‘So many of us are seriously struggling’

Herald Series: Ken and Jenny Bull, who are struggling to pay their bills Buy this photo » Ken and Jenny Bull, who are struggling to pay their bills

“HEATING or eating” is the stark choice now facing pensioners across Oxfordshire.

Leading charities say elderly people are struggling to deal with the costs of living, as food, fuel and medical bills rise at a rate higher than their pensions.

Veronica Seeney, 77, is a former home care worker from Champion Way, Littlemore.

She said: “I had a widow’s pension, my husband died 31 years ago and I had six kids to look after.

“Our generation worked and worked, to the bone, and now we’re scraping by.

“You do have to think about money every time you put your heating on.”

Jenny Bull, 76, and her husband Ken, 78, live in Long Hanborough, and are struggling to cope with their mounting bills for utilities, food and petrol.

Their overall bill has risen by about eight per cent each year for the last four years, while their pensions have only increased with inflation, currently 2.6 per cent.

She said: “I only have a small state pension and the brunt of our expenses fall on my husband.

“We have cut our food down so that we can pay the bills but when they put the costs up again it is going to be a case of eat or heat.

“The Government say we are all in this together but this rings very hollow indeed. Some of us are seriously struggling.”

Adding to their financial pressures, Mr Bull provides 24/7 care for his terminally-ill wife. She has suffered from skin cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, liver disease and a stroke.

She says she is “very much living on borrowed time”.

Mr and Mrs Bull have a son, Philip, who was born profoundly deaf.

The combined effect of their costs has led the couple to call on the Government to boost financial aid for people in their position.

Mrs Bull receives £77.45 a week Attendance Allowance to help with her personal care.

But Mr Bull is not eligible for Carer's Allowance because he is above the age of 65 and his state pension is more than the £55.55 allowance.

Mr Bull, said: “It is becoming more of a struggle trying to get help from the authorities. You have to do one assessment after another.”

And it’s not just those who care for others who are struggling.

Jayne Woodley, chief executive of Oxfordshire Community Fund added: “Somebody I spoke to turned off their fridge because they thought it would save money and somebody else opened their oven door as he thought it was the only way of heating his house.

“People are being forced to make really difficult decisions – making the choice between eating and heating and both things are really essential.”

Age UK Oxfordshire’s latest report claims that 14,000 out of 120,000 pensioners in the county live below the poverty line.

Penny Thewlis, deputy chief executive of Age UK Oxfordshire, said: “Ken and Jenny’s story is a very familiar one to us, with people like Ken feeling that they have to fight for anything and everything that they get by way of support.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeman said: “This Government has agreed to keep key support for pensioners, including Winter Fuel Payments, free bus passes, prescriptions and eye tests, and free TV licences for the over 75s, and permanently increased Cold Weather Payments to £25.

“We are spending an extra £4.5 billion uprating benefits for pensioners this year and we have restored the earnings link for the basic state pension."

WHAT ELDERLY PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO

THERE are a range of benefits available to elderly people, but they can be complicated to understand.

Every applicant is means tested so amounts are given out on a case by case basis.

Laura Wilson, deputy manager of the Agnes Smith Advice Centre in Blackbird Leys Road, said: “There are a number of benefits available to older people.

“If they speak to an advisor they will be able to find out what they qualify for, there are some that many aren’t aware of, such as Attendance Allowance, or the fuel allowance.”

Call the centre on 01865 770206.

The Oxfordshire Community Foundation is running its annual Surviving Winter Appeal which encourages those who can afford to forgo their annual Winter Fuel Payment to donate it to those who will struggle to keep warm this winter.

Chief executive Jayne Woodley said: “The difficulty can be that people want to keep financial matters private and are afraid of asking for help, so rather than simply handing out cash we are running benefits checks to help those who really do need it.

“There are millions of pounds in unclaimed benefits. It’ often the case that because it is so difficult to apply for some people don’t bother.”

Call the foundation on 01865 798 666.

What is available?

Attendance Allowance is a social security allowance for over-65s which helps with the cost of care or supervision needs.

The low rate is £51.85 weekly and the high rate is  £77.45 weekly.
This is paid even if the person lives alone with no help.

Carer’s Allowance is for people who spend at least 35 hours each week caring for a severely disabled person. Payment vary due to circumstances, but range from about £30 per week to more than £60 per week.

Winter fuel payment: An annual lump-sum payment paid to people of pensionable age to help with fuel costs. Depending on circumstances such as age the payment varies between £100 and £300, with the higher payments made to over 80s.

Pension credit: For people over 60, this credit tops up pensions for those whose income falls below a certain amount.

The credit boosts weekly income if it’s below £142.70 for a single person, or £217.90 for couples.

Veronica Seeney

Income
Pension credit tops income to £142.70 a week (up from to £119.05 in 2008)
Winter fuel allowance: £200

Outgoings
Food: £20 to £25 a week in 2008 to £55 now
Gas: Prepaid meter £5 per week in 2008 to £20 now
Electricity: Prepaid meter £5 per week in 2008 to £20 now
Water: £250 a year in 2008 to £300 now

Ken and Jenny Bull

Income

State pension above £55 a week
Attendance Allowance £77.45 a week
Winter fuel allowance £200

Outoings
Food and medical bills: £70 a week in 2008 to £100 now
Gas: £14 a week in 2008 to £19 now
Electricity: £13 a week in 2008 to £15 now
Water: £314 a year in 2008 to £382 now
Petrol: 85p a litre in 2008 to £1.45 a litre now

 

Comments (41)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:11am Mon 19 Nov 12

SamLewisRoberts1991 says...

sparro wrote:
Sam, yes you are sick, IN THE HEAD. If you have a job sick pay is more the £30 a week. You are wicked to wish OAP`s to be dead. Grow up & learn how to look after yourself.
Ahh i knew this would happen. So let's give everyone a little breakdown of how it works.

I have worked for local government (no names named) since August 2010. I have been off sick from work since November 2011 and their SSP is done on a rolling year basis. Im no longer entitled to SSP so have to get Employment support allowence from the Job Centre. After the job centre have been ever so helpfull in the past limits are limits. I'm getting exactly £32.12 a week off of the job centre after deductions.

