30 Apr 2017

And Then, Pensioners...

I thought this comment to a piece on The Guardian, relating to the triple lock on state pensions, was pretty good although I believe the 39 and 44 year ‘qualifying’ years are a tad out. The majority of the other comments are as you’d expect from that most prestigious of publications.


Until April 2016, to get the full state pension women needed 39 years of national insurance contributions and men 44 years. Those who paid in to the system for all these years receive a £122.30 a week. This year's increase was just over £3 per week; not a large sum. The pension is taxable. Most of today's pensioners working from the 'fifties and 'sixties onwards did not earn high wages and therefore have not accumulated vast savings. The going rate for a tradesman in 1969 for a basic 40 hour week was £18 per week. Of course these pensioners paid into the tax system over these years to fund the public services everyone enjoys today. The impression that the elderly are living a fine lifestyle partly because of inflated house prices is deliberately misleading. A lucky minority, not only some pensioners, have benefited from an increase in property prices but tackling this issue should be the province of inheritance tax no attacking the basic state pension. For many who have worked hard and played by the rules the pension is their main source of income and to disadvantage them going into the future is a poor return for past sacrifices.

Can’t really argue with any of that can you? Dependent on your age of course. I well remember my first wage as an apprentice on mans boat was thirteen pounds fifteen shillings. Pardon? A week you say? No, a month, and I sent two pounds a month home as savings. Yup, I saved twenty four pounds a year. Which, interestingly, is marginally better than I manage now...

And so, for myself, I can’t put it any better than Seasick Steve; ‘I started out with nothing and I’ve still got most of it left.’


And at the risk of repeating myself, which I am, again, this song says so much for us oldies and isn’t it a shame the youngies and politicians won’t listen. Relate to it and enjoy it whatever your age.


Finally, as we’re approaching an election and all parties, of all persuasions, keep advancing the idea of nannying us and controlling our personal choices, is it not time we asked them, if ‘they’ knock on our door, to stop it and think it through to the not too distant future and reflect on what effect this incessant nannying will eventually have on the young  as the decades slip relentlessly by? In the words, almost, of my little nest of vipers, and oft repeated by myself, if the state  keeps insisting on holding our hands, how will future generations ever learn to walk on their own?

Quote;  Chili Davis.

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”


Caratacus said...

Excellent post, Mac. The Memsahib is one of those ladies who should have retired this year at 60 (she is considerably my junior) but has been told by the caring State (partic. Mrs. Osborne's little boy) that she now has to work until she is 66 before being allowed to receive what is already rightfully hers. I will draw a discreet veil over the language she employed upon discovering this state of affairs - it would have had a three badge stoker tipping his hat in respect - and should little Georgie ever chance to cross her path he will discover PDQ what real suffering is all about. The question has already been asked elsewhere: If you saw that George Osborne was about to be run over by a bus and you had a split second in which to act ... what sort of sandwich would you make?

Mac said...

What’s happened to all those ladies pensions is not only sad and scandalous and disgusting. It’s also absolutely criminal.
As for the sandwich, I’d go for a triple decker or two. Talking of sandwiches, here’s one I picked up some time ago and reworked. I’m sure your good lady can rework it again to suit.

Three things happened today:
1) George Osborne took offence at the language I used regarding the changes to my retirement age.
2) Later that day George was run down by a bus.
3) I lost my job as a bus driver.