Am I a wealthy pensioner? I receive my police and state pensions. As I am 82 years old, this year, HMR&C give me a couple of allowances ie the Higher Age Allowance, the Married Couple's Allowance, oh I nearly forgot as I am over 80 I qualify for an additional 25 pence per week, less tax. HMR&C immediately claw this all back because my pensions exceed my personal allowance. Lucky me, I am not complaining. An accountant friend once said to me 'You are very lucky if you pay a lot of tax' I pay £4000 pa Income Tax, I pay my Council Tax, I pay my Road Tax and pay VAT on just about everything I buy. Not to mention tax on Gas, Light and Petrol. I am still not complaining !!! Because I qualify for a few 'Crumbs' to be returned to me, in the form of £300 pa heating allowance, a free TV licence and a Freedom pass. I was in full employment for fifty years and paid my dues into the system. Wealthy pensioners on 40% income tax paid and still paying, much more than me. Now Ian Duncan Smith is to stop Winter Fuel payments to pensioners living abroad, despite the fact that most pensioners have paid their dues all their working lives. Could somebody tell IDS it gets cold in France and Spain. But it is not only the Tories who seek to snatch the 'Crumbs' back. It would now appear that the other Parties are eying up pensioners. It is popular when Politicians say, why should wealthy pensioners get something for nothing. Let us take from the old people and give it to East European children and others, who have never set a foot inside the UK. I have had my moan for today. Bryan. 

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I hear on LBC this morning, the Lib Dems are planning to do away with the Married Couples Allowance, in favour of providing more Child Care. I am not complaining, because they will have a job removing mine, though I was born before 1935 I have a second pension (ie I Was a police officer for forty years) HMRC give me the married couples allowance then claw it back. They give with one hand and take it back with the other !!! I am still waiting for the definition of a Wealthy Pensioner, other than an Old British Taxpayer.

I read a very good post on this subject, but it has disappeared, where did it go? I see David Cameron has now pledged to keep the Winter Fuel Allowance, Free TV licences and the Freedom Pass, for Senior British Taxpayers. Not that, I would trust a Politician as far as I could throw a Grand Piano. Funny, I should think that. Last Wednesday I attended a Service Of Celebration for the Life of Sir Thomas MacPherson, at St Columba's Church Pont Street London. The Tribute was read by Sir Malcolm Rifkind (He also has popped up today !!!). Col. MacPherson was my CO at the London Scottish Regiment. He was the most decorated officer in World War11 with 3 MCs. His Book 'Behind Enemy Lines' Tells of his service with SoE

Oh, Bryan, you are trying to lure us onto political discussions ... I have a great respect for pensioners and for all they have done and contributed and I would no more want to see an old person in need than a child in need, but for me that does suggest that in difficult times benefits should be means-tested whether we are talking about child benefit, carers allowance or winter fuel allowance. Of course, one may respond that there are other places where money could better be saved, but then we just get sucked into even more politics :-) 

Hi Paul, you are right, I was trying to 'Lure members onto political discussions'. With the General Election in May, I thought what harm, if members shared their views and opinions. If politics and religion are 'Off limits' for The Forum there is little left to discuss. If my posts have caused any offence, this was never my intention. All my posts are written with my tongue firmly in my cheek. I am a peace loving man and as such, I have no time for politics or religion. However, in future I will no longer post on this Forum and only voice my opinion on my 'Facebook' page. I will also try to remove my recent posts. Yours aye. Bryan.

Well, that's woken me up. Please don't leave Bryan - your posts are always entertaining and informative and you would be a great loss to this forum, including those who tend to read rather than post, such as myself.

Seeing as politics (if not religion) affects just about every facet of daily life I fail to see how we could not discuss the subject, or what would be wrong with doing so as long as everyone respects others' views and nobody resorts to unparliamentary language.

On the subject of means-tested benefits, I am against them. Those in power at any one time (see the non-partisan commentary) might claim they save money, but any alleged savings are likely to be swallowed up by the requirement to have someone (often many people) to test those means, or at the very least someone to design, operate and maintain the systems that do so. I've come onto contact with a number of people who have suddenly found themselves in difficulty with receiving disability benefits; too many to believe that means-testing serves to weed out the comparatively few people who might "not need the money" whilst risking penalising those who do due to errors of judgement or lack of information, or lie along whatever arbitrary "cut off point" that someone might impose.

Bryan - like some of your posts, my opening phrase was slightly tongue in cheek. people are absolutely welcome to discuss whatever they like on this forum as long as they do so in a civilised way. Your posts are always civilised, so there is no concern there!! I suppose I was sorry that I don't agree with you insofar as you seem to be suggesting that pensioner benefits should be off limits for any potential efforts to reduce the budget deficit - it does seem to me a case of politicians looking to curry favour with a very segment of the population rather than assessing things on their merits. Anyway, perhaps I should just accept that disagreement is a natural and not always unhelpful part of life :-) 

Bryan Alderson B.E.M. said:

Hi Paul, you are right, I was trying to 'Lure members onto political discussions'. With the General Election in May, I thought what harm, if members shared their views and opinions. If politics and religion are 'Off limits' for The Forum there is little left to discuss. If my posts have caused any offence, this was never my intention. All my posts are written with my tongue firmly in my cheek. I am a peace loving man and as such, I have no time for politics or religion. However, in future I will no longer post on this Forum and only voice my opinion on my 'Facebook' page. I will also try to remove my recent posts. Yours aye. Bryan.