So obviously a few people need to know a bit more about the system before they decide to post comments!

To highlight something Sparro, I didn't wish them dead I simply said who should the Government keep an eye out for... the old people or the young. The fact that the circle of life occurs with every living thing i.e THEY DIE clearly doesn't seem to come into peoples minds these days.

Fact is if your my age and British there isnt any "social" help out there. If your old you can go into a state run care home. Age UK etc etc. Which is a good thing. Just thinking if the Torys want to stay in power some helps gotta been thrown our way lol.

- End of rant
[quote][p][bold]sparro[/bold] wrote: Sam, yes you are sick, IN THE HEAD. If you have a job sick pay is more the £30 a week. You are wicked to wish OAP`s to be dead. Grow up & learn how to look after yourself.[/p][/quote]Ahh i knew this would happen. So let's give everyone a little breakdown of how it works. I have worked for local government (no names named) since August 2010. I have been off sick from work since November 2011 and their SSP is done on a rolling year basis. Im no longer entitled to SSP so have to get Employment support allowence from the Job Centre. After the job centre have been ever so helpfull in the past limits are limits. I'm getting exactly £32.12 a week off of the job centre after deductions. So obviously a few people need to know a bit more about the system before they decide to post comments! To highlight something Sparro, I didn't wish them dead I simply said who should the Government keep an eye out for... the old people or the young. The fact that the circle of life occurs with every living thing i.e THEY DIE clearly doesn't seem to come into peoples minds these days. Fact is if your my age and British there isnt any "social" help out there. If your old you can go into a state run care home. Age UK etc etc. Which is a good thing. Just thinking if the Torys want to stay in power some helps gotta been thrown our way lol. - End of rant SamLewisRoberts1991

11:34am Mon 19 Nov 12

sparro says...

try asking the citizens advice people, who may suggest "income support". They are very helpful people & will help all ages.
What is after deductions? I can not believe they make stoppages from next to nothing.
try asking the citizens advice people, who may suggest "income support". They are very helpful people & will help all ages. What is after deductions? I can not believe they make stoppages from next to nothing. sparro

11:49am Mon 19 Nov 12

Darkforbid says...

SamLewisRoberts1991,
,, The only way you're getting that little would be from having to pay back social fund loans

But hey lucky guy,, not being able to work,,, ESA you'll get so much more than Britannia's employable, unemployed population!
SamLewisRoberts1991, ,, The only way you're getting that little would be from having to pay back social fund loans But hey lucky guy,, not being able to work,,, ESA you'll get so much more than Britannia's employable, unemployed population! Darkforbid

11:55am Mon 19 Nov 12

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Sam, your accounts do not add up. Are you in the 'work related activity group' or the 'support group' either way with deductions there is no way you would be left with as little as £30 a week, with or without social fund loans.
Sam, your accounts do not add up. Are you in the 'work related activity group' or the 'support group' either way with deductions there is no way you would be left with as little as £30 a week, with or without social fund loans. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe

12:08pm Mon 19 Nov 12

OutToPasture says...

Being on ESA myself, I'm guessing that Sam's claim is in the appeal stage where it is reduced to about £30/w until the appeal has been heard or won which can take at least 6 months. The ESA system is terrible. You get around £188/2wks for the first 13 weeks whilst your claim is being assessed and you await your Atos medical.

After this 13 weeks, and if Atos decide your not ill enough, this is reduced to around £30/w until further notice. If successful in the appeal, you get all that back dated and receive the full amount based on which group you fall into. If you lose the appeal, it's back to JSA.

I've been on ESA for almost 4 years now for Type II Bipolar Disorder. Until then, I had quite a successful and well paid career. I hate relying on the state to support myself, my kids and my disabled wife, but unlike popular belief, where those on ESA are draining the country and becoming demonized scapegoats, I am classed as "unemployable" due to the ignorance and unwillingness of companies employing mentally ill people. This even goes as far as the lack of support I get in trying to find work. The state has written me off.
Being on ESA myself, I'm guessing that Sam's claim is in the appeal stage where it is reduced to about £30/w until the appeal has been heard or won which can take at least 6 months. The ESA system is terrible. You get around £188/2wks for the first 13 weeks whilst your claim is being assessed and you await your Atos medical. After this 13 weeks, and if Atos decide your not ill enough, this is reduced to around £30/w until further notice. If successful in the appeal, you get all that back dated and receive the full amount based on which group you fall into. If you lose the appeal, it's back to JSA. I've been on ESA for almost 4 years now for Type II Bipolar Disorder. Until then, I had quite a successful and well paid career. I hate relying on the state to support myself, my kids and my disabled wife, but unlike popular belief, where those on ESA are draining the country and becoming demonized scapegoats, I am classed as "unemployable" due to the ignorance and unwillingness of companies employing mentally ill people. This even goes as far as the lack of support I get in trying to find work. The state has written me off. OutToPasture

12:09pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Darkforbid says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe,,, not exactly true you can be left with nothing for up to three years, that'll keep the crime numbers down
Sandy Wimpole-Smythe,,, not exactly true you can be left with nothing for up to three years, that'll keep the crime numbers down Darkforbid

12:21pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Darkforbid says...

ESA system is terrible. You get around £188/2wks for the first 13 weeks whilst your claim is being assessed and you await your Atos medical.

Wow can't wait for Universal Credit to start, then I'll get the same!
ESA system is terrible. You get around £188/2wks for the first 13 weeks whilst your claim is being assessed and you await your Atos medical. Wow can't wait for Universal Credit to start, then I'll get the same! Darkforbid

12:22pm Mon 19 Nov 12

OutToPasture says...

Dark, don't want to rain on your Universal Credit parade, but ESA claimants are exempt from any of the changes.
Dark, don't want to rain on your Universal Credit parade, but ESA claimants are exempt from any of the changes. OutToPasture

12:39pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Darkforbid says...

No, that just means they wont get less,, it is however the unification of six benefits including ESA... its a great idea and yes i am only saying that because i'm in the lot better of after,,, category
No, that just means they wont get less,, it is however the unification of six benefits including ESA... its a great idea and yes i am only saying that because i'm in the lot better of after,,, category Darkforbid

12:54pm Mon 19 Nov 12

OutToPasture says...

