57 2 mins 9 yrs

Interesting question here;

“The Conservatives could go into the next election warning pensioners to expect a cut in their benefits, the Work and Pensions Secretary has suggested. Iain Duncan Smith said pensioners will get plenty of warning in a manifesto pledge “if there are going to be any changes made” to their benefits, which include free bus passes, television licences and prescriptions. His comments are likely to be seen as another strong hint that universal benefits for pensioners could be targeted for cuts after 2015.”

Now then, I am going to argue this both ways. Welfare DEFINITELY NEEDS to be cut and the more savage the cuts the better.

However, pensioners are a very special group, they have fixed income and are very vulnerable.  I would personally like to see Government take more care of them and it should find better areas for cuts. For example, how about we axe the £12 BILLION foreign Aid budget and direct it where it is needed – our senior citizens?

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57 thoughts on “SHOULD PENSIONERS BENEFITS BE CUT?

  1. The Conservatives could go into the next election warning pensioners to expect a cut in their benefits, the Work and Pensions Secretary has suggested.

    The last brain cell has finally fled Tory HQ. They fixate on gay marriage, foreign aid and nothing else Tories want, then go into the next election telling their strongest constituency that their benefits will be cut. A fantastic strategy.

    Still, yet more will discover that the state is not their friend and that it’ll cut you down without mercy.

  2. But there is no shortage of wealth:

    http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/Price_of_Offshore_Revisited_26072012.pdf

    – A significant fraction of global private financial wealth — by our estimates, at least $21 to $32 trillion as of 2010 — has been invested virtually tax-free through the world’s still expanding black hole of more than 80 “offshore” secrecy jurisdictions. We believe this range to be conservative, for reasons discussed below.

    Remember: this is just financial wealth. A big share of the real estate, yachts, racehorses, gold bricks — and many other things that count as non-financial wealth — are also owned via offshore structures where it is impossible to identify the owners. These are outside the scope of this report. –

    David – if you examine this report, you will find that a huge portion of wealth of the UK has been smuggled offshore without being taxed, and this over decades. Why not make the richest 0.001% pay their taxes and give the poor a break. It’s not as if there are loads of jobs out there. And if the mega-rich are taxed, the pensioners will get a decent pension too.

  3. “Still, yet more will discover that the state is not their friend and that it’ll cut you down without mercy.”
    It’s not that the state is not your friend, it’s that politicians are eager to stay in power whatever it takes…
    As I keep on saying it is the lack of consultation with the people they profess to represent which causes the problems.
    Seeing as our only income has been the state pension until Mrs Agit8ed got her job, I certainly don’t want to see pensions reduced.

  4. Seeing as our only income has been the state pension until Mrs Agit8ed got her job, I certainly don’t want to see pensions reduced.

    Agit, excuse me for being nosey, but at your ripe age, are you saying you have no company or private pension?

  5. Exactissimo Harri.
    I did a total of eighteen years unpaid voluntary work.
    We had a guesthouse business that went wrong when the interest rates shot up in the early ’90s.
    We lost everything, so we relied on the state pension ’til Mrs Agit8ed got employed about six months ago.

  6. Sorry to hear that Agit ..

    Mind you, we were conned talked into by veiled threats of financial doom & gloom to opt-out of final salary pension, so instead of a good pension from the company/companies after nearly 37 years of pension payments and extra AVC payments, now we can look foward to only a fraction of what our salaries are.

    And my private pensions got raped when the engineered unfortunate ‘financial crash’ which apparently started in America according to Gordon Jonah Brown the financial God, anyway, the pensions lost a serious amount of cash, I know my cash has gone to someone somewhere, I just dont know who and where 😉

    And apparently now, I have to wait untill I am 67 before I can obtain my State pension which I have paid full stamp for over the alloted 33years and 3 month period.

    I am not too sure if that revolution is just around the corner, but I do know it can not come quick enough .. sooner rather than later, something is going to give.

    It can’t go on like this, the State theft has to stop surely at some point.

  7. Aye and there’s the rub Harri.
    My choice was to act on my Christian faith, and then in the early ’80s I returned to England, and took up paid employment.
    You chose another sensible route and worked hard and prepared for retirement. So actually I feel more sorry for you than you should for me! it’s all down to choices.
    WE have all that we need, we have a home, and we trust that whatever happens God will help us to cope.
    I go along to pulmonary rehabilitation on Monday mornings. That’s because my airways are so narrowed through scarring I have to plan how to get things done. But some of the people in our group are really in a bad way. You have to make the best of things, and I believe that being at peace with God is more important than anything else.

