Monday, 1 October 2012

It's those Pensioners again ...

An article in today's selection of 'Yahoo News' articles, implies that pensioners are ruining the British economy. Pensioners are, of course, a soft target. If you were to say the same thing about the people who have gone straight from school onto the dole, or have taken advantage of the idiocy of 'adopting' the 'unplanned' offspring of their teenage daughters in order to secure bigger, better housing and more and more income support, child benefit and so on, the media and the politicians would come under immediate fire from the Islington Set, not to mention the Fabian Society and probably the BBC. But pensioners? Who needs them - a drain on resources, cluttering up the health care system, blocking beds in hospitals, costing an arm and a leg in "care" homes ...

The solution, according to the 'bright young thing' who wrote this latest piece of tosh, is more immigration. Yes, import more third world migrants who send their earnings home and, when they retire, will be paid for by the state. Now there's a solution for you.

What this Ms and her political friends overlook is that most of us Pensioners have paid toward these pensions throughout our working lives. Whitehall, however, didn't invest a single penny of it. It vanished into the general 'tax' pot for the denizens of Westminster to spend on every pet project and cockamamy ideology they could dream of. My friends in the Fire Service have gone through this several times. "Their pensions are too generous" is the cry on every politician and civil servant's lips - overlooking the fact that the fire fighters have paid, over a working life of 30 years, 11% of the salaries toward it. The Local Authorities who took the cash, spent it, on 'social housing,' 'nursery schools,' 'minority affairs' and much, much more, including their own very generous 'retirement' handouts and 'pensions.' No, the problem is, of course, that the fire fighters failed to die in service - and now, when they, and all the other people who have paid into these funds, want to draw them, we are told we are causing a problem.

I want to use a very rude expression here, but will refrain. Yes, I'm angry. I've contributed all my working career. One pension fund has been stripped and stolen, now I rely on a small State pension and a slightly more generous 'private' one. I'm not the problem. I am only drawing back what I have paid for - sometimes at the cost of something I actually needed back then!

Brown destroyed the pensions of those who had been savvy enough (and earned enough after the punitive taxation imposed by that Party of wastrels) to invest privately for retirement. Previous governments squandered the public pension 'insurance' that is supposed to come from 'National Insurance' and now its our fault for living too long and wanting to enjoy the fruits of our enforced payments. The State Pension is small enough - much less than someone on unemployment benefit gets - and we pay tax on anything and everything else we might have 'put by.' I for one constantly get demands from the morons at HMRC for 'advance payment' against 'potential earnings.' I know I'm not the only person they keep hounding. My error was in telling them, when I retired six years ago, that I intended to try and work for myself. Now, despite voluminous correspondence with them, they still refuse to accept that I am fully and finally retired.

The problem is that the W*nk*rs in Whitehall and Westminster thought the population would continue to grow along a predictable curve. They'd also worked out in the Treasury, that life expectancy of the average industrial worker, miner or labourer (like fire fighters) was about 65. Bingo, cash for old rope, tell them they're paying into a 'fund,' spend the money freely and pay anyone lucky enough to reach retirement out of the 'income' from the idiots still working and paying. Only one problem, with industry vanishing faster than the famous Oujah Bird Frankie Howerd loved, the number of people in employment and contributing has shrunk. Second problem, a large slice of the populace has found it to be more lucrative to be "on benefit" than to take the low paid jobs the Whitehall Department responsible keeps telling us they can't fill and must therefore rely on immigrants for. Third, the cost of Westminster and Whitehall continues to escalate - and they have to find the money somewhere.

Oh! I know Chancellor - blame the pensioners. The rotters are living far too long!

1 comment:

  1. I need to be very careful here, as I am one of the lucky ones whose pensions are virtually guaranteed, short of the nation becoming bankrupt or Aberdeen being wiped off the face of the earth, although what was an Aberdeen City Police and Fire pension is now the NE Scotland Pensions organisation, I hope that they saved money to pay my pension and did not simply create jobs for civil/local authority servants. My Home Office pension is also administered by a private company, however, both of these companies do appear to know what they are doing.

    I also had a letter from the tax man telling me that I shall never again have to fill in a tax return now that my 2011-2012 return is filed.

    I would suggest that the HMRC organisation is one that could be rationalised along the same lines that fire safety legislation was; no routine checks and assumptions that all are the same, (and guilty!)but a risk-based approach focussing on getting results rather than pestering perfectly normal people. Stop hounding ordinary workers and get a grip of the multi-million £/$/Euro evaders. (Yes, Mr Bliar, ones like you!)

    Increase the tax-free income to at least £10,000, no poor people need bother, they keep what they earn, full stop. Even better up it to £15 or even £20k. Up the 40% tax margin to prevent senior teachers and nursing sisters being in the "super-tax" bracket, that is a nonsense. We now have a situation where 50% of the population won't trouble the tax-man at all, 45% will be totally PAYE, so shouldn't trouble them much, therefore all of the tax-men can focus on squeezing those with real money; Perhaps they could be put on commission.

    We would save some salaries then perhaps, but then they would need other employment, at low pay, (civil service Admin Assistants and Admin Officers do not earn much, Gordon Brown caught them a corker abolishing the 10p tax rate.)so they could take the jobs that our next wave of immigrants were going to take. Result!

    The best news I've heard on "de-regulation" for a long time was today's announcement that if a guy in a public bar pulls out a mouth organ and croons a tune, he won't get the landlord jailed for not having what used to be the "public entertainment licence". Scotland, as ever, had this sorted years ago, you needed one licence for a premises, if you are a pub, you can do entertainment as long as it doesn't turn your pub into a music hall. A cinema might need a gambling license to run bingo, but it is a rubber stamp as the building is already deemed safe.

    Who else could we get rid of? Perhaps suggesting that we get rid of County and District councils and allow the parish volunteers to do what the Laird cannot. But theat would be a bit feudal for Slim Jim I suspect.