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to think giving bus passes and winter fuel payment to JSA cliaments by taking it away from wealthy pensioners is not "punishing pensioners"

(184 Posts)
dhdjdbrjrkbr Tue 03-Feb-15 17:37:07

I live in a very marginal constituency, lib dem won by narrow margin.

Anyway I wrote a long letter to all the parties I'm thinking of voting for.

Mostly they ignored the points I raised and pointed to useless policys like help to buy (that just exasperates the problem).

However the Tory guy said re bus passes and winter fuel payments he called it "punishing pensioners" to not give them universally.

The rest of the letter was bland crap, but this point really annoyed me. When I was on JSA luckily I had support from my family to get through, but I really needed them and it was very grating when I was often spending more than I got on JSA On buses to hear pensioners talking about their cruises or extensions.

grimbletart Tue 03-Feb-15 17:40:17

Ah, another bash a pensioner thread. Draws up deckchair, opens popcorn…...

dhdjdbrjrkbr Tue 03-Feb-15 17:44:15

What a stupid and wrong reply, if anything its a bash benefits at wealthy pensioners. In my life most of the people that find these universal benefits wrong are the people that get them.

rinabean Tue 03-Feb-15 17:47:31

It doesn't have to be jobseekers vs pensioners. Come on. Do you not want it to be so that all unemployed can still afford the bus and to heat their homes and all old people can too? What of the old people who are being bullied by their families into not spending any of their money because they think they've inherited already. You can't begrudge them a bus pass. And not having to pay for your ticket gives you an excuse to get out of the house a bit more which is a good thing.

Or how about I join in. Why should jobseekers be allowed to eat when I, a disabled person... some unemployed people are millionaires... come on, it's not productive.

Also means testing things costs a lot of money in and of itself. And it generally means it's harder to sign up, which is not good for people who are struggling to get out the house and who may not have internet etc.

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Tue 03-Feb-15 17:49:16

I don't agree with them being handed the cash it should go direct to the energy company so it's used on actual heating but would I means test it I don't know. Why should those that have worked hard and saved for retirement be penalised whereas those that didn't get it handed to them.

I think travel expenses to job interviews should be reimbursed but not a free bus pass for anything and everything. Neither should those who are not working get the winter fuel allowance, they already get benefits that need to be capped as too high.

florentina1 Tue 03-Feb-15 17:49:57

Take the money from those greedy so and so's in the House of Lords. Subsided restaurant and massive wine bill

LePetitMarseillais Tue 03-Feb-15 17:51:43

Well they've punished many with kids then as CB is no longer a universal benefit and mighty unfair in the way they've done it.But that's ok.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 03-Feb-15 17:59:23

It's just another way to set sections of society against each other, rather than being annoyed at politicians for creating the situation.

One in five pensioners live in poverty, like my disabled Mum, so not all pensioners are living in the lap of luxury. Likewise most on JSA have paid taxes, so they too have paid to fund the benefit they find themselves receiving, and getting less and less support whilst having paid the same.

There are no easy answers, but I can't help feeling that if wealthy individuals and corporations paid their fair share in taxation we could avoid facing choices like this. I've worked for an investment bank and they are, without question, avoiding tax on billions. It would be possible to legislate to ensure that less tax was avoided if bankers didn't own every government.

But that is wealth bashing.

Which seems to be very unpopular, unlike actually victimising the elderly, disabled and poor which is fine because they don't have any money.

dhdjdbrjrkbr Tue 03-Feb-15 18:00:09

Bean I don't disagree with all of you, but I was only suggesting removing it from wealthy pensioners so most of your points are moot.

Pensioners are already means tested so that would cost virtually nothing to means test these.

As we are in debt I'm suggesting removing it from people that don't need it to pay for people that do.

SilverDragonfly1 Tue 03-Feb-15 18:03:16

There are no easy answers, but I can't help feeling that if wealthy individuals and corporations paid their fair share in taxation we could avoid facing choices like this. I've worked for an investment bank and they are, without question, avoiding tax on billions. It would be possible to legislate to ensure that less tax was avoided if bankers didn't own every government.

Hell, yes.

And I love your name.

rinabean Tue 03-Feb-15 18:03:40

My points were specifically about wealthy pensioners. The money in the bank doesn't mean a lot with a lot of them. They either feel it's their duty to not spend any or they are being bullied into it.

This is the same reason CB wasn't means tested and why it shouldn't have been. Mothers need money for their children that their husbands are less able to take away - old people need bus passes and heating money that their children can't claim rightly belongs to them.

If you want to make savings how about taking it from somewhere it really doesn't need to be used. Not taking it from other people who might need it.

