/ The Tories want wealthy pensioners to grow a conscience

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The Lemming - on 28 Apr 2013
Rather than look at Benefits Payments during this term of parliament, the Tories want to appeal to wealthy pensioners to give back benefits that they don't really need.

Anybody see a flaw in this request, from the conservatives?

DaveN - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: its the same as the thing about encouraging people and companies to pay their "fair share" of tax and not use loopholes. The gov is in the position to do something about it but just postures about morality, because if they did they would lose core voters.
dale1968 - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to DaveN: just the different side of the coin
Don'tTellHim Pike - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: Whats a "wealthy pensioner"?
Mike Stretford - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> Rather than look at Benefits Payments during this term of parliament

There's quite a lot happening to benefit payments.

yer maw on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: Most people work very hard to get to a point where they earn more than others etc. and are as entitled to their dues as anybody else because they've also contributed more than most. You make your pension contributions and then are told to pay them back twice over!

The Tories are reminding everyone they are all about cut cut cut and sell any resources the country has but with no vision of what direction the country needs to go in to sustain itself and become prosperous, other than telling the public to go out and create jobs themselves.

Even with Ed Milliband as their boggest opposition they are struggling and Cameron doesn't give a toss like Blair, cause hey he's top dog and when kicked out he has a great life ahead of him. No-one has left a legacy although New Labour did their best to get Education and the Health service back on their feet after being destroyed by the Tories in the 80s, and some social conscience evolved from New Labour.

But we are left with debt from unmanaged bankers who screwed everyone, and a sub class with no ambition. Perhaps at least the Tories legacy just might be to make in-roads into the latter, but it's hardly a vision for what will make us prosperous in the future.

Rant over and sorry if I went a tad off topic.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Joke isn't it?

The Tories have successfully managed to get the whole nation frothing about lazy, feckless dole scum constantly off to the Seychelles on holiday at the taxpayer's expense, yet no one seems to mind about the posh blue-rinse old dears riding around for free on public transport and heating their homes for free at the expense of the taxpayer.

My explanation for these strange circumstances is as follows:

The Tories aren't actually trying very hard to cut public spending. They're making a massive show of it, and continually banging on about the depth of the crisis (which I believe), in order that people who believe in cutting public spending will vote for them. But they won't touch any unnecessary public spending where there's votes or support (relations with big business and the gutter press) in it, because all they're actually concerned about is holding onto power.

As has been pointed out above, where there is an obvious massive bag of free money to be picked up, but where picking it up would make their supporters pull a grumpy face (universal benefits for old dears and uncollected tax left right and centre), they instead make these pathetic sniveling noises about other people's moral responsibilities.

It's horrible to watch. What a bunch of cvnts.
Don'tTellHim Pike - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:


Unlike many of the "lazy fekless dole scum" the "posh blue rinse old dears" have probablyspent a life time paying taxes and natonal insuranse.

In what way does a 200 per household heating allowance constute "free" heating?

> because all they're actually concerned about is holding onto power.

Oh, you mean just like labour are?





Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to yer maw:
> (In reply to The Lemming) Most people work very hard to get to a point where they earn more than others etc. and are as entitled to their dues as anybody else because they've also contributed more than most. You make your pension contributions and then are told to pay them back twice over!

Didn't really get the thrust of your rant, but with regard to this point I know a few people.. ..peers from school.. Similar grades at a level, Oxbridge 2:1s in, e.g. Geography or material science etc who leave uni, join e.g. Deutche Bank, earn large wages within a very short time. One left to form a hedge fund management company with a few colleagues and at my age 34, several are now multi-millionaires here with companies operating mostly abroad. These guys don't work any harder than me, and aren't any more intelligent (unless you class my working in the nhs and doing research science to try to find ways if helping people with diseases as my own stupidity) or my old man for that matter (who has just retired) and had the insult of having his wage cut just pre retirement reducing his pension:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22287043

My old man wouldn't complain about this stuff, it's not in his nature, but I'm angry on his behalf. This government rewards the wealthy and the old or new monied classes and therest can go to f@ck! There is no real philanthropy here, weak alumni, and every bit the avoidance if paying back into society. This is an insincere request that will fall on deaf ears!!!

Bastards! Rant over... ...for now...
Chris the Tall - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
Free, off-peak bus travel for pensioners is a great scheme.

It encourages old people to get out and about, keeping them independent, whilst at the same time reducing their car use, which is good if they are getting to an age when they perhaps shouldn't be driving.

Of course public trainsport should be subsidised for everyone, but the Tories put an end to that under she who must not be named
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to GrumpySod:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
>
> Unlike many of the "lazy fekless dole scum" the "posh blue rinse old dears" have probablyspent a life time paying taxes and natonal insuranse.

I just hate this argument. If we're in a terrible crisis, then pulling out this flimsy moral justification for pouring cash down the toilet simply is not good enough. We're either in a terrible crisis and need to save money, or we're not, and we can afford luxuries that feed our sense of entitlement like universal benefits.

You cannot have it both ways.

> In what way does a 200 per household heating allowance constute "free" heating?

It constitutes 200 worth of free heating.

> [...]
>
> Oh, you mean just like labour are?

No, I don't mean that at all. It tires me when as soon as attack the Tories for:
- coming out with a stream of worthless policies that address no problems at all;
- stiring up division in society for their own ends;
- making the lives of the worst off even worse (I'm not a huge supporter or feckless dole scum, but I think that disabled, working poor, and the majority of the unemployed have a tough enough time as it is without being vilified and having their support eroded; and
- protecting their supporters from even the tiniest weeniest bit of "pain" (stuff that might make them pull a grumpy face, temporarily)

then the best counter argument that anyone can come up with is

"yeah, but Labour...".

