BBC is greedily demanding money from vulnerable pensioners but this is not true.

The subsidy was brought in by the New Labour government in 1999, when Gordon Brown promised to pay the BBC to provide the service.

Tory Chancellor George Osborne reversed that agreement in 2015 when he told the BBC the government would stop paying the subsidy by June 2020.

It’s a typical Tory tactic.

They starved councils of funding, forcing them to cut services to the public. Who got the blame? The local authority.

They privatised huge swathes of the National Health Service, meaning that public funds were diverted into the profits of private firms and services suffered while the Tories were claiming to be increasing funding massively. Who got the blame? The NHS.

Now this.

Worse still, the Tories are using this as an opportunity to introduce means-testing for over-75s. They will demand to know how much money each household receives, in order to determine whether it should have a subsidised licence.

But the idea of means-testing by asking whether households are in receipt of pension credit is fatally flawed.

Many households don’t even know they qualify for the benefit because the Conservative government hasn’t bothered to tell them.

So bravo to the BBC for announcing the change on the day the Tory leadership contest got started.

Hopefully it will become an issue that a new Tory leader will promise to address – although we should all know by now that a Tory promise isn’t worth the air used to speak it.

Source: BBC confirms plans to make over-75s pay TV licence fee | Media | The Guardian

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POLL: Disability reassessment for pensioners to be phased out – but will all DWP changes be as good?

This is welcome:

People receiving PIP who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review at 10 years. Nearly 290,000 people of State Pension age are in receipt of PIP.

From Friday, new claimants to PIP whose review would have been scheduled after they had reached State Pension age will receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at 10 years.

Applying this change to new claimants is the first step and it will be extended to existing PIP claimants above State Pension age in the coming months.

But what about this?

Other improvements include combining the separate assessment processes for PIP, Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit into one integrated service from 2021.

The integrated service will simplify the assessment process for millions of people claiming health related benefits, reducing the need to submit information multiple times and for some people reducing the number of face-to-face assessments.

Simplifying the assessment process, for a Conservative, means making it harder for a UK taxpayer to access a state benefit.

I fear that combining the assessments for PIP, ESA and UC will mean joining the most draconian aspects of each in order to deprive claimants of the benefits they are due.

Time will tell if I’m right – but what do you think?

Source: Unnecessary disability reassessments for disabled pensioners to be phased out – GOV.UK

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It’s freezing out! How long until we hear of the first cold-weather death of a pensioner?

When I woke up this morning (October 30), the temperature outside was -6C and the cat was begging me to let her get into bed with me to get warm.

It seems autumn has been and gone, and we have made the transition from balmy summer into frigid winter with the kind of rapidity that some people find hard to accommodate – especially those who are past retirement age.

It seems it is time for the annual Tory pensioner cull.

The number of deaths due to cold weather has increased rapidly since the Conservative Party took office in 2010, reaching a high of 48,000 (if you can believe the source) between December 1 last year and the end of April, 2018.

This happened at a time when almost a million fewer pensioners qualified for cold weather payments than the previous year (1.7 million, compared with 2.6 million in 2016-17), due to a rise in the state pension age for women, Budget measures since 2011 and changes under the new-style state pension.

This year’s Budget has done nothing to help:

Conservatives think it’s funny.

Do you remember the tweet from the abortive Tory youth organisation Activate, remarking on the cold weather earlier this year?

It stated: “As the cold settles in and the national gas supply is running low we are hearing horrific stories…

“All across the country, Socialists are being forced to put their hands in their own pockets.”

The backlash put them firmly in their place, and may have contributed to the demise of Activate. My personal favourite response was, “I hope your arrogance keeps you warm tonight.”

As I stated in March, This is the Tory attack on the old.

Pensions cost the Department for Work and Pensions more than all its other expenditure combined. Tories hate paying them to people who have actually worked for a living and paid their taxes and National Insurance.

So they are raising the age at which people can claim their pension, and changing the conditions under which it is drawn.

It’s a short-sighted policy, because pensioners are now the Conservative Party’s main constituency.

It may be some small consolation to the families of those whose lives are endangered – or lost – because of these selfish politicians, if they are ousted from power for many years as a result.

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