I'm looking forward to the single payment. I'm used to that from working, find the whole "Money here and there" really annoying.

Returning to the subject of OAP's struggling to get by. I totally understand the struggle with everything getting more expensive, but has anyone spoken to them about other assistance? Insulation for instance, is free to pensioners from the local authority.
I'm looking forward to the single payment. I'm used to that from working, find the whole "Money here and there" really annoying. Returning to the subject of OAP's struggling to get by. I totally understand the struggle with everything getting more expensive, but has anyone spoken to them about other assistance? Insulation for instance, is free to pensioners from the local authority. OutToPasture

1:21pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

It is a challenge for some OAPs, particularly those who didn't make an effort to save when they were working. Let us not forget that people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp".

Fortunately, there is the £200 winter fuel allowance. A lot of people have absolutely no idea how much "electric" they can buy with £200 though.

At 14p a unit, it's enough to run an oil filled radiator on a 750w setting continuously, 24 hours a day, for 80 days.

Given that it is thermostatically controlled, that there will be days of bright sunshine to warm through the glass, and some people will switch off when they are sleeping or not in - expect £200 to last 120 days.
It is a challenge for some OAPs, particularly those who didn't make an effort to save when they were working. Let us not forget that people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp". Fortunately, there is the £200 winter fuel allowance. A lot of people have absolutely no idea how much "electric" they can buy with £200 though. At 14p a unit, it's enough to run an oil filled radiator on a 750w setting continuously, 24 hours a day, for 80 days. Given that it is thermostatically controlled, that there will be days of bright sunshine to warm through the glass, and some people will switch off when they are sleeping or not in - expect £200 to last 120 days. Andrew:Oxford

1:27pm Mon 19 Nov 12

OutToPasture says...

Just looking back at the article I spotted:

Petrol: 85p a litre in 2008 to £1.45 a litre now

I have a personal bug bear where the state is paying for people to run a vehicle. Cars are not a necessity, and the most obvious place to make savings would be to reduce your car costs first.

I can just see the DWPs face now if I requested an emergency payment for petrol :/
Just looking back at the article I spotted: Petrol: 85p a litre in 2008 to £1.45 a litre now I have a personal bug bear where the state is paying for people to run a vehicle. Cars are not a necessity, and the most obvious place to make savings would be to reduce your car costs first. I can just see the DWPs face now if I requested an emergency payment for petrol :/ OutToPasture

2:06pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
It is a challenge for some OAPs, particularly those who didn't make an effort to save when they were working. Let us not forget that people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp".

Fortunately, there is the £200 winter fuel allowance. A lot of people have absolutely no idea how much "electric" they can buy with £200 though.

At 14p a unit, it's enough to run an oil filled radiator on a 750w setting continuously, 24 hours a day, for 80 days.

Given that it is thermostatically controlled, that there will be days of bright sunshine to warm through the glass, and some people will switch off when they are sleeping or not in - expect £200 to last 120 days.
Assuming you are quite happy staying in one room and use no other electricity for lighting, heating boiling the kettle etc, then yes your maths are sound.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: It is a challenge for some OAPs, particularly those who didn't make an effort to save when they were working. Let us not forget that people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp". Fortunately, there is the £200 winter fuel allowance. A lot of people have absolutely no idea how much "electric" they can buy with £200 though. At 14p a unit, it's enough to run an oil filled radiator on a 750w setting continuously, 24 hours a day, for 80 days. Given that it is thermostatically controlled, that there will be days of bright sunshine to warm through the glass, and some people will switch off when they are sleeping or not in - expect £200 to last 120 days.[/p][/quote]Assuming you are quite happy staying in one room and use no other electricity for lighting, heating boiling the kettle etc, then yes your maths are sound. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe

3:46pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

My income is a little over £100 a week, no additional winter payments, my flat is warm, I can afford to eat, buy new clothes, smoke, run car, and I am solvent.
It's all about prioritising, if you don't need it don't buy it, if you want something save for it, I see so many stories about people with a greater income than mine, complaining they haven't got enough money, what do they do with it?
If you're a pensioner, and you're struggling to afford to live in your large house, downsize.
I've paid a fortune into the treasury during my working life, I'm unable to work at the moment, but as soon as I'm able, I'll be back paying into the treasury.
Benefits aren't given to enable people to live a lavish lifestyle, enjoying holidays etc., they're for enabling you to live adequately, which I do.
People should stop complaining, there are millions of people who are effectively homeless, have no access to proper sanitation, or regular meals.
Yes the wealthy have got too much money, especially the idiots currently crippling this country, but there's little we can do about that, at the moment, batten down the hatches, and get ready to fight.
My income is a little over £100 a week, no additional winter payments, my flat is warm, I can afford to eat, buy new clothes, smoke, run car, and I am solvent. It's all about prioritising, if you don't need it don't buy it, if you want something save for it, I see so many stories about people with a greater income than mine, complaining they haven't got enough money, what do they do with it? If you're a pensioner, and you're struggling to afford to live in your large house, downsize. I've paid a fortune into the treasury during my working life, I'm unable to work at the moment, but as soon as I'm able, I'll be back paying into the treasury. Benefits aren't given to enable people to live a lavish lifestyle, enjoying holidays etc., they're for enabling you to live adequately, which I do. People should stop complaining, there are millions of people who are effectively homeless, have no access to proper sanitation, or regular meals. Yes the wealthy have got too much money, especially the idiots currently crippling this country, but there's little we can do about that, at the moment, batten down the hatches, and get ready to fight. Dilligaf2010

4:29pm Mon 19 Nov 12

King Joke says...

Walking around my part of Oxford - having a dog it's something I do every day - it appalls me how many people haven't got the first clue about energy efficiency. I still see windows left open, even in November, and a light blazing in every single room with no sign of anybody in those rooms.

