Alan Milburn's Report to the Government

  oresome 18:45 17 Oct 13
Locked

Concludes that older people have been spared the impact of austerity measures and said benefits for the elderly need to be reviewed in order to make life easier for the young.

Spared the impact! What planet is the guy living on?

Welfare benefits may well have been index linked to a measure of inflation throughout this time, but few pensioners can live on welfare benefits alone.

Interest rates on savings have been decimated as have annuity rates that determine defined contribution pensions. All due to the Government printing money to avoid massive defaults from those heavily in debt at the expense of those with retirement savings.

I can see a case for some benefits to be targeted at those that really need them, but the cost involved probably outweighs any savings that can be made.

As a pensioner I don't mind sharing the pain, but do object to being accused of escaping the impact.

  cream. 19:14 17 Oct 13

"but few pensioners can live on welfare benefits alone"

The poorest single pensioner would have a guaranteed pension of £145.40 and a couple would get £220.05. They would be also premiums for disabled £59.50 single, £119 both and carers would receive £33.30 each.

free prescriptions, bus travel, winter fuel allowance £200 for all. Housing benefit and council tax benefit.

50% of welfare benefits go to the over 60's on state pensions. That's more than housing benefit, unemployment benefit, social security,incapacity benefit, attendance allowance, child benefit and on and on.

Is it not time to look at making savings?

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:20 17 Oct 13

Milburn, like Scammeron and Osdick, has no concept of the reality for ordinary people, struggling with reduced benefits and increased bills.

  spider9 22:09 17 Oct 13

Mr M

Bit unfair, what he was saying was that the 'extras' paid to better-off pensioners could be better used if applied to education/training for the young. I agree, anyway.

  bumpkin 23:11 17 Oct 13

Never claimed anything just paid in for 45yrs so when it is my turn I think that any money due to me could be better given to the younger generation for newer phones and better tatoos on their tits.

  spider9 08:10 18 Oct 13

bumpkin

"Never claimed anything..."

If, in your life you have never needed any NHS medical/dental treatment, childhood immunisations etc, then you are truly a fortunate fellow, and should count your blessings, and be happy for tattooed tits!

  oresome 09:36 18 Oct 13

The welfare bill for pensioners is going up because we have an ageing population. This hasn't suddenly been sprung on us. It was apparent after the last world war when the baby boom started so it could have been planned for.

I take on board some of what cream says, but to introduce disability allowances etc. is muddying the argument.

I have a bus pass that has been used only twice in over five years, so that hasn't cost the taxpayer much and I expect it's the same for many other over sixties.

The winter fuel allowance has not been adjusted for inflation and will be allowed to wither on the vine if the treasury so decides.

Pension planning is for the long term, but my wife's retirement age has been put back five years at short notice which has created a £25k shortfall for us. (Those women born in 1953 are particularly hard hit)

I like many others are of modest means, but receive only the basic state pension and no housing or council tax benefits.

I take the necessary austerity measures on the chin, but object to being described as cushioned from their effects.

  spider9 11:34 18 Oct 13

oresome

My understanding was that the reference "cushioned" was aimed at the wealthier pensioners - getting benefits like heating allowance, bus travel,TV licences etc, - not all pensioners.

The problem, as always however, is deciding on a definition of 'wealthy'.

Perhaps the real reason is consecutive governments choosing to ignore the ageing population problem (purely for their own electoral purposes - a plague on both their houses!!), and simply 'kicking it down the road', until it now looks like we are fast approaching the end of that particular road!

  fourm member 12:19 18 Oct 13

spider9 was spot on in his response to Mr Mistoffolees.

The 'reality for ordinary people' is that Alan Sugar needs his winter fuel allowance and Mick Jagger must have a bus pass.

(Oresome, my understanding is that bus companies are paid a flat fee for accepting bus passes so it doesn't matter how much you use yours it is costing the government to provide it.)

A modest proposal.

Political parties should be allowed to use their own funds to bribe voters. That way governments (of all persuasions) wouldn't need to use the benefits' system for that purpose.

  john bunyan 13:11 18 Oct 13

I think it would be administratively easier to include the winter fuel allowance in the OAP and then it would become taxable at 40% for the higher earning pensioners.

  caccy 17:53 18 Oct 13

Spider9 "wealthier pensioners - getting benefits like heating allowance, bus travel,TV licences etc," "wealthier" pensioners under 75 do not get tv licences." Also bear in mind that they also pay income tax.

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