Pensioners are having a rough and tough time in this society, swindled out of the care and security they earned and paid for. So what is the government going to do for them? Tax them a bit more. The EU's new transaction tax is going to hit retired people who rely on investments to pay their well-earned pensions.
That is not just the opinion of UKIP - it is the opinion of a major Dutch pensions company, the Dutch Algemene Pensioen Groep. APG, one of the world’s largest administrators of group pension schemes, wrote to the European commission warning that FTT would be a “tax on current and future retirees...The FTT would hit ordinary pension savers very hard and would result in pensioners paying for the FTT through reductions in the value of their pensions,” said the letter.
“Pension savers and investors could end up shouldering an unfair share of the burden of the FTT.”
George Osborne has made ineffectual criticisms of this new tax but can do nothing to stop it being introduced - because we are in the EU. It would be exactly the same if Labour was in power.
Already most retired people have inadequate provision for their life expectancy. But in a high-tax, high-cost-of-living society, there is very little opportunity to save. And those who do save know that they will be penalized by the benefits system.
For those who are reliant on the state pension the news is even bleaker. We as a nation simply have not got the resources to pay the basic pensions we owe to the generation retiring now. Even by postponing their retirement for a number of years, we cannot square the books. Previous governments have spent so much on other sorts of benefits that our coffers are empty.
Meanwhile we continue to make damaging cuts in the NHS, insulting the public by giving the announcements saccharine titles. "Shaping a Healthier Future" was the name that the N-W London Health Trust gave to their decision to close down four Accident-and-Emergency units. Similar closures all over the London area have been couched in Orwellian language. Cuts are a healthier future. Ignorance is Power. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery.
I know a lady living in London in her mid-eighties who recently called an ambulance because she was in extreme pain. The ambulance took four hours to arrive. Is that a healthier future? It looks as if they are hoping the patients drop dead before help arrives. The older generation in this country has been badly let down by the system and has much to complain about.
Lenten Meditations: Saturday 25 March
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