Voiceoffstage Tue 03-Feb-15 18:04:36

Actually JSA claimants don't universally get free bus passes - they are not paid for by DWP but by local authorities, bus companies etc. Also JSA claimants don't get winter fuel payments like pensioners. Those in receipt of the income based (means tested) JSA can get hard weather payments but the temperature has to drop to a certain level and keep it there for a certain period of time and then it's only about £11.

dhdjdbrjrkbr Tue 03-Feb-15 18:07:54

That makes no sense - a pensioner has a zillion in the bank but doesn't use it to pay the bus or heat their home unless they are given free money from tax payers?

dhdjdbrjrkbr Tue 03-Feb-15 18:08:27

All other benefits are given to people in need.

rinabean Tue 03-Feb-15 18:11:50

dhdjdbrjrkbr yes that's what I said isn't it? Have you never come across the concept of abuse before? Have you never come across the concept of people being unwilling to spend on themselves before? Jesus

With your whinging about tax payers I can't believe that you genuinely care about unemployed people either. (Also most elderly people have worked and paid tax you know.) I'll wait for your thread in 30 odd years where you're now talking about how they need to raid the JSA budget for old people like you.

echt Tue 03-Feb-15 18:13:45

Means testing doesn't work 5.5b pounds in unclaimed benefits by UK pensioners in 2013. There are still so many poorly- informed, baffled by the bureaucracy, proud older people out there.

dhdjdbrjrkbr Tue 03-Feb-15 18:14:33

Bean what a ridiculous POV.

PtolemysNeedle Tue 03-Feb-15 18:16:11

Pensioners are only means tested for pension credit, and I don't think it would be right to take WFA away from those pensioners that only just miss out on qualifying for that, so you would either need to piss off a whole lot of pensioners and deny them the means to heat their homes, or introduce a whole new round of means testing.

Bus passes are only paid for the pensioners that use them, many choose not to bother anyway because they have their own transport or are unable to use busses for whatever reason. Again, why piss off a whole lot of pensioners just to ensure that the very few who use it when they could afford to pay for their own don't get anything?

It is good that pensioners are encouraged to go out and about through the free buss pass, and they're only for off peak times when the busses are less busy anyway. Plus, the bus companies benefit so it's a little help to the economy and other bus users.

Depending on how your letter was worded, it might be entirely appropriate that the reply you got talked of punishing pensioners, because that seems to be what a lot of people want to do.

SoonToBeSix Tue 03-Feb-15 18:16:11

No rinabean most pensioners have not paid much tax. A significant number of female pensioners were sahm' and have barely paid into the system.
I think bus passes, winter fuel wtc should be means tested. My parents are quite well off but they give all of their winter fuel payment to my DM's widowed sister.

SoonToBeSix Tue 03-Feb-15 18:17:36

I meant etc not wtc.

echt Tue 03-Feb-15 18:24:12

Those SAHM pensioners were doing what the state felt was a fair enough job, raising children. The fact that this is no longer felt to be desirable is beside the point. In terms of the social contact of the time, they were "paying into the system."

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Tue 03-Feb-15 18:24:14

Thank you Silver you are most kind. grin

It seems that people are obsessed with filling in the funding gap through spending less. It would be filled equally as well and with less personal hardship of we increased taxation on the wealthiest individuals and corporations.

The top 5% are the only group who have actually increased their net wealth in the last five years. Surely if they are richer and everyone else is poorer, they should be taxed more to reflect their change in circumstances?

SoonToBeSix Tue 03-Feb-15 18:26:37

echt I am not knocking sahm, I am a sahm I haven't paid much in the way of taxes though.

Viviennemary Tue 03-Feb-15 18:34:48

I think the age pensioners qualify for bus passes and winter fuel allowance could be raised to say 70. I don't agree with making it means tested. Female pensioners who have never worked and have stayed at home will not qualify for a full state pension if not means tested.

MoanCollins Tue 03-Feb-15 18:36:14

We're in an odd situation now. 20 years ago the vast majority of pensioners would have been people who grew up in the 20s and 30s who had very hard lives to begin with, faced hardship during the war and depended on their state pension and also faced a great deal of hardship in their old age.

But times have changed. People hold onto an idea of pensioners being little old ladies eking out a meagre pension. In reality they're likely to be members of one of the most privileged generations that we've ever had. People who had access to cheap housing, free education, massively higher levels of social mobility, good pensions and high levels of disposable income.

They won't give it up and there's nothing we can do about it because there's more of them and they vote. I know a lot of that generation like to think of themselves as left wing, and I think the only way it could change is if a political party stood up and asked them to make a sacrifice to help the younger generation. Accept policies which meant their house was worth less, lose their benefits, agree to give more up to fund their care in their old age. But they won't.

It frustrates me. My parents get it, they go on holiday 5 or 6 times a year including to the Carribbean. To some extent it's understandable as my Dad is disabled and has a health condition which means he feels better if he spends time in a warm environment. But I do find it hard to swallow sometimes when I'm struggling to pay for the childminder and buy school uniform and I wonder why they get help that I don't.

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