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Peers wanting to remove pensioners' benefits

(407 Posts)
Antonia Thu 25-Apr-19 09:24:58

This morning I am reading about peers wanting to remove pensioners' benefits such as free bus passes and free TV licences. This is appalling, given that many pensioners exist on a low income already. For many pensioners, chatting to someone at the bus stop may be the only contact they have all day, and removing bus passes would condemn thousands to a life of loneliness, which is already endemic.

Humbertbear Thu 25-Apr-19 09:29:57

I agree that there seems to be a misconception that we are all living in the lap of luxury. Not only is this not true but after a life time of hard work and managing tight budgets, many of us are saving the State millions by providing free care for both our elderly relatives and our grandchildren. Unlike the younger generations we see today, we didn’t think anyone owed us anything and just got on with building our lives and families.

LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 25-Apr-19 09:33:04

Here's a link to the BBC article. Very interesting to know what you think?

Urmstongran Thu 25-Apr-19 09:39:30

Thanks to the coalition government Nick Clegg brought forward the delaying of state pensions to 66y. I get mine next year. A friend was one of the last of the lucky bunch and she got hers when she was 60y. I also don’t qualify for free bus travel till I get my state pension.

So a conservative estimate is that I am at least £30,000 out of pocket compared to my friend. I’m still sore and the government aren’t listening to WASPI.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these rich Peers of the Realm decided to vote for even more hardship for some of us. More ‘do as I say’.

Beckett Thu 25-Apr-19 09:47:56

I suppose if you are being paid several hundred pounds a day just for showing up you don't need free TV licences or bus passes. Perhaps before the vote they should all have to live on the state pension for 6 months - I think that would give a lot of them a wake up call.

Jangran99 Thu 25-Apr-19 09:51:04

£305 per day attendance allowance,travel expenses and subsidised restaurant facilities.DISGRACEFUL

jaylucy Thu 25-Apr-19 09:54:35

I think a few of the peers need to exist on the state pension for a few months and then see if they think the same !

paddyann Thu 25-Apr-19 10:00:02

maybe we should ALL get the same allowance as the H O L ,after all we've all worked just as long and maybe a damn sight harder than many in there .I too am WASPI woman and I calculated well over 40 000 they owe me .Taking into consideration the lost pension and the six extra years of contributions.I have no problem paying my way and have always paid my tax on time but I get so angry at this injustice.I'm lucky I'm not dependant on the state pension but I did pay in anticipation of getting it at 60 ,I have friends who are struggling because its been held back .Thats clearly wrong

Charleygirl5 Thu 25-Apr-19 10:01:32

I was aware they received an allowance but not that much daily- maybe a week but that would still be a tad too much in my eyes, considering all they appear to do is sit there and snooze.

I definitely would not want to lose my bus pass which as I live in London covers tubes as well and they are expensive. Where I live there is a good bus service so I do not have to think twice about getting on a bus.

kittylester Thu 25-Apr-19 10:04:35

But, not all pensioners need the free things.

Dh and I get free prescriptions but could afford to buy the annual pass!

We dont have bus passes but I consider that we should pay at least a contribution to the admin costs.

We can afford to heat our home without the cwp.

We pay a lot for sky package every month so why should be have a free TV licence?

I could go on.

Surely, it should be better targeted. I know the argument is that it would be too hard to administer but I doubt it really. Currently we have people on pension credit and I realise that will stop but there must surely be a fairer system?

Could it be based on what level of tax is paid, if any?

ayse Thu 25-Apr-19 10:05:37

Are they trying to isolate us even further? I live in a relatively deprived area and many folk on the buses in the day time are pensioners going shopping. Until recently there were no fresh food shops within easy walking distance and the only way for those less fit was to go on the bus.
TV for those who are housebound must be a godsend.
I wish someone would pay me £350 per day to sit on my butt.
How dare these privileged people pretend they are doing this on behalf of the younger generation. I don’t pay much tax but would happily pay more to ensure both young and old have access to public transport. I can just about manage to run a car because DH has some mobility issues but I use public transport when I go out on my own and would get rid of the car if I didn’t go out twice a week at 6.30 am to look after my grandchildren whilst their parents are at work.
We are already one of the most unequal societies in the developed world.
I feel so angry about all this. It makes my blood boil! angry angry

Alima Thu 25-Apr-19 10:06:34

Does much of what the HoL recommend actually come to fruition or are they just putting the frighteners on? If there is such a shortfall in the coffers after giving older people so much stuff free perhaps some money could be saved by, for example, reducing the foreign aid bill. Ooh, and not spending money on ferry companies for Brexit when we haven’t even Brexited. Sure there’s more to be found.

ayse Thu 25-Apr-19 10:09:05

And stop paying these idiots silly money!

janipat Thu 25-Apr-19 10:21:07

kittylester I agree with you that not all pensioners need these additional benefits, but I do think it's an enormous challenge to come up with a fair, cost effective way of screening these payments. It's a bit similar to the argument that not all blue badge holders need to park free of charge. Lots do, but some don't and how do you tell the difference?

