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Hey, old people! Our rulers really despise you

Our politicians know that the elderly are more likely to vote than the young. In 2010, 75% of the over-65s voted compared to about 55% of those aged 18 to 34:

older votes

So when election time approaches, our politicians are lavish with their promises to older people in order to get their votes.

But how well have successive governments actually treated the elderly?

Firstly, a few pensioner facts

1.Britain’s state pension is one of the lowest in the developed world

2. About 28,000 elderly die every winter from conditions related to the cold, often because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly

3. Around 500,000 pensioners receive some form of care in their homes – often just one or two 15-minute visits a day. These visits are so short, that many elderly have to make a choice whether to eat or go to the toilet when there’s someone there to help them

Of course, Britain is drowning in debt and we can’t afford to look after our elderly properly, can we? But who do our rulers prioritise when handing out the little money we have?

Let’s start with Labour  

Under New Labour, we got “immigration, immigration, immigration”. Around 7 million immigrants poured into Britain as part of Blair’s deliberate policy to open the borders, force multi-culturalism on us and, of course, import Labour voters.

About 70% of immigrants work. Assuming 80% of those working are getting tax credits of the average of £5,600 a year, then that’s costing us about £21.9bn a year. Then assume that the 2,100,000 immigrants not working are costing us about £10,000 each a year in benefits and public services (NHS, schools, policing, translation, housing etc) then that’s another £21bn.

So, these immigrants are probably costing us around £42.9bn a year. That’s enough to give Britain’s 11 million pensioners a rise in their pensions of around £3,900 a year. Then our state pension wouldn’t look so miserly.

Or we could have given our 11 million pensioners just £3,000 each and that would have left £20,000 a year for each of the 500,000 pensioners receiving care in their homes. Then we really would be able to provide proper care for these 500,000 needing it.

And now the Coalition

Well, firstly the Tory/LibDem government continued to allow mass immigration, generously showering new arrivals with our money. For example, the Coalition could have stopped paying £52m a year child benefits to children not living in Britain. But they did nothing.

Perhaps the biggest change in spending under Cameron/Clegg was the massive increase in foreign aid to the world’s most corrupt kleptocrats from £7.9bn a year to £12bn a year. Just this £4.1bn increase would have been enough to give every one of Britain’s 11 million pensioners an extra £400 each winter to help heat their homes or Britain’s poorest pensioners more than £1,000 each. That would have warmed quite a few homes and saved a few thousand lives.

So, old people, there’s something you need to understand – our rulers want your votes. But they don’t seem to want you.

They’d much rather give our money to foreigners who have contributed nothing to our country than to British pensioners, many of whom will have worked and paid taxes most of their lives.

16 comments to Hey, old people! Our rulers really despise you

  • John Fields

    The government have created a new scheme for pensioners. It is called “Cremation.”
    It cuts down our numbers and at the same time solves the heating allowance costs.
    I seem to keep repeating myself, but as this blog is about pensioners I thought I might as well. As an 87 year old this is what they have done to me. In the November 2011
    Budget they took £100 off my Heating Allowance, i.e., 25 per cent, and at the same
    time lowered the top rate of tax from 50 per cent to 45 per cent. I am in my third year of frozen tax allowances which means that my private pension and state pension
    increases are all taxed at 20 per cent. So I am paying my share towards those dark
    African gentlemen in silk suits, to keep them in luxury.

  • Keen Reader

    Every word you write is true. I am one of the tens of thousands of old people whose security in old age disappeared round the U-bend when the corrupt Equitable Life went under more than a decade ago, its dodgy dealings over many years having been given the go-ahead by a succession of incompetent Government “Regulators”. When elected five years ago the ConDems made a great song and dance about settling the issue of compensation – which they did, at around 22p. for every £1 that had been stolen. That demonstrates how little respect they have for the nation’s elderly who had worked and paid taxes all their lives and who made financial sacrifices whilst working in order to be self-sufficient in retirement. In the small South coast town where I live it is impossible to get a doctor’s appointment unless you plan your illness two weeks in advance, crime is increasing because of reductions in policing and new-build boxes (sorry, houses) are proliferating without any provision for adequate roads, additional doctors or more school places. Power costs increase far in excess of pensions and ever more old people are living in homes they can’t afford to heat. I and my elderly neighbours comment daily that the Government has no interest in old people other than seeing us off a.s.a.p. so that they can save what they pay us in pensions, save what we cost the NHS, pocket any death duties that may be payable and release our homes to accommodate the ever increasing influx of immigrants.
    It’s been UKIP for some years now for me and for many of my acquaintances.

  • Peter Dead

    It is rational behaviour on the part of the government – by importing low paid immigrants to do the care work and then topping up their earnings and housing via working families tax credits and housing benefits you get their grateful vote and hopefully retain the older generations vote too and, as you say, get to control the care system via taxation. Reversing this by stopping ‘low paid’ immigrants would reveal the true cost of providing care using indigenous labour and would transfer the cost to the older generation who, being retired, will no longer have the means to increase their income to cover this true cost. Government therefore loses both sets of voters!
    PS: It would be interesting to see figures for how engaged immigrants with the right to vote are in elections.
    Catering for the needs of immigrants of course generates demands for more infrastructure but that can be financed into the distance via pfi for another generation to deal with, and the increased demands for health care and teachers etc create additional state funded employment. A virtuous circle but I can’t help thinking there is a flaw in this argument!