    “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.”
    Psalm 146:5+6.
    It is right to sensible and plan, but when things go wrong then what do you do?

    Anyway I truly am sorry things aren’t as bright as they might have been.

  8. Harri – the state is acting as a confiscation officer for the banking/finance cartel which owns the government. As things continue, it can be foreseen when this cartel will own everything except for the little drop which will allow some of us to get by. The only response is to keep one’s money out of the system.

  9. Agit, Allan

    In my view and experiance of what I see and read on a daily basis, that and with a fair few years behind me of trying to do what is right, and what the State insisted we saved for (all to no avail) I see this quite crystal clear ..

    No matter what ordinary people go through, all they possess, the holidays they have saved and scrimped for, the food they work for to put onto the family table and in the Larder, the clothes on their childrens backs, there meager savings, the ever burdening costs of travelling to and from work, what is left of there once proud pensions, their homes, that second hand car that somehow they keep going, the paying of ever increasing utility bills, and so on and so on… all of this and so much more, is achieved not because of the ‘State’ the government or any of it’s insufferable oafs of politicians, no, its all achieved in spite of them.

    W

  10. I have absolutely no doubt, that Totalitarian society is not that far away, and for that I am forever fearfull for the future of my children and grandchildren.

    I will not know just to what to say to my Grandchildren, when they look me in the eye, and asked why we did nothing to stop it?

  11. Harri,
    “I have absolutely no doubt, that Totalitarian society is not that far away..”

    I am in two minds about that. I certainly do believe it is likely, but not absolutely inevitable.
    It seems to me that whilst God uses our freewill decisions to draw human history to a close, we in our generation can put it off.
    I do believe we could have a peaceful revolution if enough folk got sufficiently motivated to call our politicians’ bluff.
    The system works against us by turning us into “drones” with commitments. That ensures we don’t have the time or an alternative support system to challenge the existing state of affairs.
    However if enough people got involved and railed against the government it coulkd be changed.
    I don’t go as far as Allan in thinking there is a sinister conspiracy pulling the strings. I think “it just growed” and now politicians and powerful organisations try to have their way whilst keeping most of us too preoccupied and content enough with our lot not to rock the boat.

  12. Agit.

    With reference to Allan and his ‘conspiracy theories’ I have read just about every post that all ATW contributers have posted over some years now, not once have I yet witnessed anyone proving Allan wrong… not once.

    Apart from the usual cop-out wailing ‘Conspiracy theorist’, Holocaust denier .. blah blah blah.

    I have made my position clear enough, one can only put all this State control that just happens to be occuring across the globe at the present time to ‘just another coincidence’ so many times.

    I appreciate your strong faith in God and your Christian values Agit, but I can assure you my freind they are totaly wasted on me, but many thnaks for the thoughts anyway.

  13. “I appreciate your strong faith in God and your Christian values Agit, but I can assure you my freind they are totaly wasted on me, but many thnaks for the thoughts anyway.”

    I know that Harri!
    Re Allan and conspiracy theories I think that mankind is not clever enough to plan or manage events. I do think that just as in RoboCop people are beginning to realise that more control is going to necessary as resources, living space and water etc become scarcer. The technological information revolution will make that easier.

  14. Petrkin,
    He’s gotta be a friend of yours.
    After all, HE’S on the side of the people too!

    Looks kind of like John Candy with haemorrhoids.
    Imagine living next door to him! You’d be afraid to go out and feed the birds.

  15. Oh I don’t know, Piers Morgan is truly a self-righteous shit, but he is not that bad 😉

  16. Harri,
    I don’t much care for Piers either, but THAT American guy is about ready to explode. That is seriously scary.
    btw,
    I don’t think Petr’s comparison is a fair one. I don’t think anyone on ATW remotely compares to that guy.

  17. I was just making fun Agit, but to be honest I do think Allan is as nutty and obsessed as Alex Jones. Pete’s not far behind.

  18. Here you go!
    The new approach to work and pension disputes..

    Harri,
    Just throw down your gun,
    NOW!

  19. Petr.

    With all due respect, show me one post where you personaly have proven Allan’s so called ‘Conspiracy theories’ wrong?

    So from yourself a ‘Non conspiracy theorist’ if someone who does not deny the Holocaust ever happened, but questions the tractor stat numbers the State tells us .. how does that make them a ‘Holocaust denier’ ?

    Is it the same as a Global warming ‘Denier’ but just a different era !

    Petr, I shall refer to you as a ‘Continued Coincidence theorist’ then … catchy 😉

  20. Crikey.

    Petr Tarasov wants capital control and he thinks it’s the others who are nutty conspiracy theorists!

