There is an item in todays Times – “Pensioner tax rises under review”.
Now there’s a surprise.
They reckon that us pensioners are living much too comfortably and it’s time we were penalised.
However, it’s not the article itself that has me riled, so much as a comment in response to the article. At the time I write this, there are three comments that make reasonable points, but then along comes “Insider_ie”. I am sorely tempted to reply to him directly, but a) I refuse to use a fucking Facebook account to log in and b) my comment would never pass moderation anyway.
So, Insider_ie, you reckon that objecting to tax hikes is a knee jerk reaction, do you? Let’s analyse your points.
“There is very strong evidence that over-65s are relatively well-off compared to the working majority. Over-65s, on average, have much smaller mortgages, or no mortgages at all, many have dual pensions, i.e. State pensions as well as private pensions, and many do not need free travel for the over-66s or the package of univeral allowances, for over-70s.”
First point… SHOW ME YOUR STRONG EVIDENCE. You make a glib crack like that based on nothing more than personal prejudice and fuck all else. You say I have a small mortgage or none at all. Correct. And why is this? Because I have paid the fucking thing off. You fret about having dual pensions as if this is a crime, but why do we have dual pensions? Because we paid for the fucking things over a lifetime’s work.
“At a time of scare resources, wealthy pensioners who have good incomes should not be receiving free travel, free electricity, free telephone, and free TV licence. If we're not going to means-test State pensions per se – which seems to have been ruled-out – then at least the universal allowances should be means-tested, and should, of course, continue for those who are not well-off (which goes without saying).”
Once again, Insider_ie, you miss the point. Us pensioners have worked for forty to fifty years. We built up this country and carried it through a couple of recessions. We paid our taxes. We paid our mortgages [and I would love to see your reaction on being faced with a 15% mortgage rate!]. We paid into pension funds. We scrimped and we saved. We shed blood, sweat and tears. We planned for our future. That future has now arrived and we are going to relax now and enjoy the benefits of our hard labour. So you, Insider_ie think that we should be penalised for our prudence? You think that we worked all those years to bail you out? You begrudge us a free television licence for fuck’s sake! How fucking petty can you get?
“It's also worth remembering that very many pensioners benefited during the Celtic Tiger, selling large homes to younger people for ridiculous amounts and trading down to smaller homes or apartments. That's not to say that very many didn't also lose their nest-eggs invested in bank shares etc, but there are many thousands who kept the cash in the bank or put it into other investments. Good luck to them, I say, but why expect the coping classes to subsidise them through universal benefits and allowances? Many of them that I know don't expect it and are just amazed that they continue to get the freebies that they continue to get at this advanced stage of the recession!”
So some of us sold large homes during the recession? So fucking what? Where did we get those homes? Yes – we paid for them. If we downsized then that is financial prudence. It is called “cashing in one’s assets”. And if we sold those houses for ridiculous amounts then that’s our good fortune and tough luck on those who were willing to pay those amounts. It was the buyers who set the prices, after all.
I’m very sorry that some of us didn’t lose everything in the crash. Some of us were a thing called “sensible”. We sat on our cash and watched the rest of the world collapse, and now we should be penalised for that?
Well, Insider_ie, your little comment in the Times just reeks of begrudgery. We have something and you want it. Tough fucking luck.
And if it’s a knee jerk reaction you want, you can have one from me.
Right in the bollox.