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Rich Elderly 'should Shun Benefits'

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Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills or free travel should return the money to the authorities, the work and pensions secretary says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22327335

So, unemployed and disabled should be put through means tests and told that they are a scrounging drain on society, but wealthy pensioners who do not need the free benefits are just asked nicely to pay it back.

I wonder if they are choking over their cornflakes this morning reading about this on the Mail on Sunday.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22327335

So, unemployed and disabled should be put through means tests and told that they are a scrounging drain on society, but wealthy pensioners who do not need the free benefits are just asked nicely to pay it back.

I wonder if they are choking over their cornflakes this m

orning reading about this on the Mail on Sunday.

If you really need to choke on your cornflakes, The DM is the way! ;)

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Export a list of the geriatric NI numbers that pay 40% tax rate. None of those people get free stuff.

None of the rest should either. There's no money.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22327335

So, unemployed and disabled should be put through means tests and told that they are a scrounging drain on society, but wealthy pensioners who do not need the free benefits are just asked nicely to pay it back.

I wonder if they are choking over their cornflakes this morning reading about this on the Mail on Sunday.

Very clever, I would guess a middling lib/lab voting pensioner might feel more guilty about getting this stuff and might consider not claiming / giving back, whereas a more wealthy tory voting pensioner might consider it a good deal and would never consider passing up this free money.

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They will not hand them back, trying to shame and pass guilt onto people will be counter productive.....they will use them if they want to or buy treats for the grand kids with them. ;)

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Who exactly are "Wealthy elderly people" or even "Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills"?

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Mr Duncan Smith said there were no plans to means test to exclude richer pensioners.

When politicians say there are no plans to do something this language is chosen because it lets them avoid saying they won't do it. This, in turn, usually means they are going to do it eventually.

I don't think IDS seriously thinks rich pensioners are going to voluntarily give up their benefits, he is just managing expectations towards having them taken away at some point in the future.

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Who exactly are "Wealthy elderly people" or even "Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills"?

The non means tested winter fuel payments paid to the wealthier pensioners some of them being in the higher tax paying bracket owning various properties and other savings and assets.

I think the crux of the matter is.....we are seen to be taking money away from the poor whilst at the same time letting the richer in our community keep their free gifts. ;)

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The non means tested winter fuel payments paid to the wealthier pensioners some of them being in the higher tax paying bracket owning various properties and other savings and assets.

I think the crux of the matter is.....we are seen to be taking money away from the poor whilst at the same time letting the richer in our community keep their free gifts. ;)

Let's not forget the wealthy pensioners who don't need the non means tested benefits will also be paying tax. They will be contributors to the treasury even after receiving a small rebate. I wonder if the additional administrative costs in means testing these benefits will make it worthwhile to means test these small payments.

Its all so cockeyed anyway, why not just go with a citizens income.

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Let's not forget the wealthy pensioners who don't need the non means tested benefits will also be paying tax. They will be contributors to the treasury even after receiving a small rebate. I wonder if the additional administrative costs in means testing these benefits will make it worthwhile to means test these small payments.

Its all so cockeyed anyway, why not just go with a citizens income.

...but many of those pensions are made up 100% from the public purse to start with......the amounts and length of time paid for that will never be the same again for people doing the same for far less in the future. ;)

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Who exactly are "Wealthy elderly people" or even "Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills"?

Pretty obvious.

IDS is asking the Queen and the Lords to hand back their allowances and benefits.

They're the biggest scroungers in our society that I can think of.

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The non means tested winter fuel payments paid to the wealthier pensioners some of them being in the higher tax paying bracket owning various properties and other savings and assets.

I think the crux of the matter is.....we are seen to be taking money away from the poor whilst at the same time letting the richer in our community keep their free gifts. ;)

Would be far simpler to raise taxes on the wealthy.

Unfortunately IDS just cut them.

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It is pretty much a nailed on certainty that the Winter Fuel Allowance, Free TV licenses and Free Bus Travel will disappear for all new pensioners once the higher basic rate pension comes into operation in 2016. It just has not been announced yet because there is a General Election in the interim. This change will impact most higher rate and a lot of ordinary pensioners in a variety of ways. For a start the basic pension unlike the current list of perks is taxable income. Second and perhaps most importantly most wealthier elderly individuals plus quite a few not so wealthy ones were in Contracted Out Pension schemes and they will not be getting a full state pension from 2016 but a reduced payment calculated on the lines of the current pension (ie they will be getting nearer the current £100 pw not the proposed £144 pw).They will still probabably lose the perks in due course. Given the changes imminent means testing these items for a couple of years is probably pointless.

BTW there is something a touch hypocritical about HPC poster moaning about free TV licenses which only the very elderly get when so many posters boast on this forum about not paying it.

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I think having politicians publicly stating anything is an indicator of an upcoming policy change.

Benefits should not carry with it an ageist agenda, especially as the economics of the UK no longer warrant breaks for non-workers who have more wealth and income than the rest of the working age citizenry.

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Very clever, I would guess a middling lib/lab voting pensioner might feel more guilty about getting this stuff and might consider not claiming / giving back, whereas a more wealthy tory voting pensioner might consider it a good deal and would never consider passing up this free money.

In my former life as an accountant, one of my clients was the wife of a labour MP (and yes she was a higher rate tax payer in her own right).

She had no qualms about claiming winter fuel allowance because she was "entitled" to it.

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I think having politicians publicly stating anything is an indicator of an upcoming policy change.