    PPS: I didn’t realise I could comment as there is no comment button on the home page, only the archive.

  • Sasha

    “…£52m a year child benefits to children not living in Britain…” Where is the official source and verification for this figure?

    Would you also care to calculate how much it would cost if all these children were to come and live with their parents in Britain? Add up the total cost of everything that children need: food, clothing, transport, housing, medical care, education, social services and eventually jobs. Is that less than the cost of paying them child benefit to remain in their own countries?

    The current system serves a purpose; it allows workers to travel within the EU without having to worry about their children, who can remain in their own communities and extended families until adulthood, and it is a practical system for British migrants, thousands of whom work away from home for long periods.

    This psychotic obsession of paying child benefit to children “who don’t even live here” is as inexplicable as it is pathetic. What would be the result of ending these payments? Hundreds of thousands of children being uprooted from their homelands to traipse around Europe with their parents at the host countries’ expense. This prospect is never explained by anybody trumpeting the demise of these payments as some sort of “victory.”

  • Simon

    The only crumb of (very cold) comfort is that the entire system will shortly collapse.

  • There’s a thing called GOOGLE. It’s quite useful for finding the original sources of figures used in the press. You should try it one day.

  • Sasha

    Thank you so much for that genius piece of advice. You know what? I never would have thought of that myself, just as I would never have thought of finding out from HMRC itself that they have never kept a running total of what benefits are paid to EU migrants’ children. The numbers you quote are from the press, or more accurately, from those fountains of infallible knowledge and wisdom the British Press; and from where do the British press get these numbers?

    Compare British press reports with the facts that are provable:

    EXAMPLE

    “£36M FOR EU KIDS”

    Daily Star, 24 October 2012

    According to the Daily Star, UK taxpayers are losing out to the tune of nearly £40 million because EU nationals are claiming Child Benefit for children living abroad.

    The source of the Daily Star’s claim is the MP Priti Patel, who at the beginning of this week asked a Parliamentary Question about how many families living in the EU are in receipt of UK Child Benefit.

    Most families in receipt of Child Benefit are resident in the UK. But, as HM Revenue and Customs explain, some people living abroad may also qualify under the EU’s freedom of movement laws. For instance, if you work in the UK and live abroad you may still be entitled to claim for your child – as a UK taxpayer, you’re receiving money from a social security system that you’ve contributed to.

    Ms Patel wanted to know how many people from the European Economic Area (EEA) – excluding UK nationals – are able to claim Child Benefit for dependents, when their child is (a) living in the UK and (b) living outside the UK.

    David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary, informed Ms Patel that the Government only possessed information on those 40,251 children living outside the UK, with 23,855 families receiving a Child Benefit award from the Treasury (a figure up-to-date as of 30 September 2012).

    To put the number in context, Mr Gauke noted that approximately 7.5 million families are currently claiming child benefit for around 13 million children overall. This means that the children of foreign nationals account for 0.3% of the total.

    So where does the £36 million come from?

    While HMRC keeps a record of the number of families and children receiving Child Benefit, the cost attributed to these awards is not calculated. In fact, Mr Gauke explicitly states that no information on the cost to the Exchequer of EU claims is available. So how do they arrive at a figure of £36 million?

    A Child Benefit award is the total amount of money paid to the mother of a family for the upkeep of her children. In other words, the number of Child Benefit awards is equal to the number of families. The value of a Child Benefit award will vary depending on the number of children in a particular family.

    We know that there are 23,855 non-UK EEA “families” in receipt of at least £20.30 per week in child benefit (the amount payable for an only child or the eldest child in a family). This produces an annual bill of £25.2 million.

    But there are 40,251 children compared to 23,855 awards. So, as we would expect, there are more children than there are families. Or, to put it another way, some families have several children. So we now need to account for the cost of another 16,396 children. Every additional child in each family attracts a payment of £13.40 per week. These extra children cost the UK taxpayer £11.4 million per year.

    Therefore the total cost to the UK Treasury is, so the Daily Star calculates, £36.6 million.

    Or is it?

    Many of these non-UK EEA residents will be paying taxes to the UK Treasury so it’s not accurate to draw a distinction between UK taxpayers and these benefit recipients. In fact, many will be entitled to claim Child Benefit because they work in the UK and, at least in theory, have paid into the social security system.

    According to Ms Patel, the fact that EU residents can claim Child Benefit is “an abuse of the benefits system.” However, there is another side to the ledger, which neither Ms Patel nor the Daily Star refer to: we don’t know how much these individuals contribute to the Exchequer.