I do wonder if taking pensioners' bus passes away could impact on some bus services. I'd think in some areas, it might be pensioner use that makes the route viable. I would agree there should be an administration charge levied for issuing the pass. I remember when an elderly neighbour I looked after complained that she had to go in person to get it renewed and the post office was too far for her to walk to. The nearest bus stop was outside that post office! I suggested that if she couldn't get to the post office she couldn't get to the bus stop. Her answer was she was entitled to a bus pass regardless of her inability to use it.

midgey Thu 25-Apr-19 10:24:22

Kitty makes a valid point. You don’t have to travel far to see lots of pensioners who are comfortably off. Obviously not all pensioners are comfortable but to with so many young homeless people living on the streets it must mean there is a problem with balance somewhere.

maryeliza54 Thu 25-Apr-19 10:25:24

The pension credit system would be a way of targeting the benefits mention. The triple lock cannot be justified.

maryeliza54 Thu 25-Apr-19 10:29:31

The report is based on sound evidence re incomes, wealth etc and provides the intergenerational context for their recommendations. It’s worth a read if you are interested in a fact based discussion

gillybob Thu 25-Apr-19 10:36:52

Like many others I am of the most unfortunate generation. At 57 (and having worked without a break for 41 years) I will not get a state pension until I am 67, I am looking after grandchildren to enable their parents to work, I look after an elderly parent and until only 3 years ago, an elderly grandparent too.

I seriously doubt I will live long enough to see a free anything as the ongoing stress will probably kill me. I fully expect to leave "this place" in my coffin.

I disagree with rich pensions getting freebies when there are lots of young people struggling to make ends meet and bring up their family, however I do support subsidised bus passes, TV licences to those pensioners on a low income.

Grammaretto Thu 25-Apr-19 10:41:07

Another reason to stay in Scotland where the SNP and Greens have extending free public transport to the young to get them unaccustomed to using it rather than using cars, on their election manifesto.

I am saddened that despite years of polluted roads and associated illnesses, the ability to drive and own a car are still seen as coming of age achievements.

kittylester Thu 25-Apr-19 10:42:58

As I said, upthread,*maryeliza*, Pension Credit is currently a system that could be used but that will come to an end when the new pension arrangements kick in.

kittylester Thu 25-Apr-19 10:44:35

Sorry, I meant to add that if people paid a nominal sum for their bus pass then it should help not harm the buses.

Nannytopsy Thu 25-Apr-19 10:46:32

Kitty I absolutely agree. We were both working at 60, no longer supporting children or paying a mortgage. So we suddenly got free prescriptions! And so do Mick Jagger, Cliff Richard, Alan Sugar etc!

Nonnie Thu 25-Apr-19 11:20:45

It is very difficult to decide some should get these things and some not, the argument seems to be that it would cost too much to administer a means test system.

I don't think a free bus pass costs much if you don't use it, just the cost of producing the card. I understand that every time you use your card your LA is charged so only a cost if people use it. I am another who thinks that bus services would be reduced if pensioners didn't use them and this would impact on others who needed the buses. If I lost my pass I would use the car and that would be very bad for the environment.

It is very unfair that those who live in places like London get free rail travel as well but those who live in towns and villages who probably need it more don't. It is a common misconception by MPs that we all have a Freedom Pass, probably the Lords think that too.

I believe that originally the WFA was given instead of a pension increase so it would probably be a good idea to incorporate it into the pension then those who pay tax would be contributing.

marye what would you put in place of the triple lock? Would you simply not increase pensions? I think it is perfectly reasonable for pensioners to get an increase equivalent to inflation or salary increases.

It feels to me that it is more pensioner bashing. Some seem to forget how much we have paid into the system and how much we contribute. We are the ones being economical/saving the environment. I'm sure nearly all of us have seen the thing about us not having 'the green thing' in our day.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 25-Apr-19 11:24:12

We are fortunate that we do not need the "freebies", I am a WASPI and at my last calculation I shall be 67 and 4 months before I receive my pension.

There are a lot of pensioners like my Mum before she died who the bus pass gave her freedom as she no longer had the confidence to drive. The winter fuel allowance meant she did not have to worry about turning up the heating when the temperature dropped. When she became a widow, her TV was on whenever she was home!!!

There must be a way in the 21st Century to make sure that those who need/rely on these benefits get them?

Maggiemaybe Thu 25-Apr-19 11:25:57

Hasn’t it been proved that free travel for older people has a positive impact financially, with the cost being more than outweighed by the benefits to the local economy of people being out and about and using shops and cafes? Let alone the social and health benefits of getting people out of their houses? Surely any sane government should be looking at ways of promoting public transport anyway, considering the huge impact traffic has on our environment.

Good on the SNP for wanting to extend the scheme to the young! Luxembourg is making all its public transport free from this Summer - it’ll be interesting to see what impact this has on its roads.

I’m another WASPI now wondering if I’ll ever get a bus pass. sad As if losing out on 6 years of state pension wasn’t bad enough.