    You should ask first what people think, Petr. If Alex Jones wanted some to suspect he’s getting a government paycheck, he couldn’t have done better than that chat with Pierced Organ.

  21. Pete

    I am surprised by your first comment on this thread, in which you seem to imply that you are against the governments plans to curtail universal pensioners benefits. Very unlike you.

  22. Agit

    LOL .. You have no idea just how close that is, even the name Jurgen 😉 well pretty close, his name his Jorg really , and his pension is so much better than mine ;-(

  23. Cutting pensions for seniors is breaking faith. Thre are clearly ample and necessary spending cuts that should come well before such a drastic measure.

  24. Feel the humour Mahons.

    We’re having a funny five minutes before breaking down in tears at the way life has treat us.
    Sniff.

  25. Colm –

    I didn’t mean to imply that. I was commenting from a practical, political view. Pensioners are a big Tory voting block, but then I suppose Tory HQ thinks they’re all racist reactionaries. It’s still a big vote loser.

    On what I think: yes, I am against the government reducing pensioner benefits. Pensioners are least able to get a job, their income is fixed, and they were promised a pension in return for the hundreds of thousands of pounds they’ve had looted.

    I’m in favour of the state telling younger people (choose whatever cut off age you like) to save their own pension. They should do anyway. It’s a mega-ponzi scheme. There’s no money in the pot. One day the state will stop paying out. The maths are unarguable.

  26. Pete

    The proposals are about stopping the practise of giving things like free TV licences and bus passes and winter fuel allowances to all pensioners regardless of income , not about reducing the state pension itself. Surely wealthy pensioners should not be being subsidised with ‘freebies’ paid for by working people many of whom will have a lesser income. I can’t believe you support such state organised redistribution.

  27. In principle I approve of means tested benifits like these extras for pensioners. However if it turns out to be more expensive to do it because of the administration, then in practice I am against it.

    Harri that sound very rough. In some ways I am lucky to have my wee collection of disorders as it makes personnal organisation difficult and so I rarely get round to taking action on such things. So I never even got to thinking about opting out f my final salary based pension. I also got a few tips on shares from a friend of mine but again coykdn’t organise myself enough to apply. So I didn’t lose money but he did.

  28. Upper means pensioners may be presumed to have paid more into the pot over a lifetime, so they’d not be subsidized by any working class folks.

    Cutting benefits to them would be an act of redistribution.

    And depending where one draws the line, it could mean that a lot fewer ” rich ” support any social welfare programs at all. Reemember that Obama thought that millionaires were those who made over $250.000 per year. A so called ” millionaire ” who pays more into the kitty over a lifetime only to receive zero pension/other things is not gonna be a happy camper.

  29. Phantom

    It depends what you mean by benifits? I don’t count pensions as benefits (unless the pensions given to people who have not paid for one (in paying NI contributions).

  30. if they have another income they don’t need assistance from the state, those with enough coming in should have state benefits cuts to help out others less well off.

  31. Means testing has already happened, as most retirees of means have paid more taxes over a lifetime.

    If there is to be any distinction, they should get proportionately higher pensions, and ” bus passes ” on British Airways first class seats on a space available basis.

    It’s only fair!

  32. Phantom

    How is that means testing?

    It could be argued that many retirees of means haven’t paid that much in tax as the reason that they are “of means” is that they avoided a lot of tax by putting the money into their pensions 🙂

  33. State pensions should not be cut as people have specifically paid in for them and they take accounted them in planning their retirement. State pension that you have paid for is not a benifit.

    A bus pass s a different matter. I have paid towards them as any tax/rate payer does but I haven’t been paying my mine specifically.

  34. Harri that sound very rough. In some ways I am lucky to have my wee collection of disorders as it makes personnal organisation difficult and so I rarely get round to taking action on such things. So I never even got to thinking about opting out f my final salary based pension. I also got a few tips on shares from a friend of mine but again coykdn’t organise myself enough to apply. So I didn’t lose money but he did.

    Aileen.

    Shares, now there is another thing, I chose to take part of my salary in share options, all fine and dandy one would think, The total amount of shares purchased from my company and there values are still added to my monthly salary at the current market value as ‘benefits in kind’ and are taxed at the normal rate + NI, those same shares have to be kept for a minimum of 5 years to become ‘Tax free’? Yet more state theft, they have already had tax and NI paid once.

    No matter what one does the State truly believes it is their God given right to take what it wants, when it wants.

    Anyone who is still on a final salary pension is one of the lucky ones .. just like MP’s.

  35. Aileen

    I only seek fairness and justice.

    Those who put in more over a lifetime ( via means testing of his income ) should get at least a little more than the guy who paid little.