This week the FT had a very interesting article (free to read limited no of articles but need to sign up) on the relative fortunes of the young and the old. Here is a snippet:

The young and carefree used to have higher living standards than most in Britain. Despite the trials of inflation and unemployment in the 1960s and 1970s, people aged between 20 and 25 with average incomes after housing costs were better off than at least 60 per cent of population.

But a gradual slide, accelerated by the recession, has pushed the average young adults’ living standards so far down that they can now expect only 37 per cent of the population to have lower incomes after taking into account housing costs in 2012-13.

Replacing the young in the premier league of living standards have been people in their 60s and 70s. The average 65-70-year-old used to have lower living standards than 75 per cent of UK families. Now people in the same age group can expect to be almost in the top 40 per cent of family incomes.

The pattern of gains for the old at the expense of the young is repeated for rich and poor alike, but it is strongest for average and poorer families.

Those born in the 1940s belonged to a particularly lucky generation. On average they were relatively rich as young adults and remain relatively rich today. Those born in the 1980s and 1990s, however, have missed out on the former experience and have uncertain prospects as they age.

I like many others was born in the 1940's, hence a boom baby, we weren't relatively rich at all, we fought to get off the Council estates where most of us lived. The last of rationing was in the early 50's.

I like many others have become property rich money poor. I struggled to get onto the property ladder and as I have remained in my house for many years the price has gone up, my income has been left way behind. If I had remained in any sort of rented accommodation I would be able to claim housing benefits etc etc but because I own my own property my savings (what little I have) has to see to all the maintenance and everything that goes into running a house/home.

Bryan,

It was posted by accident before I had read it.

You sound a little surprised to have been singled out as a ‘Wealthy‘ Pensioner and politicians grabbing every crumb they can from us. A definition of a ‘Wealthy Pensioner’ maybe, if you are not reliant on social services, can pay your bills and afford to feed yourself without dying from hyperthermia, then you're ‘Wealthy’. Much the way politicians sought things out for themselves, but they do deserve it...don’t they?

By the very nature of the beast too many ‘leading Politicians’ are self serving and deceitful, telling you what they think you want to hear, patting you on the head whilst picking your pocket. Many having little if any relevance other than to themselves, creating untold damage, they are manipulative, disingenuous and some, not all, are intelligent but not very bright, many are eloquent but full of verbal diarrhoea.

When you hear the likes of IDS say ‘I have decided...’ with all the dismissive pompous arrogance and contempt he can muster, you just know, here is another failure FUBAR’ing everything that comes into his range!

Think back to just after the last election, the LibDems, did the rounds, running a Dutch Auction, at a time when the country was in crisis, the only thing they were interested in was negotiating their own selfish ambitions and 10 minutes in the sun.

Then we have the other group of ‘professional politicians’ who presided over the demise of the country, having had how many years in ‘charge’ to have put things right? Now have the affront to blame others, and, amazingly only they have the solutions to make things right. Really. If they weren’t so pathetic it would be laughable.



Clive said:

Well, that's woken me up. Please don't leave Bryan - your posts are always entertaining and informative and you would be a great loss to this forum, including those who tend to read rather than post, such as myself.

Seeing as politics (if not religion) affects just about every facet of daily life I fail to see how we could not discuss the subject, or what would be wrong with doing so as long as everyone respects others' views and nobody resorts to unparliamentary language.

On the subject of means-tested benefits, I am against them. Those in power at any one time (see the non-partisan commentary) might claim they save money, but any alleged savings are likely to be swallowed up by the requirement to have someone (often many people) to test those means, or at the very least someone to design, operate and maintain the systems that do so. I've come onto contact with a number of people who have suddenly found themselves in difficulty with receiving disability benefits; too many to believe that means-testing serves to weed out the comparatively few people who might "not need the money" whilst risking penalising those who do due to errors of judgement or lack of information, or lie along whatever arbitrary "cut off point" that someone might impose.



Bryan Alderson B.E.M. said:



Clive said:

Well, that's woken me up. Please don't leave Bryan - your posts are always entertaining and informative and you would be a great loss to this forum, including those who tend to read rather than post, such as myself.

Seeing as politics (if not religion) affects just about every facet of daily life I fail to see how we could not discuss the subject, or what would be wrong with doing so as long as everyone respects others' views and nobody resorts to unparliamentary language.

On the subject of means-tested benefits, I am against them. Those in power at any one time (see the non-partisan commentary) might claim they save money, but any alleged savings are likely to be swallowed up by the requirement to have someone (often many people) to test those means, or at the very least someone to design, operate and maintain the systems that do so. I've come onto contact with a number of people who have suddenly found themselves in difficulty with receiving disability benefits; too many to believe that means-testing serves to weed out the comparatively few people who might "not need the money" whilst risking penalising those who do due to errors of judgement or lack of information, or lie along whatever arbitrary "cut off point" that someone might impose.

Hi Clive, Thank you for your post. my response to Paul was written just before I went to bed, I think I may have been tired and 'Ratty' I also mistakenly thought Ian's post had been censored. However, now this has all been cleared up. I am a bit too old to be throwing my 'Teddy' out of the pram. So long, as we can say what we think (providing our posts are not rude or offensive) I shall continue to tell my stories about Hampton, as well as sharing my opinion of 'Politicians' and matters affecting me !!! Regards. Bryan

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