I don't vote Labour.
Timmd on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:Indeed, buses were really cheap when I was a kid, then prices shot up in the 90's under privatisation. Now you have people looking for work from the very poorest backgrounds in Sheffield being offered help with transports costs on things like, erm, buses.
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I just hate this argument. If we're in a terrible crisis, then pulling out this flimsy moral justification for pouring cash down the toilet simply is not good enough. We're either in a terrible crisis and need to save money, or we're not, and we can afford luxuries that feed our sense of entitlement like universal benefits.
>
> You cannot have it both ways.

Yep, and IDS and Willetts were both making political Capitol out of pointing out the requirement to tackle generational inequalities pre election. The baby boomers having benefited from economic boom, oil, cheap petrol, living wages that easily allowed for property ownership, often in excess of necessity, the best pension arrangements that anyone will ever see. There is not a hint of tacking generational inequality now that they're in power and the rhetoric utterly denies the truth of this inequality. It's frankly evil.
Tall Clare - on 28 Apr 2013
Is it unreasonable to think of the state pension in the same way as other benefits, i.e. there for those in need rather than those who 'deserve' it? I pay taxes that help to run schools - I don't have children but I don't begrudge this. If I was a pensioner with a comfortable final salary pension, would I really need state support that could help others? A lot of more recent pensioners are in a more comfortable position than many - I'm actually amazed that the Tories of all people are considering evening things up.
Tom V - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Interesting point about "property ownership ...in excess of necessity".
Where would you draw the line?
Andy Long - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
The state pension, like all pensions, is "deferred pay". Whilst things like heating allowance, bus passes etc. have a discretionary element, your pension is yours. You have bought it and they must give it to you.
deepsoup - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> I'm actually amazed that the Tories of all people are considering evening things up.

They're not. Obviously.
IDS suggesting that someone, anyone, other than himself needs to grow a conscience is a joke. This feels very similar to Cameron denouncing Jimmy Carr for his "immoral" legal tax avoidance scheme. The hypocrisy is staggering, loathesome. It's almost funny.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)

> The baby boomers having benefited from economic boom, oil, cheap petrol, living wages that easily allowed for property ownership, often in excess of necessity, the best pension arrangements that anyone will ever see.

I know. As these guys squeal "oh, but we worked so hard for our houses and our pensions, how dare you suggest we don't deserve our state handouts that we don't need" the eyes of the young will be rolling in unison, and rightly so.
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
> [...]
>
> They're not. Obviously.
> IDS suggesting that someone, anyone, other than himself needs to grow a conscience is a joke. This feels very similar to Cameron denouncing Jimmy Carr for his "immoral" legal tax avoidance scheme. The hypocrisy is staggering, loathesome. It's almost funny.

It is funny in a very sick way! What isn't is that they're getting away with it scot free because of the extent if our democratic deficit!!
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> then the best counter argument that anyone can come up with is
>
> "yeah, but Labour...".
>
> I don't vote Labour.

Yes it's hilarious! It's no argument at all. The last election was a stitch up job in which the naked inadequacy of our supposed democracy was laid bare!! There is no choice... ...the succour of big business, the whips, adversarial party politics with a gnats whisker between them, Lib Dem liars. Thatcher deregulated, labour went further, across the benches, the Tories said they hadn't gone far enough until, that is, it all went tits up, and then it all became labour's fault and of course the fault of all of us plebs with personal debt!! Like f@ck! And then we have a lovely expensive celebration of the Tory queen's life despite the hilarious hypocrisy of the Tories who've forgotten the night of the long knives! It's a f@cked up political system for sure!!!!
Rob Exile Ward on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: I'm not sure I see a problem with the principle, (i.e. well off pensioners, of whom I hope to be one one day, not receiving unnecessary state benefits) but I do see a problem with the motivation, coming as it does from a scummy hypocritical govt, and the implementation, which is fairly typical of all government initiatives over the last n years.

The solution seems simple to me. Carry on with, extend even, the non-means tested benefits - winter fuel allowance, bus passses, TV licences etc, which definitely benefit many, many poor pensioners, but include them as benefits to be declared on year end tax returns. Simples.
cuppatea on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

It's cheaper to ask for it back than to means test all the old people, and better for votes.

When it comes to people with lifetime injuries and disabilities it's cheaper to apply a one size fits all approach; if your partner works more than 24 hours a week you get ESA for 365 days and then NOTHING.

And it's better for votes too, as everyone hates workshy thieving robbing scroungers eh?
Clint86 - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: I like the idea of a free bus pass for anyone who doesn't own a car. Full stop. I guess it would be difficult to administer.
SARS on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

As said above wealthy pensioners have spent a lifetime paying in. Next they'll be asking for 'wealthy' pensioners not to collect their state pension.

If it were me, I'd be saying sod off as I've paid my fair dues in NIC and income taxes.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> As said above wealthy pensioners have spent a lifetime paying in. Next they'll be asking for 'wealthy' pensioners not to collect their state pension.
>
> If it were me, I'd be saying sod off as I've paid my fair dues in NIC and income taxes.

I'll say it again:

I just hate this argument. If we're in a terrible crisis, then pulling out this flimsy moral justification for pouring cash down the toilet simply is not good enough. We're either in a terrible crisis and need to save money, or we're not, and we can afford luxuries that feed our sense of entitlement like universal benefits.

You cannot have it both ways.
SARS on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Strange post. You made your life choice, as did your peers. As you say, you had exactly the same opportunity as your friends... so why the venom for how well they have done?
SARS on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Well then cut everybody's benefits.

It's simply the politics of envy, plain and simple.
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:

> Strange post. You made your life choice, as did your peers. As you say, you had exactly the same opportunity as your friends... so why the venom for how well they have done?

No one makes a life choice in full knowledge of the consequences because no one has the benefit if hindsight. And because its not commensurate with academic learning, achievement and hard work. It is unequal, and enhances inequalities. Who said they'd done well? I suppose in a selfish Thatcherite individualistic sense I might concede that they'd done well.
Tom V - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Not sure what you mean about luxury entitlements: are you including the state pension in this or just bus passes, winter fuel allowance and free prescriptions?


Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:

The politics if envy is the myth if the secure wealthy monied class to keep the plebs subdued.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:

> As said above wealthy pensioners have spent a lifetime paying in. Next they'll be asking for 'wealthy' pensioners not to collect their state pension.

People can only pay in proportion with the productivity of the country. On that basis, and on the basis of basic costs, such as property and pensions, the generational inequalities are disgusting and ignoring them and protecting excessive tax avoidance of which I'd be surprised if most the front bench weren't involved, is sick when combined with the current demonisation of benefit claimants. Evil.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> Well then cut everybody's benefits.
>
> It's simply the politics of envy, plain and simple.

Don't be so thick.

It's the politics of improving society for everyone. I don't believe that everyone should be brought down to the same level, I think it's crucial that people create wealth through ambition and all the rest of it.

I also think that public services are crucial, and that when there's no money to play with, you stop wasting money and spend it only where it's needed.

In your argument, you don't even consider where public spending is needed or nor needed, you consider only who "deserves" to be given handouts by the state.

This government is pretty right-wing, but thank god they don't go as far as you and completely bin the idea that the state has responsibilities to provide services for society. I don't think you've considered where your "I'm alright Jack" stance leads. If you view taxes as an individual savings account, where you take back only what you put in, then people who were poor would not have schools and hospitals for their children. The point of redistributive taxes is to prevent society separating into 'haves' and 'have nots' at the generation boundaries.

It has nothing to do with envy. That is a pathetic charge made by those who want to excuse their own lack of understanding of where their own selfish values would lead society.
Dauphin - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Andy Long:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
> The state pension, like all pensions, is "deferred pay". Whilst things like heating allowance, bus passes etc. have a discretionary element, your pension is yours. You have bought it and they must give it to you.

Utter rubbish - the state pension like public sector pensions is another ponzi scheme. You pay into nothing but other peoples benefits today. Whenever it is your turn you get whatever they decide.

D



Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> Not sure what you mean about luxury entitlements: are you including the state pension in this or just bus passes, winter fuel allowance and free prescriptions?

Our tax system is very heavily orientated towards providing the state pension, so it would be completely barmy to tax as though you were going to provide it and then not give it out.

However, universal benefits given to people who don't need them are a waste of money. They're not a crucial fundament of the tax system - I don't pay my taxes expecting to get it all back in the form of bus passes and free drugs (apparently some people do, which I find odd).

Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to Andy Long)
> [...]
>
> Utter rubbish - the state pension like public sector pensions is another ponzi scheme. You pay into nothing but other peoples benefits today. Whenever it is your turn you get whatever they decide.

Exactly. The constant renegotiation of public sector pensions proves that nothing has been securely bought, or securely funded. I'd be very surprised to receive much pension when I retire at, what will be a required 70. At around the time if my provable avg life expectancy.

Mike Stretford - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart
> The Tories aren't actually trying very hard to cut public spending. They're making a massive show of it, and continually banging on about the depth of the crisis (which I believe), in order that people who believe in cutting public spending will vote for them. But they won't touch any unnecessary public spending where there's votes or support (relations with big business and the gutter press) in it, because all they're actually concerned about is holding onto power.
>

I'm glad some once else has noticed! Wish the guardian, telegraph and the Labour party would catch on.
Al Evans on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: As a nation we established a system where we could afford free health care for all and a pension to look forward to, provided we paid our NHS and tax contributions. We also established a system that paid for free education to benefit the nation, now the kids have to pay for themselves in loans etc after basic education. The problem is that the tax of people has not gone up in line with the countrys needs. The rich are too powerful and were allowed by all parties to hang onto their riches at the expense of the social welfare of the country.
Taxes have not risen in line with the countrys need at the expense of the poor and the benefit of the rich, we started to become a sad nation after the early 70's, the tories and new labour are perpetuating it now.
SARS on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Funny how the UK has experienced the fastest growing gdp per capita amongst developed countries since the 80s.

So actually individual wealth in this country has improved relatively since the 70s of yesteryear (with interest rates of 15%, 25% annual hikes in petrol, general strikes etc etc).

Anyway, back on topic. The important point here is simply that the 'rich' do pay much higher in taxes and NIC than the average.

Let's be honest. What's considered 'rich' by non Londoners is actually a wage which can barely sustain any sensible level of savings yet alone buy an average London house. That's what it all comes down to - tax Londoners more. What the posters on here don't realise is that just living day to day in London doesn't come cheap.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to Al Evans)

> Anyway, back on topic. The important point here is simply that the 'rich' do pay much higher in taxes and NIC than the average.
>
> Let's be honest. What's considered 'rich' by non Londoners is actually a wage which can barely sustain any sensible level of savings yet alone buy an average London house. That's what it all comes down to - tax Londoners more. What the posters on here don't realise is that just living day to day in London doesn't come cheap.

I'm lost. How is this point relevant to universal vs. means tested benefits?

Al Evans on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS: Well isn't that something that needs addressing, the dominance and richness of London rather than penalising the northern etc poor?
SARS on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Because it's a sneaky tax. Pay the same tax and NIC as before, pay more than most, but don't receive the benefits.

And London has a disproportionate number of 'wealthy'. Which actually is just a euphemism for house price inflation.
SARS on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to SARS) Well isn't that something that needs addressing, the dominance and richness of London rather than penalising the northern etc poor?

Don't blame Londoners for success. As I said above, politics of envy.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:

I can see why you'd consider that unfair, I'm still not seeing the relevance to the point in hand.

Are you saying that Londoners only should get universal benefits as a sweetener for paying more tax, while others are means tested?
The Lemming - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:
> ]What the posters on here don't realise is that just living day to day in London doesn't come cheap.

