Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Don't take on the pensioners, Dave - you'll come off worst.

  Are the Tories trying to lose?  First they fall out over Europe, then they take on the grey vote.  Over 50s are numerous, organised, informed and above all - they vote.  So why antagonise them by fast trackinhg the increase in the age of retirement.?  This will damage the pension calculations of hundreds of thousands of silver surfers due to retire in the next six years and it hits women in particular and for very little saving in public spending.

It will hit the poorest pensioners the hardest since they are more dependent on the basic state pension.  Most middle class people regard the state pension as a nugatory addition to their private provision. But there are still millions who retire on nothing but the state provision. In Scotland, it is particularly mean since in many constituencies in Glasgow, a lot of men die before they reach the existing pension age, let alone the new one.

     It looks as if the old - the most responsible and vulnerable citizens - are being punished for the greed culture of the City of London.  By all means axe and tax the pensions of the likes of Sir Fred Goodwin of RBS;  cap the pensions of all those public sector bureaucrats who are sitting on million plus pensions for dong nothing but push a pen around for forty years.  The Tories could have means tested the state pension for those under 70 and made the same savings without targeting the poorest in society.

  But this ill-thought-out and mean-spirited move will damage David Cameron   I think this is a major error by the Tories, equivalent to Gordon Brown's disastrous 75p pension increase  in 2000 that caused an electoral backlash.  Or his abolition of the 10 p tax band which still causes Labour trouble on the doorsteps.  British voters have a keen sense of fair play, and this move will be seen as thoughtles, heartless and economically illiterate


Alasdair said...

Here's a blogger.com tip - separate your labels for each article with commas instead of semicolons. Then each individual label becomes a clickable link, so for example "Tory conference" would link to a page with all the pieces you write about the news from Manchester this week.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

'thoughtles, heartless and economically illiterate'
there's Tory Economic policy for you

Anonymous said...

Another spot on post Iain.

So far, after falling out over Europe again (yawn), the Tories, such a shoo-in for next year's election, have managed to upset the Incapacity Benefit claimants by worrying them about extremely strict testing.

OK, I know there are people on IB who shouldn't be; people on the fiddle, but there are probably a couple of million who are too ill to work but who are worried sick that somehow they won't pass the test of being able to walk 20 steps and get up from sitting down without using arm rests. All so that they can be taken off IB and put on something that pays lower rates. There are no jobs so they aren't going to be working. Nice savings Dave.

I saw comments from readers on the story in the Times saying "you've lost my vote"

Now they've upset the 50+. Like you say, the people most likely to vote. Oh, they say, peole live well into their 90s now. They want to go on working.

Hello, what world do these Tories live in? They are nearly as out of touch as the Labour lot.

No. They don't want to go on working. Most of the working classes are pretty much done by the time they reach 65. They hurt, they have all manner of illnesses. It's all about a lifetime in damp houses with poor food, too much drink, too much smoke, not enough exercise and hard physical work.

As you point out Iain, many are dead by the time pension comes around, but those who aren't are on the dole. No one wants to employ ill people in their 60s.

But hey, they are an easy target. Almost no one at the conference comes into that catagory. It will get you a big cheer.

It reminds me of Mrs Thatcher saying in that condescending way that she had, lips curling into an evil smile "But people WANT to pay for their eye tests"

Bravo Dave.

So, to summarise. It seems that this week you have hit the old and the sick and the poor.... in order to pay for the mess made by the super rich.

Brillaint. Now I remember what the Tories were like and why we believed that things could "only get better".

Munguin said...

I agree: they can shuffle the numbers around all they like, but at the end of the day their so called honest proposal for benefits claimants is a cynical way of reducing their money pure and simple. How are they going to create jobs in this recession to give to the millions of people who should not be on benefits? Well their conference has not tackled that yet.

In addition hammering pensioners is just insane. It is not the fault of either of these groups that the UK is in the soup. Its down to the recklessness of the super rich.

It is good news for the UK I suppose because if they shave their majority they may have to have the Lib Dems on board to get things done. Bad news for Scotland though as we need a good dose of Nasty Party politics rammed down our throats combined with a good does of stealing our resources to prop up their country to get the worst sort of Scots quislings to see that independence is the only way to get rid of other countries politics foisted on us.

hector said...

raising the pension might ok for someone sitting on there backside in an office job (or a parliament).ask someone in say the building trade or digging up the roads if they want to work a year longer before they get the pensions.to return to a previous blog of yours about why the tories do not like europe.this is a good example.some of the directives from the e.u. have helped in such circumstances.working ours directive for one.