UK plc Dividends

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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby pabenny » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:16 am

macliam wrote:Hmm, the politics of envy are unattractive from any side of the equation. Why are today's retired "over-privileged"?, they are, without doubt, better served than those still working - but that's not down to them...


I was trying not to get into politics of envy territory. That said, you answer your own question: today's retired are better served than those still working.

I do not suggest that the retired are greedy. But they do receive generous privileges - higher tax allowances, non-means-tested winter fuel allowances, free prescriptions and all manner of concessionary prices such as bus passes, reduced admissions. These may have been reasonable when the retired were generally poorly off but are no longer justified.

And I know that many of the privileges granted to today's retired will have evaporated by the time I retire on my (comparatively) meagre defined contribution pension.

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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby blythburgh » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:42 am

pabenny wrote:
macliam wrote:Hmm, the politics of envy are unattractive from any side of the equation. Why are today's retired "over-privileged"?, they are, without doubt, better served than those still working - but that's not down to them...


I was trying not to get into politics of envy territory. That said, you answer your own question: today's retired are better served than those still working.

I do not suggest that the retired are greedy. But they do receive generous privileges - higher tax allowances, non-means-tested winter fuel allowances, free prescriptions and all manner of concessionary prices such as bus passes, reduced admissions. These may have been reasonable when the retired were generally poorly off but are no longer justified.

And I know that many of the privileges granted to today's retired will have evaporated by the time I retire on my (comparatively) meagre defined contribution pension.


You are talking about only a percentage of retired people though. Many are on pension credit because their income falls below a certain level. And sadly their are still far too many pensioners not on pension credit who should be. Look East (BBC local TV news) featured one lady who to save money does not put on the light but uses the light of the TV and the street light (curtains left undrawn) to see by to save a bit of money by not putting on her main light. And she had other equally bad cost cutting measures so she could make ends meet. Age Concern said they would contact her as she should have been on pension credit. Sadly there are far too many in her position.

I can see your point about free bus passes, heating allowance etc but the trouble is if you means test them then some who would qualify will miss out. And the cost of the means test could even be more than the revenue saved.

But it is still bloody hard for today's younger people, no job security, no guaranteed 40 hour week for many, house prices whether to buy or rent taking a far bigger proportion of their income than in the last century. The only plus side is how little as a percentage of average earnings is now spent on food compared to the 1950's. Or whenever the date was that I heard on the radio.
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby macliam » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:47 am

pabenny wrote:
macliam wrote:Hmm, the politics of envy are unattractive from any side of the equation. Why are today's retired "over-privileged"?, they are, without doubt, better served than those still working - but that's not down to them...


I was trying not to get into politics of envy territory. That said, you answer your own question: today's retired are better served than those still working.

I do not suggest that the retired are greedy. But they do receive generous privileges - higher tax allowances, non-means-tested winter fuel allowances, free prescriptions and all manner of concessionary prices such as bus passes, reduced admissions. These may have been reasonable when the retired were generally poorly off but are no longer justified.

And I know that many of the privileges granted to today's retired will have evaporated by the time I retire on my (comparatively) meagre defined contribution pension.

But you are there..... you are complaining that somebody may be getting something that you might not.

Be careful not to fall into the same trap as those blaming all society's ills on immigration, etc. The media are great at publicizing the exceptions and making them seem like the norm. Many pensioners still live fairly hand-to-mouth existences - not everyone has a final-salary pension and higher tax allowances cut in well beyond retirement age. The "benefits" that you call out are arguable - pensioners tend to have more health problems and would otherwise pay disproportionately and concessions such as bus passes and reduced admissions tend to encourage use of facilities outside peak periods, as well as encouraging people to get out and about and remain active, which reduces ill-health.

But making pensioners as the new target makes sense, now that foreign "scroungers" and public-sector "fat-cats" have been hit. After all, someone must be to blame for alll the ills of society, eh?

Perhaps, rather than casting a green eye on the perceived benefits of others, you should ask yourself why everything seems to have gone so poorly for those still working. Could it be that the reduction in interest rates had been done to benefit the financial sector? Could it be that returns on investments are down due to taxation and other costs imposed - as well as poor management by huge pension schemes who MUST invest and so get poor rates of return? Corporate greed has produced a perfect storm where saving for the future is just another cash-cow to be exploited.