The simple answer is one which has been touted to dole scroungers which is if you can't afford to live where you are then move, sorry. :-(

May I ask, and it is something which has confused me, but why is it more expensive to live in London and why have people in general allowed this to happen?
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) As a nation we established a system where we could afford free health care for all and a pension to look forward to, provided we paid our NHS and tax contributions. We also established a system that paid for free education to benefit the nation, now the kids have to pay for themselves in loans etc after basic education. The problem is that the tax of people has not gone up in line with the countrys needs. The rich are too powerful and were allowed by all parties to hang onto their riches at the expense of the social welfare of the country.
> Taxes have not risen in line with the countrys need at the expense of the poor and the benefit of the rich, we started to become a sad nation after the early 70's, the tories and new labour are perpetuating it now.

I do agree that taxes need to be higher. In my view, a mature leading democracy isn't one that can poke its nose into the middle east, dance a jig with the US, and flaunt a nuclear ability, and hypocritically send its young of to be killed ultimately to secure further wealth. A mature democracy is one that demonstrates a humble and reasonable ability to look after its own without ostentatious displays of highly unequal parts of the country and peoples within the country and rather leads spending on health and education amongst the OECD (we're only just spending above the avg of GDP per capita on health for example) and maintains an equitable fair welfare state, spending whatever excess there is on immigration, overseas aid, and science to benefit world health with focusses on tropical diseases, world prevalent infections, and infection related cancers rather than the diseases of western excess, such as non-infection related cancer, heart disease etc.
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

> May I ask, and it is something which has confused me, but why is it more expensive to live in London and why have people in general allowed this to happen?

Don't worry there should be a few cheaper rentals and sales coming up now that they're kicking out the scroungers who have lived in what should only be poshville most of their lives.
WILLS - on 28 Apr 2013
If we all go on benefits we will all get free bus passes and a decent pension. Sorted
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

And a mature economy is not only good at creating wealth for the sake of it, it generates value from that wealth: money alone does not advance humanity, but art, science, technology and medicine do.
Dauphin - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Bursting the London property bubble, which party is going to tackle that little problem which leads to so much inequality in the U.K.? None.

As well as telling the poor to leave London if on housing benefit why not strip the circa 20% from state employees in London weighting which goes to prop it up?

D
Al Evans on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> And a mature economy is not only good at creating wealth for the sake of it, it generates value from that wealth: money alone does not advance humanity, but art, science, technology and medicine do.

Which all require universal education for the poor but talented as well as the rich that can afford it.
Timmd on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> Don't blame Londoners for success. As I said above, politics of envy.

I can't see anybody blaming Londoners for success on here.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> Which all require universal education for the poor but talented as well as the rich that can afford it.

Certainly require education, but I'm not that convinced it's fair to fund university education from general taxation. That means that poor people's VAT gets spent on rich people's pointless degrees in classics and so forth. So long as people don't have to pay up front (so that only the rich can afford it) I think it's OK that the people who benefit from higher earnings pay for the qualifications that got them there.

A whole thread in itself though. And don't get me started on the failure of govts to fund useful, high quality vocational education that could give people proper opportunities when they left school...
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to SARS:

> Don't blame Londoners for success. As I said above, politics of envy.

You've said it twice and you're still wrong. It might be the politics of envy if it were people saying its not fair that *I* haven't got what they have. But from what I have seen its been far more of *they* haven't got, much of the time through no fault of their own, what those others have got (and are determined to sequester, even from the taxman. That's not the politics of envy, its the politics of fairness, equality and a basic social humanism.
john spence - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: No one has answered the question."What constitutes a wealthy pensioner?" I am one of the feather bedded baby boomers someone mentioned in an earlier post.I retired two years ago after 40 years work.( 17 as a teacher) Never claimed any benefits,even when as a teacher my kids were entitled to free school meals. Worked four jobs to pay my mortgage when interest rates hit 17%. I own my home because we made sacrifices.Before the mortgage was paid off we had had two foreign holidays. I meet some young people now who bitch and moan about never being able to get on the property ladder, they climb abroad twice a year, they have gym,climbing wall, phone and tv contracts costing about 200 a month. If I check their facebook pages they seem to be partying every weekend and semi permanently pissed. I know there are people in dire circumstances looking for work,I used to one of them.Leave my fecking bus pass alone
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:

What are the value of your assets? Is it the young's fault that your generation has dispensed with true cultural value and allowed the propagation of capitalism, which produces the effects of which you speak?
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Before you said:
> And a mature economy is not only good at creating wealth for the sake of it, it generates value from that wealth: money alone does not advance humanity, but art, science, technology and medicine do.

And I was very pleased to see the inclusion of "art" in your list, and for the same reason I disagree with your view on uni:

> Certainly require education, but I'm not that convinced it's fair to fund university education from general taxation. That means that poor people's VAT gets spent on rich people's pointless degrees in classics and so forth. So long as people don't have to pay up front (so that only the rich can afford it) I think it's OK that the people who benefit from higher earnings pay for the qualifications that got them there.

My brother is an architect who works for a large well renowned firm who has spent the last few years working on a large project housing 200 or so condominiums that will retail for >1million each with an estimated building life usage of approximately 2000 couples/families. These of course will only be available to a very small subset of society. In contrast, he would like to move into furniture design because he realises that making 1 chair can be affordable to almost anyone within society, is more directly creative and so is more valuable for him, and could be utilised by tens of thousands of bums. He wouldn't earn much money doing it, but he'd create what he feels would be much more value for himself and others. My other brother is a professional musician who earns very little and survives by virtue of family and friends, and a small footprint in life. He loves what he does, producing art / music, being in touch with composers throughout history, and being able to translate that knowledge into something that can be appreciable by 100s to 1000s or through media many more people, not just now, but also well into the future.