    From each according to his abilities, and to each in a rough proportion to what he has paid in.

    Even Karl Marx would agree with the general fairness of this modest proposal.

  36. Making the ” rich guy ” pay more tax over a lifetime and then giving him less benefit when retired is unfair discrimination, at the point of a gun, at all stages of life.

    And for Christ’s sake – arguing over bus passes? You think that the truly rich want to take the bus? They have the Bentley for travel purposes.

  37. It matters not a jot if someone has millions in the bank or nothing .. if over there lifetime of working they have paid for that bus pass, or have paid into ‘the system’ then they are entitled to all of it, just because the State has pissed all their hard earnt up the wall over many years, that’s the states problem no-one elses.

    As for ‘National insurance’ I am sure somewhere I read that NI was introduced after the World wars to help the Country get back on it’s feet, and was only intended, or pledged to be in place for a number of years.

  38. Phantom

    Means testing means (too many means 😉 ) you get whatever it is based on your means/need. As I said many of the rich guy pensioners are so because they paid relatively little tax.

    Harri
    I know I’m lucky. Although a good pension was part of the deal when I joined the Civil Service. I am miffed at the government changing to rules for money I paid in way way back when Civil Service pay was significantly less for equivalent work in the private sector. I don’t have the same objections to what happens to the contributions I pay now in different times.

  39. The original State pension was launched in 1948 to the tune that all would pay in the same and all would receive the same, and that would be some 80% of the mean average blue collar wage would be the pension.

    That would mean, in todays terms some 80% of £450 p.w. i.e £360 p.w. – the pension is in fact, a mere basic £120 p.w.

    So the so-called benefits of tv licence, bus pass and fuel allowance are but a small compensation for a total retraction of the original promise, and we all know no-one can live on promises, and particularly political promises.

    That the pension scheme was a ponzi scheme from the start was pointed out by opponents at the time, with pensions being paid for directly from incoming premiums and not from the benefit of having the funds invested to produce the income to pay the pensions.

    At the time it was suggested that premiums should be collected for some six months before actual payment of pensions started, this was contemptuously dismissed by Attlee and co. as being unfair. Yes, even back then politicians were scumbags…

  40. Near the beginning of this thread, I linked to a report which claimed that there are huge amounts of money and the assets bought with even more money which have been siphoned out of the US/UK and not subject to fiscal assessment (tax). These sums are so enormous that had they been taxed, the little people like us would not be subject to the invasive fiscal voyeurism that affects us now.

    At least as bad as this is the tax system which we do have. National Insurance is a tax and should be abolished at the cost of increasing tax rates but at the saving of an entire bureaucracy which collects it and the additional time spent by us having to calculate paying it. VAT should be scrapped and a no-exemptions sales tax of 5% imposed on everything, plus one single rate of tax on income above £10,000 and a higher rate on income above £100,000. Indeed, the effects of entire budget speech should be on a piece of A4 paper and that should be mandatory on any Chancellor.

    It’s not just the tax rates that are the problem: it’s the web of tax. The whole system must be simplified.

  41. Ernest.

    I agree whole heartedly, the Politicians most certainly are all scumbags and insufferable self-serving oafs, but just how have we all let them get away with being utter scumbags for so long.

  42. Sitting on your arse commenting on blogs rather than becoming politically active might have played some role in that.

  43. Allan

    For once we agree.

    There should be a vast simplification of the tax system – certainly in the US, and it sure sounds like it needs to be done in the UK.

    In the US, the problem is that there are so many deductions from taxable income and so many who would fight to the death to preserve them ( home mortgage interest deduction, charitable contribution deduction, electric car purchase deduction, etc )

    I would strongly favor a radical change to a simpler system. I think that people would still buy houses in the absence of a mortgage deduction, and that decent people would still give to charity without a charity deduction.

    BTW, if someone legally immigrates to the UK at the age of say 63, do they still qualify for a British pension and all the other old age stuff?

  44. Colm –

    The proposals are about stopping the practise of giving things like free TV licences and bus passes and winter fuel allowances to all pensioners regardless of income , not about reducing the state pension itself.

    But that would reduce the pension. TV licences (which the state mandates as a necessary expense in the first place, and then “subsidises”) and bus passes are just part of the pension, just not a cash part. Removing them is a removal of part of the total pension compensation.

  45. Petr’s link at 7.00pm shows a ham actor Alex Jones discrediting the case for allowing members of the American public to have access to guns. I’m with Pete – it’s deliberate. Here’s some even hammier acting and a comment from one of the viewers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMINqFGNr-w&feature=player_embedded#!