I'm not saying the people in the article are guilty of this, but plenty of people are, and I bet some of them whinge about the cost of energy.
Walking around my part of Oxford - having a dog it's something I do every day - it appalls me how many people haven't got the first clue about energy efficiency. I still see windows left open, even in November, and a light blazing in every single room with no sign of anybody in those rooms. I'm not saying the people in the article are guilty of this, but plenty of people are, and I bet some of them whinge about the cost of energy. King Joke

4:33pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote: It is a challenge for some OAPs, particularly those who didn't make an effort to save when they were working. Let us not forget that people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp". Fortunately, there is the £200 winter fuel allowance. A lot of people have absolutely no idea how much "electric" they can buy with £200 though. At 14p a unit, it's enough to run an oil filled radiator on a 750w setting continuously, 24 hours a day, for 80 days. Given that it is thermostatically controlled, that there will be days of bright sunshine to warm through the glass, and some people will switch off when they are sleeping or not in - expect £200 to last 120 days.
Assuming you are quite happy staying in one room and use no other electricity for lighting, heating boiling the kettle etc, then yes your maths are sound.
Well, the story is about "heating or eating", and you tend not to use heating in the summer, so energy use other than heating will be broadly similar. (With most bulbs being energy efficient CFLs or LEDs - they aren't worth factoring in.)

There will be a slight increase in the cost of heating water due to the colder temperature of the income supply.

It costs 1p to boil enough water for a large mug of coffee.
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: It is a challenge for some OAPs, particularly those who didn't make an effort to save when they were working. Let us not forget that people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp". Fortunately, there is the £200 winter fuel allowance. A lot of people have absolutely no idea how much "electric" they can buy with £200 though. At 14p a unit, it's enough to run an oil filled radiator on a 750w setting continuously, 24 hours a day, for 80 days. Given that it is thermostatically controlled, that there will be days of bright sunshine to warm through the glass, and some people will switch off when they are sleeping or not in - expect £200 to last 120 days.[/p][/quote]Assuming you are quite happy staying in one room and use no other electricity for lighting, heating boiling the kettle etc, then yes your maths are sound.[/p][/quote]Well, the story is about "heating or eating", and you tend not to use heating in the summer, so energy use other than heating will be broadly similar. (With most bulbs being energy efficient CFLs or LEDs - they aren't worth factoring in.) There will be a slight increase in the cost of heating water due to the colder temperature of the income supply. It costs 1p to boil enough water for a large mug of coffee. Andrew:Oxford

7:46pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

KING JOKE. I do not believe you. I don't see many houses with their front curtains open so that you can see from the street how many people are in their rooms or not. Or do you go around snooping with some kind of heat seeking device?. This story is about poor old people that made it possible for you to have a free life, there are not many of them left, so we MUST support them and make their last years comfortable.
KING JOKE. I do not believe you. I don't see many houses with their front curtains open so that you can see from the street how many people are in their rooms or not. Or do you go around snooping with some kind of heat seeking device?. This story is about poor old people that made it possible for you to have a free life, there are not many of them left, so we MUST support them and make their last years comfortable. Pavinder Msvarensy

8:17pm Mon 19 Nov 12

King Joke says...

Actually at dusk before curtains have been drawn, and in streets largely of terraces with no front gardens or very little ones, it's pretty easy to see just how much energy people are p155ing away.

I agree old people need help, but I'd imagine some of these people too need advice on how to conserve energy.
Actually at dusk before curtains have been drawn, and in streets largely of terraces with no front gardens or very little ones, it's pretty easy to see just how much energy people are p155ing away. I agree old people need help, but I'd imagine some of these people too need advice on how to conserve energy. King Joke

10:52pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Myron Blatz says...

What with the cost of tobacco, fags, petrol, diesel, beer, whisky, bingo, scratch cards and the lottery being so high (not to mention those coach trips to Skegness) then it's little wonder that pensioners are feeling the pinch - not to mention the outrageously expensive birthday and Christmas presents for all the grandchildren! George Osborne and his Coalition cronies have a lot to answer for - that's why Labour decided not to win the last general election, and why Nerd Millibump can promise the earth .... but not have to put the country's money where his mouth is until 2015.
What with the cost of tobacco, fags, petrol, diesel, beer, whisky, bingo, scratch cards and the lottery being so high (not to mention those coach trips to Skegness) then it's little wonder that pensioners are feeling the pinch - not to mention the outrageously expensive birthday and Christmas presents for all the grandchildren! George Osborne and his Coalition cronies have a lot to answer for - that's why Labour decided not to win the last general election, and why Nerd Millibump can promise the earth .... but not have to put the country's money where his mouth is until 2015. Myron Blatz

12:28am Tue 20 Nov 12

Freda Piles says...

Then there are those pensioners who are frozen and receive no increases ever to their pension for the simple reason that they emigrated to a country not favoured by governments past and present , like the many Commonwealth countries and others who stood by the UK back in 1939 when others thought about it and waited like the USA. True,we needed the USA but they needed a push to make a commitment. We have just had Remembrance Day but the politicians it seems have short memories or are too young to appreciate what actually happened during WWII and afterwards. These frozen pensioners helped to pay off the loans to Canada and the USA which took until 2006 to clear and I wonder where the government got the money to do it ! We had rationing until1952 as well. Go figure. But politicians like Steve Webb and David Cameron can make and break promises and to hell with justice, honesty and integrity. They would see these pensioners slide into poverty and turn their backs. Make no mistake this is happening. Aid to other countries is commendable and right but only after looking after your own citizens. The fact that they have emigrated has nothing to do with the argument especially as the government encouraged it in the past and the DWP have been telling lies for years about the reasons for the freezing.
This is a moral argument and not only a financial one and it is time put things right. Are you listening David or will you just carry on ignoring the problem. I have news for you - it will not go away until you make it happen !
Then there are those pensioners who are frozen and receive no increases ever to their pension for the simple reason that they emigrated to a country not favoured by governments past and present , like the many Commonwealth countries and others who stood by the UK back in 1939 when others thought about it and waited like the USA. True,we needed the USA but they needed a push to make a commitment. We have just had Remembrance Day but the politicians it seems have short memories or are too young to appreciate what actually happened during WWII and afterwards. These frozen pensioners helped to pay off the loans to Canada and the USA which took until 2006 to clear and I wonder where the government got the money to do it ! We had rationing until1952 as well. Go figure. But politicians like Steve Webb and David Cameron can make and break promises and to hell with justice, honesty and integrity. They would see these pensioners slide into poverty and turn their backs. Make no mistake this is happening. Aid to other countries is commendable and right but only after looking after your own citizens. The fact that they have emigrated has nothing to do with the argument especially as the government encouraged it in the past and the DWP have been telling lies for years about the reasons for the freezing. This is a moral argument and not only a financial one and it is time put things right. Are you listening David or will you just carry on ignoring the problem. I have news for you - it will not go away until you make it happen ! Freda Piles

2:31am Tue 20 Nov 12

sparro says...

