'wealthy pensioners urged to give up benefits'

(158 Posts)
mirry2 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:54:22

How wealthy is wealthy?

newgirl Mon 29-Apr-13 12:01:57

People in their 60s now did not live through the war and the women I know have not paid taxes but have accrued wealth through husbands and property - two I'm thinking of live in 4 bed houses and go on several holidays each year. I think a sensible threshold - like the child benefit cut is completely fair.

infamouspoo Mon 29-Apr-13 12:06:09

Even my 80 yo mother, while living through the war, didnt 'fight' in it as she was a little girl. So the war thing isnt really relevant unless you are 100.

Whats wrong with linking it to PTC which the poorer pensioners get?

grimbletart Mon 29-Apr-13 12:11:02

As a pensioner I have never taken up my bus pass, my WFA has been given to charity for years (I trust charities, on the whole, to spend money more wisely than governments do) and I don't receive a free TV licence. I also, like many comfortably off pensioners, give a lot of money to charity plus a lot of time to society via voluntary work. I am typical of many of my friends of the same age. I don't have an air of entitlement. Those that do are a minority who represent the untypical end of a spectrum in the same way that younger entitled 'benefit scroungers' represent an untypical end of a spectrum.

When posters such as Squarepebbles say a certain class of pensioner should have no entitlements at all, they should also remember that these pensioners were of a generation that had none of the entitlements such as maternity leave that her generation feels it is entitled to.

Swings and and roundabouts.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:11:17

My 80 year old Fil can't even rem the war(to the disappointment of all the grandchildren).

sherbetpips Mon 29-Apr-13 12:13:38

Squarepebble why is a pensioner who saved for there retirement and contributed to the overall welfare pot any less entitled to benefits than one who contributed little and did not save? I dont disagree that wealthy pensioners dont need it but its nothing to do with entitlement and therefore surely has to be voluntary?

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:14:42

A certain class should get no entitlements?hmm

I think I mentioned that families on 50k get nothing so neither should pensioners earning that before retirement. If as a class the younger generation shouldn't get anything neither should pensioners.

We should all be singing from the same hymn sheet.

Re maternity don't you need a job to get maternityconfused

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:18:32

Sherbet because many will have worked hard but been paid peanuts. Many won't have received golden plated pensions such as those we're talking about- neither will we.

Doesn't mean we will have worked less hard.

We'll be paying a lot more in but won't get benefits,probably little pension,no CB by the time the Tories have finished and will probably have to pay for some kind of extra health provision whilst working longer.

We'll have to poke up with it so not sure why today's pensioners shouldn't.

Bramshott Mon 29-Apr-13 12:20:04

Hmm - I wonder what the responses would be if IDS had suggested that those earning over a certain level shouldn't claim the maternity pay they're entitled to??

[playing devil's advocate to an extent, but I do think it's interesting!]

yetanotherworry Mon 29-Apr-13 12:20:34

MrsMarigold, I have that worry as well. II also realise that I am in a vulnerable position as SAHM with a small public sector pension behind me. I am hoping that I can re-start my career but its not one that's easy to egt back into so in the meanwhile I am siphoning off some off our household budget every month to at least have some savings.

I don't see that problem with means testing pensioner benefits such as WFA and free bus passes. However, free bus passes will encourage many of the old folk to use public transport instead of driving with failing eyesight and increasing dementia.

Also, how do you define wealthy? My Mil looks wealthy - when we were living overseas, she came to visit 3 or 4 times a year. Her income if fairly low (less than 1000/month) but she lives in a cheap area of the country, bought a small very cheap house, only puts her heating on when really needed and tends to wear her coat inside, buys cheap food and no alcohol or treats to keep her expenditure as low as possible to be able to have her holidays. Yet she has friends who think her pension must be huge - they have queried how she can do so much on a pension that is similar to theirs! Should she be less entitled than her friends who struggle to pay their bills, but live in larger houses which are warm, they buy more food and do have treats such as chocolate and alcohol.

grimbletart Mon 29-Apr-13 12:26:53

Re maternity don't you need a job to get maternity

Indeed you do need a job to get maternity leave Squarepebbles as in I am now a pensioner, I had a job for 50 years, I had children I had NO maternity leave entitlement.

I am merely making the point that before a certain class of pensioners is criticised for getting benefits, younger people who are now entitled to benefits that did not even exist when pensioners were younger should, perhaps, pause and think before they make assumptions about pensioners and what they do or don't deserve.

This from a pensioner who does not take her entitlements and does not resent the younger generation their benefits.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:29:27

But the same class of youngsters(the middle) don't get anything and have already lost CB,tuition fees for their children that pensioners had.confused

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 29-Apr-13 12:31:04

The benefits Oaps get have been paid into the system across lives. So, suggesting getting rid is ridiculous for the simple reason of cutting off our own noses to spite our faces! Do u think u might need this stuff when old? Possibly? Right, then lets keep them.

