“PENSIONS” are NOT “BENEFITS”
Just watched Sky news (November 26th 2016) reporting on the Governments thoughts on the state pension through Stephen Crabbe (Govt, minister ) & a Sky presenter / interviewer. Both called the pension a “benefit” & went on to say that its now unfair, because younger people have seen a percentage decrease in their “benefits” !
The state pension is a held in a Govt. pot made up from people paying their own money into it every week for around 50 years! This is then due to each pensioner if they are lucky enough to survive to 65 years old.
This is completely different to a “benefit” which is often given to someone with nothing having been paid in by that person.
To somehow compare this with a benefit that a younger person may get for being out of work, or as a help for housing or family is just wrong!. Younger people have many more opportunities to work & earn money whereas older people are often infirm & cannot work so easily.
To triple lock the state pension, guaranteeing pensioners a bare minimum to live was passed through parliament under David Cameron & was responsible for many people voting for that Conservative Govt. Now when they are in power they cannot, in all good faith, disregard this policy & the effects it will have on all people (everyone will be a pensioner if they get to 65 or so)
The strange & alarming fact is that when you become a pensioner you are immediately thought of & treated as a second class citizen & just when we see signs of this being put right we have this huge retrograde step.
This is further shown by the fact that UK citizens who choose to live in most other parts of the world outside Europe are then treated as second class UK citizens by not being given an annual pension increase in line with inflation or any benefits which all pensioners in UK. get. The excuse is that the Govt. does not have an agreement with whichever country that may be.
This is completely irrelevant as the agreement is between the Govt. and the individual. I have always paid my money in to the state pension pot by means of National Insurance Contributions, as it is a legal necessity. Surely the Govt. must hold up its side of the contract & pay the money back in the form of a state pension, no matter where one chooses to live?
Being restricted from living where one wants is against the basic human right of freedom of movement. Why should someone living in the Philippines receive all annual increments & yet someone living in Australia or Thailand not receive any annual increase.
There are some people who retired in the 1960’s & 70’s whose pension has remained the same, still receiving only around 10 pounds a week . The UK. Goverments of whatever colour have totally written these people off as unimportant & less worthy than any other UK. citizen.
The fact that by living outside of the UK. these pensioners actually save the country more money than those living in the UK. is also a point that would seem to be valid.
Even people from other countries who come to UK are given more though they are not UK. citizens & have never paid anything into the pot!
“Pensioner” is a term which will come to all of us if we live long enough & so this must be a concern for every UK. citizen.
We pensioners living elsewhere still have a valid UK passport & many have worked hard all their lives on the Governments promise that they would be taken care of in their old age – this promise has clearly been broken & now far from reducing pensioners rightful receipt of a living pension the emphasis should be on even more help to these most important UK citizens who have contributed so much to the UK economy, no matter where they live.