Plus this government has frozen the tax allowances for oap`s from next year, so they will pay more tax on pensions & get less help from them. GREAT
Plus this government has frozen the tax allowances for oap`s from next year, so they will pay more tax on pensions & get less help from them. GREAT sparro

4:38am Tue 20 Nov 12

janeybird says...

Here's a thought, why not give ALL state pensioners what they have spent a lifetime paying for. A decent sum they can actually live on, then all the add on benefits would not be needed. Millions would be saved because the staff would not be needed to wade through all the red tape involved in means testing years after year etc.. When I say ALL pensioners I mean ALL pensioners, including the 4% who have their pension frozen just because of where they live. Entitlement is based on the amount paid in to the NIF and the amount of years spent paying in, where one lives is irrelevant.
Andrew Oxford...can you please explain the comment you made "Let us not forget people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp." I am not aware that one could opt out as state pension contributions were mandatory, which makes the fact that some state pensions are frozen even more of an injustice.
Here's a thought, why not give ALL state pensioners what they have spent a lifetime paying for. A decent sum they can actually live on, then all the add on benefits would not be needed. Millions would be saved because the staff would not be needed to wade through all the red tape involved in means testing years after year etc.. When I say ALL pensioners I mean ALL pensioners, including the 4% who have their pension frozen just because of where they live. Entitlement is based on the amount paid in to the NIF and the amount of years spent paying in, where one lives is irrelevant. Andrew Oxford...can you please explain the comment you made "Let us not forget people used to have the choice of opting out of the "big stamp." I am not aware that one could opt out as state pension contributions were mandatory, which makes the fact that some state pensions are frozen even more of an injustice. janeybird

4:45am Tue 20 Nov 12

janeybird says...

sparro, you have to remember this government do not give a rats rear end about pensioners so they go out of their way to make life as difficult as possible. David Cameron is all talk when he professes to care about seniors, lies all lies, he talks the talk but refuses to walk the walk. His millionaire buds are all he cares about. He should hang his head in shame.
sparro, you have to remember this government do not give a rats rear end about pensioners so they go out of their way to make life as difficult as possible. David Cameron is all talk when he professes to care about seniors, lies all lies, he talks the talk but refuses to walk the walk. His millionaire buds are all he cares about. He should hang his head in shame. janeybird

11:34am Tue 20 Nov 12

RobtheFox says...

Freda Piles said that rationing after World War II ended in 1952 but I believe I am correct in saying the sweets and sugar rationing ended in 1953 and meat a year later. Indeed the effect of the dairy pricing restrictions severely affected cheese production , believe it or not, until the 1980's!
While this may seem a bit of useless trivia perhaps those of a younger generation might get a better understanding of what austerity really means. Sadly now those who endured those difficult times are now suffering again judging by these reports.

Of course, Freda and janeybird have highlighted the fact that while some pensioners in the UK are struggling there are those who are being denied even the annual increase - the frozen pensioner. Some 4% of all UK pensioners world wide who, when working, contributed to the NI scheme under the same terms as everyone else. They are discriminated against by not being allowed, now they are retired, to withdraw from the NI Fund on the same equal terms...and simply because they don't live in the UK, the EEA or countries like America, Israel or the Philippines. The country of residence is irrelevant on this issue; it is a "contract" that governments have broken year, after year, after year.

Increases in the cost of living are not restricted to the UK and, as a result of this policy frozen pensioners are suffering a real reduction in their spending power each and every year. There are some of the more senior who retired on what was then a full pension of about £10 or £12 per week and now, instead of the £107.45 they are entitled to expect, they receive...£10 to £12 per week.

Yes, pensioners in the UK you have my sympathy but at least you are able to claim your full entitlements (inadequate though they may be) unlike your frozen fellow UK citizens.
Freda Piles said that rationing after World War II ended in 1952 but I believe I am correct in saying the sweets and sugar rationing ended in 1953 and meat a year later. Indeed the effect of the dairy pricing restrictions severely affected cheese production , believe it or not, until the 1980's! While this may seem a bit of useless trivia perhaps those of a younger generation might get a better understanding of what austerity really means. Sadly now those who endured those difficult times are now suffering again judging by these reports. Of course, Freda and janeybird have highlighted the fact that while some pensioners in the UK are struggling there are those who are being denied even the annual increase - the frozen pensioner. Some 4% of all UK pensioners world wide who, when working, contributed to the NI scheme under the same terms as everyone else. They are discriminated against by not being allowed, now they are retired, to withdraw from the NI Fund on the same equal terms...and simply because they don't live in the UK, the EEA or countries like America, Israel or the Philippines. The country of residence is irrelevant on this issue; it is a "contract" that governments have broken year, after year, after year. Increases in the cost of living are not restricted to the UK and, as a result of this policy frozen pensioners are suffering a real reduction in their spending power each and every year. There are some of the more senior who retired on what was then a full pension of about £10 or £12 per week and now, instead of the £107.45 they are entitled to expect, they receive...£10 to £12 per week. Yes, pensioners in the UK you have my sympathy but at least you are able to claim your full entitlements (inadequate though they may be) unlike your frozen fellow UK citizens. RobtheFox

12:15pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

@Janeybird
Andrew is correct, there was the option to opt out of the "big stamp", the woman who used to be, my mother, did it all her working life, it may only have been an option for the 2nd earner in the household though, I'm not certain, but I'm sure the information's available somewhere though.
@Janeybird Andrew is correct, there was the option to opt out of the "big stamp", the woman who used to be, my mother, did it all her working life, it may only have been an option for the 2nd earner in the household though, I'm not certain, but I'm sure the information's available somewhere though. Dilligaf2010

1:16pm Tue 20 Nov 12

RobtheFox says...

