CV-19 pensions debate

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  • Your arguments do not hold water, Zendaze. You are becoming an apologist for one of the lowest rates of state pension in the world. Study that link I so kindly posted!


    Whose rent are you talking about being paid for by the state? We have to pay our bloody rent - and poll tax or council tax - out of our pensions. We are paying that rent, through the money that we paid into national insurance all of the years of our working lives. That is our money, not some gift from the government, as you seem to think it is!


    It is no good saying 'one can claim this,' and 'one can claim that'. We are not talking pie in the sky here, we are talking basic state pensions against average wages. Many people cannot even claim any form of pension credit, for example, because once your income - or that of a couple living at the same address - rises just a little above a given level, your pension credit stops. Even if the rise in income is only temporary, as in for example seasonal work, or one partner having a part-time zero-hour contract which gives occasional work. So then you have to go through the whole rigmarole of applying again; by which time your circumstances may have changed again.


    We've been there, done that, and I can tell you the system is geared to make it as difficult as possible. So most people give up after awhile, and stick with the basic state pension. Which is what the present government wants, of course. Apologists for the UK system often say: 'Oh, but it says you can apply for this, and for that, and even the other; it must be good'. Have they tried it? Have they had the experience? Of course not. I have pensioner neighbours who cannot even afford to turn their heating on except for a few hours a night in cold weather, and sometimes not even then. So don't give us conservative apologist crap about generous state pensions.


    Check out that list, Man. We are almost bottom out of over 50 countries. 5th richest country in the world, and bottom of the pile in state pensions! That says all you need to know about how the UK pension system is run.

  • Milliemercedes and Oldkeith:


    I get your points. Mine still stand and hold water.


    It was not my intention to excuse low income. (for pensioners or anyone else).

    I'm glad you get our points, and acknowledge that it was not your intention to laud the low-income state pensions paid by the present government.


    But your arguments, so far as stated in your post, still do not hold water. To do that they must be based in facts. Not suppositions. Study the cold equations - we in the UK have the second-lowest state pension, when compared to 50 other countries in that chart, which compares state pensions against the working wage in those countries. The state pension in the UK is a national disgrace.

  • I'm glad you get our points, and acknowledge that it was not your intention to laud the low-income state pensions paid by the present government.


    But your arguments, so far as stated in your post, still do not hold water. To do that they must be based in facts. Not suppositions. Study the cold equations - we in the UK have the second-lowest state pension, when compared to 50 other countries in that chart, which compares state pensions against the working wage in those countries. The state pension in the UK is a national disgrace.

    Sure.


    Let's talk about a state aid system that gaurentees pensioners more than enough to get by.


    Do you personally disagree that pensioners qualify to have at least £15 per day for daily living expenses.


    All things being relative and comparative that is much more than is available on ssp or more generally unemployment benefit.


    You know that I heavily support the model of a minimum income gaurentee.


    It's not for this thread at the moment imo because the income issue and risk, taking Covid-19 into account, is more to do with those who receive much lower levels of day by day cash.


    I'm not going to bat around about state aid for pensioners here when they are far more comprehensively supported by state benefit than other age groups who will find themselves in crisis.


    We can discuss the particulars in slow time if you want but I think you should start a new thread about how shit state aid for pensioners is when compared to state aid for others.

  • I'm glad you get our points, and acknowledge that it was not your intention to laud the low-income state pensions paid by the present government.


    But your arguments, so far as stated in your post, still do not hold water. To do that they must be based in facts. Not suppositions. Study the cold equations - we in the UK have the second-lowest state pension, when compared to 50 other countries in that chart, which compares state pensions against the working wage in those countries. The state pension in the UK is a national disgrace.

    Sure.


    Let's talk about a state aid system that gaurentees pensioners more than enough to get by.


    Do you personally disagree that pensioners qualify to have at least £15 per day for daily living expenses.