My point is that there is a tacit appeal to the requirement of any education (or even more basic activity within society) to always have technical and capitol value within society. I disagree fundamentally with that. There should be equal value in those things that produce intrinsic value quite separate from technical or capitol value, and which earn those who engage those non-vocational, non export productive value subjects, next to nothing . For that reason, it cannot be right that people be expected to fund their education, because it imposes fundamental biases in what subjects are actually psychologically feasible to undertake. Worse, the reality is also that we cannot expect the young to read the future sufficiently to know what the society will require from them in expertise.
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:

ps, you should count your lucky stars you can retire!
Jim C - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> Bursting the London property bubble, which party is going to tackle that little problem which leads to so much inequality in the U.K.? None.
>
> As well as telling the poor to leave London if on housing benefit why not strip the circa 20% from state employees in London weighting which goes to prop it up?
>
> D

It is of course, just to be clear, not just the state , private companies that do that too, my counterparts even outside London get a higher salary for the same job title.

I would not swap them though.

john spence - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to john spence)
>
> What are the value of your assets? Is it the young's fault that your generation has dispensed with true cultural value and allowed the propagation of capitalism, which produces the effects of which you speak?

Fail to see the relevance of valuing my assets on here.
Your response is the response I would have made aged 18 and my father would have made aged 25. Many young people of my generation behaved in the same way as the young people I mentioned in my post and I expect they blamed the previous generation as well.
You have no idea what my cultural values are.
You didn't mention what constitutes a wealthy pensioner.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Starting a new thread from here to discuss this, it's interesting and completely off-topic.
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:

> Fail to see the relevance of valuing my assets on here.
> Your response is the response I would have made aged 18 and my father would have made aged 25. Many young people of my generation behaved in the same way as the young people I mentioned in my post and I expect they blamed the previous generation as well.
> You have no idea what my cultural values are.
> You didn't mention what constitutes a wealthy pensioner.

YEh.. ..you're right.. ..IDS, and Willetts are just juvenile 18 year olds. Go read the pinch, then come back....
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pinch-Boomers-Childrens-Future-Should/dp/1848872321
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:

> Fail to see the relevance of valuing my assets on here.
> Your response is the response I would have made aged 18 and my father would have made aged 25.

Indeed, before prejudice has kicked in and you've turned into a rhinoceros!

> Many young people of my generation behaved in the same way as the young people I mentioned in my post and I expect they blamed the previous generation as well.

Did they? So who are these climbers.. ..they must be on here?
john spence - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to john spence)
>
> ps, you should count your lucky stars you can retire!

Why?
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:

Well the retirement age is expected (according to the actuaries I know) to be 70 for my generation. Doctors life expectancy is shit. Currently around 70.
Jimbo W on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Starting a new thread from here to discuss this, it's interesting and completely off-topic.

Did you start a new thread?
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Yes, it's called The Value of Education.
john spence - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to john spence)
>
> Well the retirement age is expected (according to the actuaries I know) to be 70 for my generation.Jimbo I sincerely hope that you can draw your pension before you are 70 and that you enjoy a long and healthy retirement. Avoiding stress,arguments and confrontation may help. I was merely drawing a comparison between my very frugal lifestyle and the spendthrift,live for the moment attitude of many younger people. I still don't know what constitutes a wealthy pensioner which seems fundamental to this topic.

Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:

Don't worry, the means testing for your bus pass isn't coming in as far as you can see, so it won't matter if fall foul of the threshold (plucked out of the air by UKC)!

To be honest, I have no idea how you go about means testing for people who aren't earning, so I can't help put a figure on it. But I'm sure it's quite possible to set some kind of threshold that means you take it away from people who simply don't need it.
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: But what if, for argument's sake, the process of means testing (everybody, every year) costs more than you save? Are you working on a point of principle or money saving?
Clint86 - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence: Someone who has more than they need?
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Clint86: All of us then.
Timmd on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Clint86) All of us then.

Not all pensioners, though. Deciding between heating and eating isn't unknown.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) But what if, for argument's sake, the process of means testing (everybody, every year) costs more than you save? Are you working on a point of principle or money saving?

I'm a pragmatist. Universal benefits would be lovely if we weren't trying to cut public spending.

If the process of means testing cost more than you got back, it would be pointless.

Trouble is, when it comes to the cuts aimed at dole scum, no one seems to be looking at how much they will actually save. If that bedroom tax shite is going to save us any money, I'll eat my spare room and everything in it!
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Timmd: Find me a pensioner on ukc who's on the breadline and you may have a point.
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Would you be in favour of the bedroom tax if the figures showed it would save money?
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

If it was the option with least social costs associated with that saving, then yes.
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Putting out the message that affluent pensioners shouldn't take universal benefits they don't need must have a much lower cost than setting a means testing system.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Putting out the message that affluent pensioners shouldn't take universal benefits they don't need must have a much lower cost than setting a means testing system.

And will gather absolutely no savings.

Come on, who is actually going to behave differently because of this?
Dauphin - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Putting out the message that affluent pensioners shouldn't take universal benefits they don't need must have a much lower cost than setting a means testing system.

Hardly any cost. Likely to have no return either.

D
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: You have no idea whether it will save any money, just like you have no idea whether means testing universal benefits for pensioners would save more than it would cost.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) You have no idea whether it will save any money, just like you have no idea whether means testing universal benefits for pensioners would save more than it would cost.

No, but I do have a little bit of common sense, which tells me that

- means testing for universal benefits might generate some savings at 0 social cost and it would be worth looking at

- IDS's chat is going to make absolutely no difference to anything
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Yes, it "might", it "might" also cost. Still, let's assume nobody looked at whether some benefits would actually be cheaper being universal and instead assume it's the conservatives (or labour) not wanting to upset voters.
Jon Stewart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Given that 5 minutes after IDS's brainwave, Ken Clarke had to point out that there was no system for paying back these benefits, I don't think there have been teams of analysts in DWP working on this one!

These benefits exist as universals as a matter of principle from days gone by (and which most on the left still support) - not because of analysis of the best way to deliver them.

As I say, if it's not going to generate meaningful savings, there's not point and I'm not for means testing just for the pleasure of pinching bus passes off well-to-do blue rinse old dears.
Sir Chasm - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: The analysis will have shown, I suspect, that age was a simple (and cheap) way to determine who gets the benefit, any other system being vastly more costly.
timjones - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> And will gather absolutely no savings.
>
> Come on, who is actually going to behave differently because of this?

