The unfairness of proposals contained in the UK Governments pensions bill, blight us all.(33 Posts)
The House of Commons has voted to raise the retirement age for men and woman to 66 by 2020. This move will affect around 330,000 woman born between December 1953 and October 1954, who now face a steep rise in their State pension age.
But this unfairness are symptoms of a much bigger picture that is simply not arousing the nation?s anger, and it should be.
For 30 years the UK?s State pension has in itself been totally unfair, it has been far too low for our pensioners to live on, thus making the real issue, today?s level of basic State pension paid to 12 million pensioners, and it?s effect on today?s pensioners and future generations, which is happening now under this Tory lead coalition, but it started under Margaret Thatcher.
Since the 80?s, the UK?s elderly generation have already seen their ?contributory? basic State pension dwindle to below the poverty line, and this is without a doubt a shocking indictment of not only Government policy since the 80?s, but also British apathy letting it continue, because even now the onus is firmly on self interest, and not the existing generation of elderly people in this country and this region, the majority of whom struggle to live, struggle to heat their homes, and to eat properly.
Winter deaths among Britain?s 12 million pensioners since the 80?s is deplorable.
Between 1986 and 2010, 748, 460 elderly people have suffered untimely Winter deaths. That?s 239 per hour, which equates to 6,268 a day.
Millions of pensioners have and are going without food to pay their ever increasing household bills.
And British gas has announced that from August 18th, Gas prices will increase by 18 per cent and Electricity prices by 16 per cent, which represents £190 a year more for the average fuel customer, including millions of low income pensioners.
?Getting to the crux of this, and taking the much wider view, it was in the 80's, over 30 years ago, when Margaret Thatcher "reduced" NI contributions and income tax for all British workers, putting the onus on the private pension, whilst also moving the goalposts for our elderly people's State pension, so that pensioners contributory basic State pension would no longer have increases linked to male average earnings, but to the inflation rate, consequently and to date millions of pensioners are not receiving a fair State pension, and millions of pensioners live in hardship due to this policy which was not reversed by New Labour via reinstating the restoration of the link with male average earnings when Blair and Brown ran this country under the guize of a Labour Government.
It is only now that this coalition have in my view ?convinced? the general British public that increases in the State pension are ?unaffordable?, which is factually and economically a myth because Britain remains a very wealthy nation, and what it?s really about is how Government spreads the wealth, that today's workforce are being told they have to retire later, while government?s continually spend billions in taxpayers money overseas, and so the coalition are moving the goalposts again, and some woman are realising that they themselves are going to lose out, and they dont like it.
I would ask just how do they think our elderly people feel after decades of work, and contributions, to receive what amounts to a pittance ?, and to have the nation ignore them ?
I would ask any women how do they themselves feel about the level of State pension in this country in general, after our elderly people have paid taxes and NI contributions for 30, 40, and 50 years, after leaving school and starting work, and mainly the men in this generation, aged 15 ?., because the pensions issue are is not just about raising the retirement age.
Pensions are fundamentally about how we regard our elderly people, how much we respect their efforts, particularly the oldest pensions who took part in World War 2, and how we reward them today by allowing right wing Government?s since the 80?s to cut State pension and bring in means testing is a disgrace to our nation.
Because if it had not have been for the oldest pensioners during the 2nd World War, none of us would be here today, but we do not seem to respect this fact.
It is ridiculous to suggest that pensioners are not respected. That's a very inaccurate & insulting generalisation. Most pensioners today have made good use of private pensions, occupational pensions, other assets and savings to add to the state pension & make sure they have a comfortable retirement. A minority rely solely on the state pension and they are entitled to claim Pension Credits to top up their income. The fact that many don't claim the extra help is a concern but not an indication that they are not respected.
The biggest impact on pensioners today, I would say, are the very low interest rates and the poor performance of the stock market. Anyone with an annuity or relying on the interest on deposits for an income will have seen that reduced recently. Being on a fixed income of any kind makes someone more vulnerable if inflation gets out of hand.
One of the first things this Government did was restore the link between the State Pension and earnings (something long overdue).
You should welcome both that, and the IDS consultations on a simpler and higher flat-rate State pension.
You are right to highlight this issue. At least this Government is taking things in the right direction. It has received far too little attention for far too long.
This sounds very familiar, have you posted this before?
Oh, dear god, you again.
Look, this entire country is going down the swanny.
Pensions are about what the current taxpaper can afford, and at present, it's a damn site better than what the current taxpayer can ever expect to achieve.
The link with earnings wont be restored until next year, and the State pension increase, without means tested handouts, still wont be enough to live on.
For all who are posting in response to mine. Here is some information for you.
From last April, the National Insurance "surplus" stood at £41.832 billion.
And a billion is a thousand times a million.
Regarding the Deficit ?, you are all sheep, believing what you are told by your masters. baaa baaa
That old canard again.
If the Government had enough revenue, why does it need to borrow so much every year?
And what us the source of the statement about the "surplus"?
The National Insurance Fund Account 09/10 (as presented to Parliament - so open to public scrutiny) shows NI contributions (in £'000s) were £73,816,653: benefits paid out were £75,410,005.
The fund is in deficit.
Or are you alleging a "cover up" involving many HMRC and NAO staff and the connivance of every MP?
Well done EdithWeston. Very interesting.
Thanks, my pleasure!
The full picture is a bit more complex - there are receipts other than contributions (well down, as interest rates low), and payments other than benefits. It is definitely an overspend.
I haven't got enough historical data to hand to do a good year on year comparison to see if there's a trend. But given the longevity figures, this is currently pessimistic.
The NIF does have a balance (if there is ever an excess of contributions, they are not swept elsewhere) and I suppose that might be (rather erroneously) labelled as a surplus. But it is being eroded every year of overspend, and is a perilously small cushion, when set against the annual amount of payments out the fund.
Im stating that you do not know what you are talking about.
Every government borrows, its part of capitalism.
FWIW this government is borrowing like crazy. The national debt at the end of this year will be higher than it was last year sure as god made little green apples. The rate of increase will have slowed down a little, that's all, because of the cuts in spending. The interest payments on that borrowing are high, but would be considerably higher if the spending had continued at the same rate without being matched by an increase in revenue.
This country has gone down the swanney due to continued Thatcherism since the 80's.
Oh dear are you living in cloud cockoo land.
Millions of pensioners are living in poverty in Britain due to the low State pension in this country.
Just what world are you living in ?
Today's largely self interested middle class generation probably dont know or care that our elderly people came though much harder times, if they didnt have something, they went without. And they paid their contributions and their taxes when working
I despise Thatcher for her facist doctrine of the individual over society and community.
Ivanhoe is clearly one of the socialists who believe there is no need to worry about little things like affordability. Someone else should always foot the bill.
Don't let little things like "Facts" or "reality" get in the way of what idealistic doctrine.
Ivanhoe's politics are nowt to do with you or anybody else Niceguy2
I am just a little concerned about the money we spend abroad, and how right wing Government's since the 80's could'nt give a stuff about the British people.
So if in your opinion no govt since the 80's has cared about the British people, why don't you stand for election? Surely we need more caring folk such as yourself who I assume would put our concerns at the forefront of your mind at all times?
Presumably for one of the coalition parties? For it is, as pointed out above, they who have already restored the link to average earnings, and seem to be working on a plan that increases basic state pension by about 40%.
Sorry Scaevola, The restoration of the link to earnings will not be until next year. It is still only a proposal.
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