Yes, it was commonly known as "The Married Women's Stamp" and was at a discounted rate as it was claimed it would save them money; However, in opting to pay the lower rate they forfeited the right to unemployment benefit and maternity benefit but what was not well publicised was the effect it would have on any retirement pension...if a women had only paid the opted out rate there was no entitlement; she would only become eligible on her husband's contributions. It was scrapped in 1977 but those who had actually opted to pay the "Married Women's Stamp" were given the choice of continuing to pay the lower rate or opt back into the main scheme
Yes, it was commonly known as "The Married Women's Stamp" and was at a discounted rate as it was claimed it would save them money; However, in opting to pay the lower rate they forfeited the right to unemployment benefit and maternity benefit but what was not well publicised was the effect it would have on any retirement pension...if a women had only paid the opted out rate there was no entitlement; she would only become eligible on her husband's contributions. It was scrapped in 1977 but those who had actually opted to pay the "Married Women's Stamp" were given the choice of continuing to pay the lower rate or opt back into the main scheme RobtheFox

2:36pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

Myron your sad attempt at humour falls flat (although you do have a relevant point) What was the point of these pensioners risking their live during the war, then going through years of rationing, paying their Tax and NI for another 40 years only to be left living in one room watching Brucie or Morecambe and Wise on a Black and White set? Tax Free Beer, Fags and petrol (and bingo if you like) should be provided for pensioners as these carry about 75% tax and these people have paid enough in their life time already. All of the above comments about saving etc are great if like most of the above you are on 100K but most of the pensioners were on a couple of old pounds a week, so do not comment if you do not understand the reality of trying to live on £20 a day including EVERYTHING not just food. I am really disturbed by some of your comments, and it seems that I am alright Jack, and s0d the rest of you poor people is really the opinion of most of the "people" in Oxfordshire. Shame on you.
Myron your sad attempt at humour falls flat (although you do have a relevant point) What was the point of these pensioners risking their live during the war, then going through years of rationing, paying their Tax and NI for another 40 years only to be left living in one room watching Brucie or Morecambe and Wise on a Black and White set? Tax Free Beer, Fags and petrol (and bingo if you like) should be provided for pensioners as these carry about 75% tax and these people have paid enough in their life time already. All of the above comments about saving etc are great if like most of the above you are on 100K but most of the pensioners were on a couple of old pounds a week, so do not comment if you do not understand the reality of trying to live on £20 a day including EVERYTHING not just food. I am really disturbed by some of your comments, and it seems that I am alright Jack, and s0d the rest of you poor people is really the opinion of most of the "people" in Oxfordshire. Shame on you. Pavinder Msvarensy

5:31pm Tue 20 Nov 12

janeybird says...

Dilligaf2010, I was in fact one of the victims of the "married womens" opt out con. Andrew Oxford made out that an opt out could apply to anyone which caused the confusion. Thanks for clarifying his comment, if indeed that is what he meant!
Dilligaf2010, I was in fact one of the victims of the "married womens" opt out con. Andrew Oxford made out that an opt out could apply to anyone which caused the confusion. Thanks for clarifying his comment, if indeed that is what he meant! janeybird

5:45pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Magpied47 says...

RobtheFox wrote:
Freda Piles said that rationing after World War II ended in 1952 but I believe I am correct in saying the sweets and sugar rationing ended in 1953 and meat a year later. Indeed the effect of the dairy pricing restrictions severely affected cheese production , believe it or not, until the 1980's! While this may seem a bit of useless trivia perhaps those of a younger generation might get a better understanding of what austerity really means. Sadly now those who endured those difficult times are now suffering again judging by these reports. Of course, Freda and janeybird have highlighted the fact that while some pensioners in the UK are struggling there are those who are being denied even the annual increase - the frozen pensioner. Some 4% of all UK pensioners world wide who, when working, contributed to the NI scheme under the same terms as everyone else. They are discriminated against by not being allowed, now they are retired, to withdraw from the NI Fund on the same equal terms...and simply because they don't live in the UK, the EEA or countries like America, Israel or the Philippines. The country of residence is irrelevant on this issue; it is a "contract" that governments have broken year, after year, after year. Increases in the cost of living are not restricted to the UK and, as a result of this policy frozen pensioners are suffering a real reduction in their spending power each and every year. There are some of the more senior who retired on what was then a full pension of about £10 or £12 per week and now, instead of the £107.45 they are entitled to expect, they receive...£10 to £12 per week. Yes, pensioners in the UK you have my sympathy but at least you are able to claim your full entitlements (inadequate though they may be) unlike your frozen fellow UK citizens.
So true Robthefox. Whilst my sympathies are with the struggling pensioners in the UK, they are at least entitled to some extras, inadequate as they may be.
On the other hand, a UK pensioner living in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands, and Thailand, to name but a few, must exist on the amount which they first received, if they applied from that country, or the amount they were receiving when they left the UK.. Can you imagine trying to make ends meet on the same income as you had in say 1990?
The only recourse for us, is to go cap in hand to the tax payer in our host country, and seek subsidies to augment our inadequate pension. What a humiliation for us. What an advert for a Britain, which, sadly, I can no longer refer to as "Great"
[quote][p][bold]RobtheFox[/bold] wrote: Freda Piles said that rationing after World War II ended in 1952 but I believe I am correct in saying the sweets and sugar rationing ended in 1953 and meat a year later. Indeed the effect of the dairy pricing restrictions severely affected cheese production , believe it or not, until the 1980's! While this may seem a bit of useless trivia perhaps those of a younger generation might get a better understanding of what austerity really means. Sadly now those who endured those difficult times are now suffering again judging by these reports. Of course, Freda and janeybird have highlighted the fact that while some pensioners in the UK are struggling there are those who are being denied even the annual increase - the frozen pensioner. Some 4% of all UK pensioners world wide who, when working, contributed to the NI scheme under the same terms as everyone else. They are discriminated against by not being allowed, now they are retired, to withdraw from the NI Fund on the same equal terms...and simply because they don't live in the UK, the EEA or countries like America, Israel or the Philippines. The country of residence is irrelevant on this issue; it is a "contract" that governments have broken year, after year, after year. Increases in the cost of living are not restricted to the UK and, as a result of this policy frozen pensioners are suffering a real reduction in their spending power each and every year. There are some of the more senior who retired on what was then a full pension of about £10 or £12 per week and now, instead of the £107.45 they are entitled to expect, they receive...£10 to £12 per week. Yes, pensioners in the UK you have my sympathy but at least you are able to claim your full entitlements (inadequate though they may be) unlike your frozen fellow UK citizens.[/p][/quote]So true Robthefox. Whilst my sympathies are with the struggling pensioners in the UK, they are at least entitled to some extras, inadequate as they may be. On the other hand, a UK pensioner living in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands, and Thailand, to name but a few, must exist on the amount which they first received, if they applied from that country, or the amount they were receiving when they left the UK.. Can you imagine trying to make ends meet on the same income as you had in say 1990? The only recourse for us, is to go cap in hand to the tax payer in our host country, and seek subsidies to augment our inadequate pension. What a humiliation for us. What an advert for a Britain, which, sadly, I can no longer refer to as "Great" Magpied47