    All things being relative and comparative that is much more than is available on ssp or more generally unemployment benefit.


    You know that I heavily support the model of a minimum income gaurentee.


    It's not for this thread at the moment imo because the income issue and risk, taking Covid-19 into account, is more to do with those who receive much lower levels of day by day cash.


    I'm going to bat around about state aid for pensioners here when they are far more comprehensively supported by state benefit than other age groups who will find themselves in crisis.


    We can discuss the particulars in slow time if you want but I think you should start a new thread about it how shit state aid for pensioners is when compared to state aid for others.

  • Again you are harping on suppositions. You are saying this or that state aid is available. What you probably mean, if we are honest, is that you have been told - by the government or whoever - that this or that are available. That may be so on paper, like much else, but this is not what we are discussing.


    We are not discussing what money you have to plead for with this or that government department.


    We are discussing the basic state pension with nothing attached.


    We are not discussing:

    'Here is a little; if you plead and fight for it, we may give you a little more, depending...'


    We are discussing the basic state pension. No ifs or buts. Your basic state pension, which is what you get in your hand.

    And when rated against the average working wage, we come second from bottom in that long list of countries. The 5th richest country in the world, with the worst pension but one, of all those 51 listed.


    The basic state pension is pertinent to this discussion in that it means that with such a low pension many more who are on this pension are more likely to encounter hardship and even death than in those countries which have a better pension. A better pension means better food, better housing and warmth, and a generally higher standard of living. It means that even if you die, you will die more comfortably....:reddevil:

  • That's not what Im discussing....


    But sure. Just like there should be an adequate minimum income gaurentee recieved by everyone (without filling in forms etc) so should pensions be.


    So what's the issue then Oldkeith?


    Pensioners I know who applied for attendance allowance had someone come to their home and assess and complete the forms on their behalf.


    Whoever "we" is... Its not me.



    The provision for pensioners is adequate when compared to state aid available to non pensioners.


    Age UK run advocacy services and can provide help with claims for pension credit.


    A decent minimum income gaurentee would do away with many issues for non pensioners too.


    As it stands adequate financial support is preferentially available to pensioners only.

  • I'm with you totally here Keith. I only get state pension. I do not have rent or a mortgage thankfully but have to pay council tax and everything else associated with keeping alive and keeping a roof over my head.

    Sure there is help but researching the various governmental and charity websites it is clear that I qualify for nothing.

    I pay for my spectacles and dental treatment also. The irony is that if I did qualify for pension credit that would give me help with these costs or in some cases a free pass.

    In fact this country (the best in the world I believe) and successive governments should hang their heads in shame!!!!!

  • The issue, Zendaze, is that you seem to consider that the state pension in this country is not only adequate, but rather good, and that pensioners are well looked after.


    Obviously you are not living on a state pension yourself, or you would be thinking otherwise, your views forcibly altered by your personal experience.


    What you tend to do is to bring into the discussion all the possible - and some impossible - items that may be offered by the establishment if the pensioner concerned takes enough time and trouble to pursue them. But in the main, most of these extras are often unreachable; why otherwise do you think that there is £3.5 Billion unclaimed in pension credit every year?


    Perhaps because your own circumstances are different, you do not understand the everyday expenses that the majority of pensioners who live on state pension have to deal with. For example, there are two of us living in a small one-bedroom flat. For this we pay the council £80 a week. Gas and electricity bills total approx. £23 a week in winter. Poll or council tax is £30 a week. Various insurances are £10 a week. A council garage is £12 a week. £155 in total, so far. That is my pension gone completely, and we have not eaten anything or gone out of the home yet.


    So if I lived here alone, I would be out on the street, because the basic state pension does not give me enough to live on. The housing credit we got at one time has been reduced to nothing over the last ten years, gradually going down year by year until we get none, because national and local governments have reduced it. The fact that I am alive and well and reasonably warm and fed is only because there are two of us, and we share our expenses and pool our resources, and do not have expensive habits. We haunt charity shops for clothes and food bins and Aldi and Lidl for food. My partner gets a pension that is only about two-thirds of mine, and this gives us enough to buy the basics of food and clothes, and if she gets a few hours of part-time work most weeks, this pulls us through.