    – I worked at a theatre of performing arts for years.Building sets,hanging lights and sitting through countless rehearsals.That guy is “finding his moment”…he goes from laughing and smiling then.pauses,thinks of something sad, and goes into his lines.Hes not even all that good.Its pretty obvious. –

  46. Still on the acting theme, but just look at these acting troupe, and watch especially for Lt. Paul Vance (any relative?) at 01.40 onwards:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlhKh6tzYFM&feature=player_embedded

    DENVER, CO, October 31, 2012 — A new group of actors is now available nationwide for active shooter drills and mall shooting full-scale exercises, announced Visionbox, Denver’s leading professional actors studio.
    Visionbox Crisis Actors are trained in criminal and victim behavior, and bring intense realism to simulated mass casualty incidents in public places.
    The actors’ stage acting experience, ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary American theater, enables them to “stay in character” throughout an exercise, and improvise scenes of extreme stress while strictly following official exercise scenarios.
    The actors regularly rehearse scenarios involving the Incident Command System and crisis communications, and appear in interactive training films produced in both 2D and stereoscopic 3D.
    Producers Jennifer McCray Rincon and John Simmons formed the group to demonstrate emerging security technologies, help first responders visualize life-saving procedures, and assist trainers in delivering superior hands-on crisis response training.
    For example, with a large shopping center, the producers review all security camera views and design dramatic scenes specifically for existing camera angles, robotic camera sweeps, and manually-controlled camera moves.
    The producers then work with the trainers to create a “prompt book” for the actors so that key scenario developments can be triggered throughout the mall shooting simulation, and caught on tape.
    The actors can play the part of the shooters, mall employees, shoppers in the mall, shoppers who continue to arrive at the mall, media reporters and others rushing to the mall, and persons in motor vehicles around the mall.
    Visionbox Crisis Actors can also play the role of citizens calling 911 or mall management, or posting comments on social media websites.
    During the exercise, the producers use two-way radio to co-direct the Crisis Actors team from the mall dispatch center and at actors’ locations.
    Within this framework, the exercise can test the mall’s monitoring and communications systems, the mall’s safety plan including lockdown and evacuation procedures, the ability of first responders and the mall to coordinate an effective response, and their joint ability to respond to the media and information posted on the Internet.
    Security camera footage is edited for after-action reports and future training. –

    Indeed 🙂

  47. Poor pensioners should be looked after- no argument there.

    However,pensioners on average have more wealth than younger people- we should not be distributing goodies to the elderly regardless of their income and net wealth. Someone who is living in a £500000 house should not receive free tv licenses paid for by people who can’t afford to move out of a dingy flat, regardless of age.

    The demographics are already screwing over younger workers who have to support an increasing number of retired people while knowing that by the time they retire they won’t get anywhere near as many benefits.

  48. For a pension or benefit system to be fairer, contributions should be on a percentage basis.
    The mistake of socialism is in its determination to ignore human nature and spread the wealth, it ends up penalising the business builders and risk takers and legitimising the politics of envy.
    If a man on say £10,000 a year pays 15% of his wages to the State as tax, and so does a man on £100,000 but the State pension is aimed at ensuring the LOWER wage earner has a reasonable State pension to look forward to, then any private provision is up to all workers to arrange.

  49. Ross,

    ‘pensioners on average have more wealth than younger people’

    Hardly surprising as they have been around for a longe time, however, their wealth is, more often than not in the form of property, usually their home. There is a saying that many folk are ‘property rich but cash poor’. The trite reply is that then they should sell up and move on, – not so easy when you get older or the ‘market’ has virtually stopped working.

    That incidentally, is also the governments suggestion when it comes to paying for nursing home accomodation. They conveniently forget that cash is the lubricant of even the most simple of lifestyles.

    When it comes cash savings, the day has long gone when pensioners could put money on deposit or invest and expect to receive a modest interest rate by their ‘savings’ working for them, which invariably helped with the weekly bills, – remember these are the folk who cannot get off their bums and do a days work to earn a few bob!

    Another point to consider, government inspired inflation has seen, during an average pensioners lifetime, wages, as back in the 1940’s, of some five pounds a week rising, in the last decade to some five hundred pounds a week,- yes, a percentage of in excess of some 500%!

    We earned our living literally in shillings (5p) per hour, we saved, when we were able to, in pounds, and now, in our retirement we are expected to spend in the hundreds, if not the thousands!

    I think the government should be even more concerned with the fast increasing number of pensioners who will require assistance in future years.

    Perhaps the Livepool Care Path gives us an indicator of their thoughts and ideas on that little problem!

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