Benefits should not carry with it an ageist agenda, especially as the economics of the UK no longer warrant breaks for non-workers who have more wealth and income than the rest of the working age citizenry.

It is not exactly going to encourage people to pay into private pensions though if the money is simply clawed back later when they retire.

I have also seen the idea mooted that wealthier pensioners should pay NIC on their pension income because NIC is simply a 'tax' ( floated by the Fabian Society amongst others). Quite how you would tie that idea in with politcians espoused aims to make the system more accurately reflect individuals levels of contributions over a lifetime is a bit beyond me. I assume the people proposing these fixes would also feel equally fine about a similar 'tax' being levied all all classes of unearned income such as saving, dividends etc. In addition if we are going to get rid of anomalies in tax treatments them as well as clobbering pensioners earnings we could also start taxing all the sums in individuals old TESSAs, ISAs etc and lumping NIC on that as well since it is anomalous that people are getting that tax free while pension funds are paying tax on their investments. Of course, company and private pension contributions themselves get tax reliefs and they could be removed as well. While we are at it we could also take the axe to the myriad reliefs and tax perks that businesses enjoy (including BTL) and force them to pay the same tax rates as those living on earnings. The list is endless

To be honest none of the fevered gerrymandering that politicians are trying to apply to the tax and benefit system stands up to a moments examination since they only ever want to address some anomalies while completely ignoring others.

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It is not exactly going to encourage people to pay into private pensions though if the money is simply clawed back later when they retire.

I have also seen the idea mooted that wealthier pensioners should pay NIC on their pension income because NIC is simply a 'tax' ( floated by the Fabian Society amongst others). I assume the people proposing this would also feel equally fine about a similar 'tax' being levied all all classes of unearned income such as saving, dividends etc. In addition if we are going to get rid of anomalies in tax treatments them as well as clobbering pensioners earnings we could also start taxing all the sums in individuals old TESSAs, ISAs etc and lumping NIC on that as well since it is anomalous that people are getting that tax free while pension funds are paying tax on their investments

To be honest none of the fevered gerrymandering that politicians are trying to apply to the tax and benefit system stands up to a moments examination since they only ever want to address some anomalies while completely ignoring others.

What difference does it make if it becomes law?

Switched on people are rich in retirement because they haven't wasted money paying into private pensions and have invested elsewhere.

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What difference does it make if it becomes law?

Switched on people are rich in retirement because they haven't wasted money paying into private pensions and have invested elsewhere.

I agree that the very wealthy will simply move their money elsewhere if the tax treatment of pensions gets hit but I think you underestimate how much went into private pension schemes over the past 30 years

A a former auditor I have been through a few companies books in my time and believe me the amounts paid into private pensions for Directors and other business owners over the years is enormous. When the tax reliefs on pension contributions were at their peak in the 1980s I once visited company where then payments made into a single Directors pension fund in a single year were more than the combined annual salaries of the other 40 employees.

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A a former auditor I have been through a few companies books in my time and believe me the amounts paid into private pensions for Directors and other business owners over the years is enormous. When the tax reliefs on pension contributions were at their peak in the 1980s I once visited company where then payments made into a single Directors pension fund in a single year were more than the combined annual salaries of the other 40 employees.

I don't doubt it for those at the top of the ladder, and in the know. All the pensioners I know who are 'well' off are have a lot of dividend yielding stocks, property, and residual kickbacks from businesses they were involved in.

However, there are plenty of well do to folk who've had their pension pot fleeced; such as anybody with exposure to RBS/LLoyds et al.

1980's were different of course. Folk paying into pensions now are risking it all until this financial mess and the players have been sorted out.

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In my former life as an accountant, one of my clients was the wife of a labour MP (and yes she was a higher rate tax payer in her own right).

She had no qualms about claiming winter fuel allowance because she was "entitled" to it.

But you don't 'claim' it, do you? AFAIK it's just sent once you're receiving a state pension. And AFAIK there's no mechanism for refusing it or sending it back.

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Let's not forget the wealthy pensioners who don't need the non means tested benefits will also be paying tax. They will be contributors to the treasury even after receiving a small rebate. I wonder if the additional administrative costs in means testing these benefits will make it worthwhile to means test these small payments.

Its all so cockeyed anyway, why not just go with a citizens income.

Yes.. the problem with means testing is that it's invariably cumbersome, bureaucratic and full of perverse outcomes. For instance.. you can bet that means testing fuel payments would cost more then the money saved.

Witness Child Benefit. Now a whole new class of people will have to do tax self-assessment. Or the whole tax credits system - that's the ultimate means tested benefit, and it's been a nightmare to administer, and an intrusive process to claim.

Problem is that politicians are always under pressure to denounce 'scroungers' and make the whole system even more bureaucratic to try and stop them. Doesn't generally work - the real scroungers are the best at playing the system. So yes, a CI begins to look attractive.

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Who exactly are "Wealthy elderly people" or even "Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills"?

I personally know a few, and also have worked in a trade with loads of these. Will they pay them back? no chance , as has been said most will buy treats for children/grand children or spend/save it, whatever they choose. can't blame them. If you're given free money as such legally nearly 0% will give it back.

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Who exactly are "Wealthy elderly people" or even "Wealthy elderly people who do not need benefit payments to help with fuel bills"?

The Queen?

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Very clever, I would guess a middling lib/lab voting pensioner might feel more guilty about getting this stuff and might consider not claiming / giving back, whereas a more wealthy tory voting pensioner might consider it a good deal and would never consider passing up this free money.

"I'm not giving it away!"

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  • 245 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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