I know pensioners who feel guilty that they get a heating allowance they don't need. You may be surprised!

Jim C - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
>
>
>
> As I say, if it's not going to generate meaningful savings, there's not point and I'm not for means testing just for the pleasure of pinching bus passes off well-to-do blue rinse old dears.

How many well off people who have other options starting from owning and driving their own car, or affording a Taxi, right up to those being able to afford a driver actually would want to stand at a cold bus stop waiting for a bus when they don't have to?

I think the numbers are low, does anyone know otherwise?
Jim C - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> I know pensioners who feel guilty that they get a heating allowance they don't need. You may be surprised!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11981522
Jon Stewart - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

My bet (as a former policy official under both New Labour and Coalition) is that the policy was designed as universal for ideological reasons and that the analysts would have been tasked with working out the costs. They would not have been posed the question: "we want to give away some free stuff, like transport and fuel, and crap like that...what shall we give away and how shall we decide who gets it?". That's just not how it works.

If analysis was the driver behind policy, rather than the tool used to justify political decisions, then the world would be a very different place.

Honestly, those benefits are universal because it was sensible at the time, it was, as New Labour saw it, time for spending on stuff like that (luxuries IMO). Now it's time for cutting, and I want to see the cuts with the lowest social costs.
Oliiver - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: My grandma is what you'd call a 'wealthy pensioner' can afford a new Audi, BMW what ever every few years, goes on multiple international holidays every year and owns lands and houses. She has payed in to the system, so why should she loose the right to a bus pass and winter fuel allowance? Surely it's wrong that pensioners who have never payed in to the system or never botherered to put money aside for a pension, are aloud to claim all these benefits? Any one who pays tax, should be entitled to the same benefits poor people get in old age.
Oliiver - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Oliiver: allowed
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jon Stewart - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Oliiver:

For the third time:

I just hate this argument. If we're in a terrible crisis, then pulling out this flimsy moral justification for pouring cash down the toilet simply is not good enough. We're either in a terrible crisis and need to save money, or we're not, and we can afford luxuries that feed our sense of entitlement like universal benefits.

You cannot have it both ways.
Oliiver - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming: ok, if we're in a terrible financial situation - which we arnt. I suppose we must do the following - ban immigration, tax fat people, tax cigarettes even more, stop fat people receiving gastric bands, stop benefits for people who have never payed in, stop pensioners who never payed in, stop operations for health tourists and any other medical treatment, stop child benefit for every one, give the unemployed food tokens, limit the amount of children to 2, stop paying for poor kids to go to university, encage prisoners to save room, abolish green taxes and finally, whilst we're at it made sure climbers mountaineers and any other dangerous sport seeker have private insurance because their a drain when they hurt themselves. Sounds a bit drastic eh? We're not in a recession, just some people are.
Jon Stewart - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Oliiver:

I can't really respond because what you're saying doesn't make enough sense.
Jim C - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Oliiver:
Paid .

The Lemming - on 29 Apr 2013
Postmanpat on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to The lemming:

Is it your contention that wealthy pensioners don't have consciences?

Ridge - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to john spence)
>
> What are the value of your assets? Is it the young's fault that your generation has dispensed with true cultural value and allowed the propagation of capitalism, which produces the effects of which you speak?

You've really swallowed the "Baby Boomers have stolen all our cash" story hook, line and sinker.

There are indeed wealthy pensionerd milking every benefit they can, just as there are immigrants on benefits living in mansions. Both groups are small, have negligible nett effect on the nations finances but are good for headlines and rants on forums.

Universal benefits certainly do need overhauling, no disagreements there. However, this mythical age where everyone went to Uni on a grant, got a first job as managing director of ICI and bought a three bedroom detached with their first weeks wages never existed.

I'm about 13 years older than you, and I can confirm it was shit being a young person in the 80s, and prospects weren't much better than they are now. The fact you have multi-millionaire contemporaries seems to indicate you've had it a lot better than my generation ;-)
Jimbo W on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Ridge:

> You've really swallowed the "Baby Boomers have stolen all our cash" story hook, line and sinker.
> There are indeed wealthy pensionerd milking every benefit they can, just as there are immigrants on benefits living in mansions. Both groups are small, have negligible nett effect on the nations finances but are good for headlines and rants on forums.

Can you provide any evidence of that rather than just making the assertion?

> Universal benefits certainly do need overhauling, no disagreements there. However, this mythical age where everyone went to Uni on a grant, got a first job as managing director of ICI and bought a three bedroom detached with their first weeks wages never existed.

Straw man

> I'm about 13 years older than you, and I can confirm it was shit being a young person in the 80s, and prospects weren't much better than they are now. The fact you have multi-millionaire contemporaries seems to indicate you've had it a lot better than my generation ;-)

It could be shit then, it can be shit now. Its less shit now though because the acceptable culture, and facilities available, allow for the adoption of debt to be paid off at interest later in life.
Irk the Purist - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence:

Like all generations there are rich 'pensioners' and there are poor ones in terms of income. But in terms of life choices and quality of life there are marked differences.

The things I envy today's pensioners for are not their bus pass or their tv licence. It's the fact that some were able to earn enough money that mums (or dads) didn't have to go to work so they, not a childcare assistant could bring up their family. It's the fact that they were able to save enough money to help their kids through university, something I am not going to be able to do for mine. It's the fact that after all that they have still been able to lend thousands of pounds to their children for house deposits in droves, something I can't hope to achieve. The fact that they have been able to retire after only 40 years work (I will need to work 50) so that they can help bring up their grandchildren, who's parents will both have to work.