12:33am Wed 21 Nov 12

RobtheFox says...

Magpied47 wrote:
RobtheFox wrote:
Freda Piles said that rationing after World War II ended in 1952 but I believe I am correct in saying the sweets and sugar rationing ended in 1953 and meat a year later. Indeed the effect of the dairy pricing restrictions severely affected cheese production , believe it or not, until the 1980's! While this may seem a bit of useless trivia perhaps those of a younger generation might get a better understanding of what austerity really means. Sadly now those who endured those difficult times are now suffering again judging by these reports. Of course, Freda and janeybird have highlighted the fact that while some pensioners in the UK are struggling there are those who are being denied even the annual increase - the frozen pensioner. Some 4% of all UK pensioners world wide who, when working, contributed to the NI scheme under the same terms as everyone else. They are discriminated against by not being allowed, now they are retired, to withdraw from the NI Fund on the same equal terms...and simply because they don't live in the UK, the EEA or countries like America, Israel or the Philippines. The country of residence is irrelevant on this issue; it is a "contract" that governments have broken year, after year, after year. Increases in the cost of living are not restricted to the UK and, as a result of this policy frozen pensioners are suffering a real reduction in their spending power each and every year. There are some of the more senior who retired on what was then a full pension of about £10 or £12 per week and now, instead of the £107.45 they are entitled to expect, they receive...£10 to £12 per week. Yes, pensioners in the UK you have my sympathy but at least you are able to claim your full entitlements (inadequate though they may be) unlike your frozen fellow UK citizens.
So true Robthefox. Whilst my sympathies are with the struggling pensioners in the UK, they are at least entitled to some extras, inadequate as they may be.
On the other hand, a UK pensioner living in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands, and Thailand, to name but a few, must exist on the amount which they first received, if they applied from that country, or the amount they were receiving when they left the UK.. Can you imagine trying to make ends meet on the same income as you had in say 1990?
The only recourse for us, is to go cap in hand to the tax payer in our host country, and seek subsidies to augment our inadequate pension. What a humiliation for us. What an advert for a Britain, which, sadly, I can no longer refer to as "Great"
Magpied47 -you say " The only recourse for us is to go cap in hand to the tax payer in our host country and seek subsidies to augment our inadequate pension. what humiliation for us".
True and what an embarrassment that should be for the UK ministers when challenged on the policy by their opposite number in the host country.

I think I should point out, too, that not all host countries actually have a system to subsidise. In Thailand, which you mention, there is no help available. A visa, which is only valid for a year, will only be issued on production of evidence of adequate income from abroad. Otherwise one has to leave the country after three months.

In passing may I say how disappointing it is to see that there someone (or more) who finds pleasure in giving excessive "thumbs down" votes to certain contributors and which are clearly not a true reflection of opinions.
[quote][p][bold]Magpied47[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RobtheFox[/bold] wrote: Freda Piles said that rationing after World War II ended in 1952 but I believe I am correct in saying the sweets and sugar rationing ended in 1953 and meat a year later. Indeed the effect of the dairy pricing restrictions severely affected cheese production , believe it or not, until the 1980's! While this may seem a bit of useless trivia perhaps those of a younger generation might get a better understanding of what austerity really means. Sadly now those who endured those difficult times are now suffering again judging by these reports. Of course, Freda and janeybird have highlighted the fact that while some pensioners in the UK are struggling there are those who are being denied even the annual increase - the frozen pensioner. Some 4% of all UK pensioners world wide who, when working, contributed to the NI scheme under the same terms as everyone else. They are discriminated against by not being allowed, now they are retired, to withdraw from the NI Fund on the same equal terms...and simply because they don't live in the UK, the EEA or countries like America, Israel or the Philippines. The country of residence is irrelevant on this issue; it is a "contract" that governments have broken year, after year, after year. Increases in the cost of living are not restricted to the UK and, as a result of this policy frozen pensioners are suffering a real reduction in their spending power each and every year. There are some of the more senior who retired on what was then a full pension of about £10 or £12 per week and now, instead of the £107.45 they are entitled to expect, they receive...£10 to £12 per week. Yes, pensioners in the UK you have my sympathy but at least you are able to claim your full entitlements (inadequate though they may be) unlike your frozen fellow UK citizens.[/p][/quote]So true Robthefox. Whilst my sympathies are with the struggling pensioners in the UK, they are at least entitled to some extras, inadequate as they may be. On the other hand, a UK pensioner living in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands, and Thailand, to name but a few, must exist on the amount which they first received, if they applied from that country, or the amount they were receiving when they left the UK.. Can you imagine trying to make ends meet on the same income as you had in say 1990? The only recourse for us, is to go cap in hand to the tax payer in our host country, and seek subsidies to augment our inadequate pension. What a humiliation for us. What an advert for a Britain, which, sadly, I can no longer refer to as "Great"[/p][/quote]Magpied47 -you say " The only recourse for us is to go cap in hand to the tax payer in our host country and seek subsidies to augment our inadequate pension. what humiliation for us". True and what an embarrassment that should be for the UK ministers when challenged on the policy by their opposite number in the host country. I think I should point out, too, that not all host countries actually have a system to subsidise. In Thailand, which you mention, there is no help available. A visa, which is only valid for a year, will only be issued on production of evidence of adequate income from abroad. Otherwise one has to leave the country after three months. In passing may I say how disappointing it is to see that there someone (or more) who finds pleasure in giving excessive "thumbs down" votes to certain contributors and which are clearly not a true reflection of opinions. RobtheFox

3:50am Wed 21 Nov 12

Freda Piles says...