    What’s more, Mr Gauke explicitly states that the government does not calculate the cost to the Treasury of EU nationals claiming Child Benefit. This is in part because “not all such awards are made at full UK rates”. In place of official statistics, the Daily Star has generated its own cost analysis. But, as I have shown, this is inevitably flawed.

    ****

    I notice there is no reply to the question about what it would cost if all those children of EU migrants living in their homeland were to come and live in Britain, and whether it would be less that the cost of paying them to stay put.

    Try “Googling” an answer to that.

  • You’re really wasting your time trying to educate someone as stupid as me. Especially when your reasoning is about as solid as a blancmange. For example, you fail to take into account that many immigrants will not paying tax because they’ll be receiving up to £5,600 or more each a year in ‘tax credits’ (benefits). I think it was Milton Friedman who said something like ‘you can have a welfare system or you can have open borders, you cannot have both’. And I suspect he’s even smarter than you think you are.

  • Chris

    Well done Craig, you now have your very own troll (Sasha)
    You will waste an awful lot your time if you try to logically argue a point.

    Trolls are not interested in genuine debate.

  • MGJ

    Sasha,
    If you are not a troll and are hoping to influence people then calling them rude names (“pathetic”, “psychotic” etc.) is most unlikely to be successful.

  • Keen Reader

    Well said David, Chris & MGJ. Started to compose a balanced response myself, then thought, “Nah…… what’s the point? Save my energy for something worth while…”

  • Sasha

    Oh! Dear! So I am a “troll” am I? And why is that? Because I deal in the truth, maybe? I notice nobody here is disputing any of the facts I have set out, or answering any of the questions I have asked. I found all my information from checkable official sources and do not rely on the British press feeding me fantasy figures and unreliable data. If I see something such as “£52m a year child benefits to children not living in Britain” I want to know where that figure came from but apparently this is too much to ask and I am called a “troll” and so can be ignored without anyone having to think a bit harder or answer difficult questions.

    A lot of people think that prejudice + assumption = facts, but I do not.

    ****

    Psychotic obsession

    The narrowest definition of psychotic is restricted to delusions or prominent hallucinations, with the hallucinations occurring in the absence of insight into their pathological nature.

    Delusions: A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary.

    Obsessions are persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress.

    Hence the psychotic obsession with connecting immigrants with benefits.

  • Sasha

    “Well done Craig, you now have your very own troll (Sasha)
    You will waste an awful lot your time if you try to logically argue a point.

    “Trolls are not interested in genuine debate.”

    – Yes, it’s so much easier to stick a label on someone than answer their questions or refute their facts. And it is you that is not interested in “genuine debate” as you so easily resort to sticking labels on people you would rather not debate with.

    ****

    “If you are not a troll and are hoping to influence people then calling them rude names (“pathetic”, “psychotic” etc.) is most unlikely to be successful.”

    – If I were an immigrant, I would be offended by nearly everything said about me lately. Try reading some of what has been published and see how many “rude names” they have been called.

    ****

    “Well said David, Chris & MGJ. Started to compose a balanced response myself, then thought, “Nah…… what’s the point? Save my energy for something worth while…”

    – You have to hand it to someone that can make a remark by saying they are not going to bother saying the remark. Can’t wait for your next remark declaring you’re “saving your energy” for something “worth while” because it must be so hard for you to use up all that energy other than to say anything other than that you are not going to say anything.

    ****

    “You’re really wasting your time trying to educate someone as stupid as me. Especially when your reasoning is about as solid as a blancmange. For example, you fail to take into account that many immigrants will not paying tax because they’ll be receiving up to £5,600 or more each a year in ‘tax credits’ (benefits). I think it was Milton Friedman who said something like ‘you can have a welfare system or you can have open borders, you cannot have both’. And I suspect he’s even smarter than you think you are.”

    – Here is a classic exercise in how to insult someone and completely avoid answering all the facts and the questions asked at the same time. The statement “You’re really wasting your time trying to educate someone as stupid as me” is passive-aggressive and is followed up with an insult “your reasoning is about as solid as a blancmange,” which is the aggressive bit. The subject is then changed to tax credits, which is not what my posts are about. The post is ended with another gratuitous insult “he’s even smarter than you think you are” which indicates the complete failure to supply either contrary evidence to my facts, or any counter-argument to my assertions based upon those proven facts. Also, you know absolutely nothing about me, you don’t know how “smart” I am or “how smart I think I am” and I doubt anybody here would repeat their insulting remarks to my face.

  • NoMore

    I thought Sasha’s main point deserved a considered response personally.

    Re: paying child benefit to children who don’t live here my view is that only the country in which the children are actually residing should be paying out the benefit.

    This is because
    a) only they are in the position of being able to verify the children actually exist and are dependent on the migrant worker
    b) the benefit should be set to meet the cost of living in the country the child is living in not the one their migrant parent happens to be working in this year.

  • I agree and I’m sure most people would to. Child benefit should be paid by the country where the child lives and at the level of the country. It’s madness using our borrowed money to pay UK levels of child benefits to children (who may or may not even exist) in corrupt, mafia-run holes like Romania or Bulgaria

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