You say that all 'youngsters' throw money away like it's confetti. Well, I'm sorry, you're meeting the wrong people. The real reason is that young people today are in full time work, but still having to live at home or rent small flats so although they have disposable incomes, they aren't anywhere near enough to think about home ownership. If we could reduce housing costs, we could solve a lot of other problems too.
john spence - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric the Red: Eric, I said "some youngsters" And I would agree that it is a minority of the people that I meet,but they certainly exist.I also lived with my parents until I was 25. I moved 250 miles to find my first teaching job at 780. per annum and I rented a room in a strangers house.I could not envisage getting on the property ladder at that time. As well my teaching job I worked three evenings a week teaching basic skills to prisoners and young people,I worked three weekends out of four doing factory maintenance and during my admittedly generous holidays I erected fences,fitted kitchens and painted peoples houses. I also worked in youth clubs. All seven of my colleagues in my department followed the same pattern.My wife also worked. I managed a small contribution to my daughters university education but she funded it by her own efforts in the main. I was able to retire at 60 because I worked and saved. My reward is now a pension of 720.per month,my wife gets considerably less. When I get my state pension I will feel comfortable but if things get financially tight I won't point the finger of blame,I'll go and mow someones lawn or clean a few windows.

Al Evans on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to john spence: My father worked all his life, mostly in the Sheffield steelworks except when he was serving in the navy as a radar operator in the war. My mother worked too when she wasn't bringing up me and my sis.
In the later years of his life , when he was retired only on an OAP, admittedly he had paid off the mortgage and his needs were small, he said to me
"Alan, I have never been so well off in my life"
I think that's a good thing that a man who has worked and served his country, and brought up two children without want and happy, paid into the state for his welfare and pension all his life, should have a few short years in relaxation without poverty before he shuffles off this mortal coil.
If on the other hand if he was a millionaire it seems a bit OTT and uneccessary to deprive the country of funds it could be using to pay for education etc and claim his OAP.
The Lemming - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

I think the IDS comment on Sunday was 'smoke and mirrors' to deflect attention away from other issues, what ever they may be.

Divide and conquer.
john spence - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans: I don't disagree with any of that Al.














Postmanpat on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> I think the IDS comment on Sunday was 'smoke and mirrors' to deflect attention away from other issues, what ever they may be.
>
A very astute and reasoned analysis.
The Lemming - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
> A very astute and reasoned analysis.

I'm still not biting.
Dave Garnett - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> And will gather absolutely no savings.
>

Of course, there might be two possible reasons for this. Either, nobody will respond, or, quite a lot of 'wealthy' pensioners don't claim these benefits anyway. We've been over this before and, I think, established that Richard Branson doesn't actually use his free bus pass.

Anyway, on Today this morning IDS made clear that he never actually called for people to forego benefits to which they are entitled but feel they don't need. He did say that should anyone wish stop claiming or pay something back, that was entirely up to them.

I think everyone should have a conscience. But I also think that we should concentrate more on making corporation tax less optional rather than heaping guilt on pensioners when extra contributions from them will make almost no difference to the basics economics.
EeeByGum - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

> I think that's a good thing that a man who has worked and served his country, and brought up two children without want and happy, paid into the state for his welfare and pension all his life, should have a few short years in relaxation without poverty before he shuffles off this mortal coil.

I couldn't agree more. The problem is:
- that pensioners are living much much longer than the couple of years your dad enjoyed when he retired.
- pensioners have always been paid from general taxation. There has never been a pot with your name on it
- the younger generation are not paying enough tax to pay for pensioner's comfortable lifestyle.

As someone paying for my parents to retire at the age of 55 but who will probably end up working well into my 70's, the current status quo leaves me feeling rather peed off. I certainly didn't realise that pensioners pay a lower tax rate than me for the same income for example. Sure, I have no bones about someone who worked hard for a modest pension to get a free bus pass, but there are an awful lot of wealthy pensioners out there.
Postmanpat on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> I'm still not biting.

No teeth :)

andic - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to GrumpySod:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> In what way does a 200 per household heating allowance constute "free" heating?
>

200? could get a decent down sack for that and bugger the heating
Jon Stewart - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> Of course, there might be two possible reasons for this. Either, nobody will respond, or, quite a lot of 'wealthy' pensioners don't claim these benefits anyway. We've been over this before and, I think, established that Richard Branson doesn't actually use his free bus pass.

Yes, while I advocate means testing benefits in general because I don't think that now is the time to be pouring cash down the lav for silly ideological reasons, I suspect there is actually very little "free money" to be found here.

> Anyway, on Today this morning IDS made clear that he never actually called for people to forego benefits to which they are entitled but feel they don't need...

And since it probably makes no difference, IDS should really have just kept has trap shut.

> I think everyone should have a conscience. But I also think that we should concentrate more on making corporation tax less optional rather than heaping guilt on pensioners when extra contributions from them will make almost no difference to the basics economics.

Absolutely - there is free money out there if you're prepared to put up with a few grumpy faces.
Ridge - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Eric the Red:

I think opinion on this depends a lot on background.

Generalising wildly, if you're from a middle clasd background and think:

Grant to go to Uni, followed by management type job, home ownership with one parent staying at home for childcare, followed by retirement on final salary pension at 55 - 60;

was the norm, then things are probably not looking too good. If you're from a working class background it seems less of an issue.
deepsoup - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Yes, while I advocate means testing benefits in general because I don't think that now is the time to be pouring cash down the lav for silly ideological reasons

Means testing is itself quite expensive though, so could actually be quite counterproductive from a purely 'cash down the lav' point of view.

> And since it probably makes no difference, IDS should really have just kept has trap shut.

If by speaking up he's shown anyone who didn't previously realise it what an utter twunt he is, so much the better.
Postmanpat on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> If by speaking up he's shown anyone who didn't previously realise it what an utter twunt he is, so much the better.
>
He was asked a specific question Should he have refused to answer?

Jon Stewart - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> Means testing is itself quite expensive though, so could actually be quite counterproductive from a purely 'cash down the lav' point of view.
>
Unfortunately yes, and I would only be in favour of it where it does actually achieve savings.
>
> If by speaking up he's shown anyone who didn't previously realise it what an utter twunt he is, so much the better.