Once cut it will not return. Do u think ur wealthy enough? Will ur kids be? I don't, we won't be, they def wont so I will not support cutting now. That's over ANY party.

sherbetpips Mon 29-Apr-13 12:33:36

The problem will solve itself of course as you say squarepebbles as there simply wont be a pot to claim from when we get there.
I still think the tories are doing the right thing though, crap as it is we couldnt just carry on doling it out. Its the same cycle government one spends, the other cuts and saves up, one spends, the other cuts and saves up, and always it shall be. crappy politics but GB has never behaved any differently.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 29-Apr-13 12:34:00

Square u do need a job to qualify. U have to have worked 24 wks of a year. I know because my firm made me redundant. I had 23.5wks so didn't qualify.

Frustrating much?

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 29-Apr-13 12:34:27

For mat leave pay should have been in that sentence somewhere sorry...,

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:34:45

Erm. I don't want benefits for the rich for my generation either at the expense of the NHS if as a nation we can't afford them.

We can't.

"People in their 60s now did not live through the war and the women I know have not paid taxes but have accrued wealth through husbands and property - two I'm thinking of live in 4 bed houses and go on several holidays each year. I think a sensible threshold - like the child benefit cut is completely fair."

But this is anecdotal based on a couple of people you know.

What about attendance allowance? Someone could be on a very good pension (middle income - this may be the combination of the pensions of a married couple say - both of whom have worked/paid in for full pensions entitlement) but be extremely disabled and need to pay for significant amounts of care, additional heating (if still at home) etc. This can be extremely expensive. Should they not be able to afford appropriate care? Not all pensioners are healthy and swanning around on cruises! It isn't always appropriate to sell a home to pay for care either as sometimes one partner is disabled, but the other isn't and still needs to live in the home!

ComposHat Belgium Mon 29-Apr-13 12:39:15

I agree a 50k cut off seems fair for pensioners getting extras like WFA, bus passes, TV licences etc. seems like a fair, logical and consistent cut off point.

What I think is interesting is that IDS is asking them to consider donating the money to charity, rather than introduce legislation to remove benefits from them. Can you imagine the government rather than introducing the spare bedroom tax, asking social housing tenants to chuck a few quid in a Shelter collecting tin or promise to buy the odd copy of the Big Issue?

It is also interesting the rhetoric around working age benefit claimants, the government isn't shy about labelling them as shirkers despite evidence to the contrary, yet it doesn't label wealthy pensioners helping themselves to benefits they don't need without a second thought as greedy free loaders in the same way.

Is it a mere coincidence that wealthy pensioners are disproportionately likely to vote and vote Tory?

landofsoapandglory Mon 29-Apr-13 12:40:59

When you pay into the pot, you are not paying into a savings account for your retirement. You are paying for the services you use all through your life.

The pensioners will already have taken a lot out. They will have used the NHS, the roads, the emergency services, paid towards the Armed Forces, Social Services, Education, all the local authority services like refuse collection, libraries etc. So the "they've paid in all their lives" argument is weak IMO.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 29-Apr-13 12:41:15

I don't think means testing helps either. It doesn't look at the feckless or silly. How would u build a system that did? U obviously cannot. U fairly should not. If u have paid into any system over a life time u should be able to claim for the benefits of the day ur able to. I dislike this idea of introducing guilt to encourage people not to claim.

IDS is plainly a fool. They seem intent on losing the next election completely. I really don't get it, unless we are in such a shocker of a situation they would prefer labour in power instead so they don't have to sort stuff out. It's very depressing....

yetanotherworry Mon 29-Apr-13 12:41:20

The government is doing something about our pension provision when we are older - its increasing retirement age and increasing the pension contributions for public sector staff.

I am in a similar situation to yourself (similar income/children/SAHM) and whilst I can see that you're upset about CB reductions we don't need it, its nice to have but not essential. We never actually claimed our full 'entitlement' because of living overseas so maybe that makes me see how unnecessary it is. However I also don't see why just because I have had something taken away, then an equivalent should be taken away from someone else. Its like listening to my kids argue who deserves the last sweet in the packet!

yetanotherworry Mon 29-Apr-13 12:42:03

Sorry, that was meant for Squarepepples

Viviennemary Mon 29-Apr-13 12:44:05

I think it's a total nerve. All those millionaire Tories still claiming MP's expenses. Do they need them. No of course they don't. They should had them over before starting on pensioners. Pigs will fly first.

LadybirdsAreFab Mon 29-Apr-13 12:50:11

My parents receive the WFA but don't need it, they give it all back plus much more to charity. My DM did ask about refusing it/giving it back and was told it would cost more in admin/bureaucracy than it was worth.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:50:51

So yet if we don't need CB whilst raising 3 kids on a tight budget thanks to house prices( I actually dispute that as we do)why exactly do my inlaws who spend best part of 20k a year on holidays alone need benefits?

Sorry if I'm being dense but I don't get the logic.

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