    Read the article in the link I have provided. Digest it. All the offerings under the sun mean nothing if they are only offerings. These offerings are often not worth the paper they are printed on. Pies in the sky, as is so much else. But I do appreciate that if you have not been there you cannot understand; the paper promises can fool even the most liberal-minded, until they are actually analysed for what they are.

  • Post by likahamadoolihan ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves ().
  • A couple of pensioners who share info on this with me assure me that they are in receipt of the £160+ pension credit income gaurentee plus their rent is paid.


    They further assure me that the pensioners they interact with are also in receipt of the gaurenteed amounts (apx £160 for a single person and £255 for a couple) plus rent is paid by benefit.


    None of these people do paid work that might complicate the benefit assessment.


    I'll double check the council tax benefit part with when next I see them.

  • I get that you are righteously angry about it Keith.... I would be much more steamingly angry than you seem to be but I can only show info that I have access to.


    I personally hate filling in forms and am not in any way in favour of beaurocratic barriers.


    I can only show you what I know and have access to.


    It does already appear that my sum of £15 per day after rent and utilities is marginally incorrect but probably just shy of actuality.


    Again. I'll get back to you once I can confirm the figures based on the 2nd and 3rd hand info available to me.


    ? I don't think you included water and sewage in the figures you provided.?


    The £167/255 figure does not qualify as income when assessed for other benefits so you would only be out on the street if you would not fill out the forms or allow someone else to fill them out on your behalf.


    I genuinely hope this helps and that you will re-assess and claim all the financial support that is available to those pensioners who rent, have minimal savings and no paid work.


    As already stated this is what such pensioners receive based on the 2nd hand info that is available to me.


    I would not be in favour of a non means tested gaurenteed pension income above the rate of statutory pension unless a universal basic income (with the appropriate changes to tax levels and tax breaks) is introduced.

  • A rough calculation allowing 1400 for ct and 1750 for utilities would equal payments of £61 per week.


    Deduct £61 from £167 and £255 respectively and it would appear I have made an error in my assertion of £15 per day available for daily expenditure.


    Couples might make up for that a little in their food and cooking habits but nonetheless my assertion would be wrong when it comes to pensioner couples.

  • I quite agree with you about UBI, Zendaze, but not about the basic state pension. The latter could be changed anytime, UBI would take rather more time and planning, even by a political party that gave it in their election promises.


    Yes, you are right, we do have another £14.50 to pay every week for water and sewage, but for only 10 months of the year, so over the year it works out at about 13.40 a month, in addition to the bills I mentioned above. My partner's part-time work sometimes, depending on hours, takes our joint income above the £255 for a couple, on some weeks, but not on others. As her work cannot be guaranteed by her boss to reach a given mean over the course of the year, this means they can only work it out from the tax returns he sends in after the year has ended. And very conveniently for them they do not make payments in arrears for benefits and treatments.


    She likes the work - helping partially-disabled persons learn basic gardening - so I don't discourage her, but it was better when she first retired and we got a bit of pension credit. Not so much for the cash that brought it up to that level, as for the access to free dental and other treatment and benefits it gave.


    As far as 'out on the street' goes, that was more a turn of phrase, (I hope!). But we have several neighbours, single persons living on the basic state pension and paying most of the same sort of bills, who find it very difficult to make ends meet. These are the ones who sometimes have to choose between eating and heating in cold weather, and who are in the habit of calling on friends and relatives once or twice a week to get a free meal and warmth. Granted, they are not as survival-conscious as we are, and they buy more junk food instead of plain but nourishing fare, and spend Saturday night sometimes having a drink with mates, but most folks do that anyway.