Haha yes I suppose so.
deepsoup - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> Should he have refused to answer?

He should have re-evaluated his entire world view right there and then, left the studio quietly and gone back to his office but rather than resigning try to do some good before he gets kicked out. Then perhaps he could find himself a grotty bedsit somewhere and actually have a go at living on 53 quid a week for six months or so, just to see if it's as easy as he apparently thinks it is.
Irk the Purist - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Ridge:

You're probably right. Having followed almost exactly the same life path as my dad - scientific degree, get a job in that sort of field as a graduate - I find myself with a standard of living and wealth significantly below the one he enjoyed. My parents' first proper house, that we moved out of when I was 2, was for sale when my wife and I were looking to move. It was way out of our budget and I am nearly 10 years older than he was at the time. My mum didn't work. My wife has been a teacher for 8 years.

When you compare us to our parents, pensioners get little sympathy. I have no first hand experience of other backgrounds of course and I know enough to understand that it won't be the same for everyone. But it is easier to understand why the older generation are reviled by a lot of the current generation.

The government is happy to make sweeping changes in policies that effect young people with little notice but will not do the same to the older generation. As an example, young people who have been told their whole life that university is the ultimate goal and for whom employment will be impossible without it, have a 9k per year charge added with one years notice. There was no phased increase, so people just one year apart will see significant differences in their net income for life, with no real choice as employers weren't set up to offer alternatives in the way of apprenticeships at that sort of notice. Yet when pension arrangements were changed, anyone retiring in the next 10 years was protected and the pension age increase was staggered over many years.

Bus passes and tv licences are the tip of the iceberg. When child benefit is means tested, but free heating for older people isn't it breeds discontent. It's a question that merits a serious response from those in charge.
Timmd on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Timmd) Find me a pensioner on ukc who's on the breadline and you may have a point.


I didn't really know who you ment by 'us', people of pensionable age, the UK as a whole, UKC pensioners, or UKC as a whole.

If we're talking about people of pensioinable age, apparantly it can be a problem that pensioners don't claim all that they're able to claim in benefits, and suffer instead, which is why benefits are given to all pensioners irrespective of wealth, to make sure those who would struggle on in hardship don't do.
drmarten on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (as a former policy official under both New Labour and Coalition)

What background and experience do you have to be a policy official and is there any reason you're no longer in the role?
BigBrother - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> As someone paying for my parents to retire at the age of 55

How are you paying for your parents to retire at 55?
toad - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to BigBrother:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> [...]
>
> How are you paying for your parents to retire at 55?

By working and paying taxes- that's how pensions work! You aren't paying into your own little pension pot, the money you pay now is going to pay out pensions for those who have already retired - All those smug baby boomer public sector workers who went at 55 (like my inlaws)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Sir Chasm - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
>
> I didn't really know who you ment by 'us', people of pensionable age, the UK as a whole, UKC pensioners, or UKC as a whole.
>
> If we're talking about people of pensioinable age, apparantly it can be a problem that pensioners don't claim all that they're able to claim in benefits, and suffer instead, which is why benefits are given to all pensioners irrespective of wealth, to make sure those who would struggle on in hardship don't do.

Ukc as a whole, to save your confusion.

And benefits aren't generally given to people over pension age without them claiming.

Jon Stewart - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to drmarten:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> What background and experience do you have to be a policy official and is there any reason you're no longer in the role?

Not quite sure what you're implying, but civil servants don't tend to come from a related area and bring expertise. They're just civil servants who've done that all their lives, and they tend to do lots and lots of different roles in lots of Departments rather than becoming a real expert in one area. I think that's a bad thing, it be much better if people with experience went into the relevant part of the civil service but that's just not how civil service recruitment works.

I moved from immigration, where I'd been since after university, into skills/education, so what qualified me to advise the minister on stuff about Apprenticeships? Nothing frankly, except that after a year or so in the job I knew quite a lot about the system.

The reason I left the job was because I hated it and had done for years, and a voluntary redundancy programme came up when the Tories came in. My managers seemed to think I was quite good at it, as I did try to really get to the bottom of questions (through fathoms of bullshit and obfuscation from the people in the quangos who ran the system) and provide advice accordingly.

Why do you ask?
drmarten on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to drmarten)
>> Why do you ask?

Genuine interest. I don't necessarily agree with the system but only interested!
Postmanpat on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> living on 53 quid a week for six months or so, just to see if it's as easy as he apparently thinks it is.
>
Why do you think he thinks it is easy when he has said just the opposite?

Al Evans on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: The whole of this thread is based around the totally appropriate grumpiness of the post baby boomers who realise that the whole economy has been mismanaged since 1970 yet will not admit it.
If we had managed it right there still would not be such an enormous poverty gap between have and have nots and we would not be arguing about taxing the rich and giving pensions to the poor who have worked all their lives.
Tom V - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
As someone else has pointed out, with a few regrettable exceptions, we don't have too many have-nots on UKC.

There are threads galore discussing the pros and cons of this 500 bike or that, or which high-end compact is better for the hills, and yet a real swell of resentment at people accepting a pass probably worth a similar amount.

Every person who uses a bus pass is not driving a car into your town with all its concomitant damage. I would have thought that was worth something.

In fact, I can see an argument for extending bus pass ownership to school-run drivers, but I expect there are insurmountable image problems down that road.
BigBrother - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to toad: I didn't see that he said his parents where on an early retirement civil service pension so I wondered how they were claiming a state pension at 55.
Timmd on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Timmd)
> [...]
>
> Ukc as a whole, to save your confusion.
>
> And benefits aren't generally given to people over pension age without them claiming.

I mean payments, not benefits, like cold weather payments.
Irk the Purist - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Tom V:

My recent thread asking about which bike to buy is because I can't afford to run my car any more. Not everything on the internet is necessarily to be taken at face value.


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