However, you're right. pensioners are a scourge on society and despite having paid into schemes that promised them a comfortable retirement, they should now be confined in their homes, starved and frozen - rather than driving their Bentleys to the Ritz every day.
Last edited by macliam on Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby planteria » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:48 am

there are no falsehoods promoted as far as i can see.. it is clear that inheriting a house/share of a house is a big help, financially, to many people who are now in their 30/40/50s. whether that would 'make up for' a particular sized pension, or not, doesn't really matter. we are where we are. i am part of the generation which is not well served in terms of pensions: i'm not bucking any trends, but i'm not whining about it.

fwiw though macliam, and accepting that i am continuing with our off tack haha, from what i see every day, immigration has a far greater negative influence than we are told by the media. sensational stories in a couple of tabloids are not "the media" as a whole - the volume of media is skewed in the opposite direction, kidding us that things are far less affected than they are.

and back to topic.. i think it's healthy to take the view that we all need to be doing what we can to be gathering a share of those UK plc Dividends, whether it by buying shares in ISAs, managed pension funds etc. :thumbup:
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby macliam » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:47 pm

planteria wrote:fwiw though macliam, and accepting that i am continuing with our off tack haha, from what i see every day, immigration has a far greater negative influence than we are told by the media. sensational stories in a couple of tabloids are not "the media" as a whole - the volume of media is skewed in the opposite direction, kidding us that things are far less affected than they are.

Maybe off topic, but I need to reply.

As always, it depends.

Where I live, the impact of immigration seems low, if I go to Ipswich it seems higher ..... so it's disproportionately high in metropolitan areas. It was ever thus, the immigrant finds his fellows, he can get "lost" in the crowd, the chances of work are higher, etc. etc.

Given that the UK was an imperial power, you might expect it to have a disproportionate number of immigrants to the "mother country" (let alone the entire population of Bulgaria and Romania.....) Yet the percentage of those residents born outside the UK is no higher than in Ireland (actually slightly lower). So how come the impact on public services in the UK is such an issue? Could it be an excuse?

I'm no believer in uncontrolled immigration - but the UK has not even used the control mechanisms it had at its disposal. In other EU countries you must register as a resident to get access to services - and to do this you must be able to prove that you are not a burden. Here, when my niece came to visit from Portugal and wanted a temporary job, the job centre immediately offered her money ....... as a teenager, that seemed liked manna from heaven, being paid to do nothing! It would NOT happen in Portugal. There are many other examples, but as an immigrant myself and married to an EU citizen, I have never claimed against the state and now have an interesting situation where I cannot claim my wife's tax allowance because she has never worked or claimed here and so has no UK NI number. Now try getting to speak to anyone about that!
Last edited by macliam on Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby macliam » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:48 pm

Sorry -repeated post.... tried to correct spelling and ended up with a duplicate :oops:

Couldn't delete, so have amended it......
Last edited by macliam on Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby William Joseph » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:11 pm

Interesting, my understanding is you cannot get a NI number unless you have a job offer. At least that used to be the case when my partner who is from Malaysia applied for one. He was a student at the time.
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby pabenny » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:25 pm

macliam wrote:But you are [getting into politics of envy]..... you are complaining that somebody may be getting something that you might not.


Leaving aside the assumptions you seem to have made about my demographic profile, the point remains that today's retired are well served (as you yourself acknowledge.

As I understand it, best predictor of poverty in old age is poverty before retirement age. Or put differently, people who are comfortably off while in work don't suddenly become poor when they reach pension age. Yet we still extend generous financial privileges to all retired people that we don't give to poor working age people. To be clear, I'm referring to higher tax allowances, free prescriptions, concessionary admission charges, winter fuel, etc, rather than the state retirement pension.

On prescriptions specifically - only the very poorest working age person receives free prescriptions (save for certain medical exemptions), whereas every pensioner pays nothing. This is nothing to do with need and nothing to do with ability to pay.
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby expressman33 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:42 pm

pabenny wrote:On prescriptions specifically - only the very poorest working age person receives free prescriptions (save for certain medical exemptions), whereas every pensioner pays nothing. This is nothing to do with need and nothing to do with ability to pay.


Unless you live in Wales , Scotland or N/Ireland

In England You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:
are 60 or over
are under 16
are 16-18 and in full-time education
are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx
hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
are an NHS inpatient
You're also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:
Income Support
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
Universal Credit and meet the criteria
If you're entitled to or named on:
a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you don't have a certificate, you can show your award notice; you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)
People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.
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Re: UK plc Dividends

Postby macliam » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:01 pm

William Joseph wrote:Interesting, my understanding is you cannot get a NI number unless you have a job offer. At least that used to be the case when my partner who is from Malaysia applied for one. He was a student at the time.

Yes, that's what she was told...... "If you don't want a job, you don't need and NI number". But it's the first thing the taxman wants when I try to apply to use her allowance...... :roll:
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