I would ask the moderator to investigate the excessive "thumbs down" vote that RobtheFox mentioned and perhaps take action against the perpetrator because this makes a mockery of any voting system. Alternatively , do away with it.
What about the Oxford Mail doing an article about this issue and asking the local politicians including David Cameron for their input because it is not only the current frozen pensioners that are affected but every pensioner who is considering emigrating must look closely and see whether they will be affected by this illogical and totally rediculous policy that even the politicians cannot explain or justify. As far as I have been able to find out, this is the only country that robs it's pensioners in this way.
I would ask the moderator to investigate the excessive "thumbs down" vote that RobtheFox mentioned and perhaps take action against the perpetrator because this makes a mockery of any voting system. Alternatively , do away with it. What about the Oxford Mail doing an article about this issue and asking the local politicians including David Cameron for their input because it is not only the current frozen pensioners that are affected but every pensioner who is considering emigrating must look closely and see whether they will be affected by this illogical and totally rediculous policy that even the politicians cannot explain or justify. As far as I have been able to find out, this is the only country that robs it's pensioners in this way. Freda Piles

5:11pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Magpied47 says...

Freda Piles wrote:
Then there are those pensioners who are frozen and receive no increases ever to their pension for the simple reason that they emigrated to a country not favoured by governments past and present , like the many Commonwealth countries and others who stood by the UK back in 1939 when others thought about it and waited like the USA. True,we needed the USA but they needed a push to make a commitment. We have just had Remembrance Day but the politicians it seems have short memories or are too young to appreciate what actually happened during WWII and afterwards. These frozen pensioners helped to pay off the loans to Canada and the USA which took until 2006 to clear and I wonder where the government got the money to do it ! We had rationing until1952 as well. Go figure. But politicians like Steve Webb and David Cameron can make and break promises and to hell with justice, honesty and integrity. They would see these pensioners slide into poverty and turn their backs. Make no mistake this is happening. Aid to other countries is commendable and right but only after looking after your own citizens. The fact that they have emigrated has nothing to do with the argument especially as the government encouraged it in the past and the DWP have been telling lies for years about the reasons for the freezing. This is a moral argument and not only a financial one and it is time put things right. Are you listening David or will you just carry on ignoring the problem. I have news for you - it will not go away until you make it happen !
Freda, you are wasting your time using words like Justice, honesty and integrity, when referring to politicians, they have absolutely no idea of what those words mean..
[quote][p][bold]Freda Piles[/bold] wrote: Then there are those pensioners who are frozen and receive no increases ever to their pension for the simple reason that they emigrated to a country not favoured by governments past and present , like the many Commonwealth countries and others who stood by the UK back in 1939 when others thought about it and waited like the USA. True,we needed the USA but they needed a push to make a commitment. We have just had Remembrance Day but the politicians it seems have short memories or are too young to appreciate what actually happened during WWII and afterwards. These frozen pensioners helped to pay off the loans to Canada and the USA which took until 2006 to clear and I wonder where the government got the money to do it ! We had rationing until1952 as well. Go figure. But politicians like Steve Webb and David Cameron can make and break promises and to hell with justice, honesty and integrity. They would see these pensioners slide into poverty and turn their backs. Make no mistake this is happening. Aid to other countries is commendable and right but only after looking after your own citizens. The fact that they have emigrated has nothing to do with the argument especially as the government encouraged it in the past and the DWP have been telling lies for years about the reasons for the freezing. This is a moral argument and not only a financial one and it is time put things right. Are you listening David or will you just carry on ignoring the problem. I have news for you - it will not go away until you make it happen ![/p][/quote]Freda, you are wasting your time using words like Justice, honesty and integrity, when referring to politicians, they have absolutely no idea of what those words mean.. Magpied47

5:29pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

Freda Thank you for mentioning the voting system, it doesn't affect me personally may may well do to somebody with a less thick skin. But on the story I cannot believe anybody that begrudges a pensioner who has served their time and worked all their lives some dignity and a good standard of living in their retirement. That is all that can be asked from this and any government.
Freda Thank you for mentioning the voting system, it doesn't affect me personally may may well do to somebody with a less thick skin. But on the story I cannot believe anybody that begrudges a pensioner who has served their time and worked all their lives some dignity and a good standard of living in their retirement. That is all that can be asked from this and any government. Pavinder Msvarensy

5:30pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Magpied47 says...

Pavinder Msvarensy wrote:
Myron your sad attempt at humour falls flat (although you do have a relevant point) What was the point of these pensioners risking their live during the war, then going through years of rationing, paying their Tax and NI for another 40 years only to be left living in one room watching Brucie or Morecambe and Wise on a Black and White set? Tax Free Beer, Fags and petrol (and bingo if you like) should be provided for pensioners as these carry about 75% tax and these people have paid enough in their life time already. All of the above comments about saving etc are great if like most of the above you are on 100K but most of the pensioners were on a couple of old pounds a week, so do not comment if you do not understand the reality of trying to live on £20 a day including EVERYTHING not just food. I am really disturbed by some of your comments, and it seems that I am alright Jack, and s0d the rest of you poor people is really the opinion of most of the "people" in Oxfordshire. Shame on you.
That appears to be the main problem for the struggling pensioners today. The "I'm alright Jack" attitude seems to be prevelant amongst the Haves of this world.
Many pensioners today weren't fortunate enough to have sufficient income to make provision for their retirement. Many of the 4% of British pensioners trying to survive on frozen pensions, were unaware that their pension income would be restricted simply because they chose to live in a certain country. Those pensioners paid to educate many of today's I'm alright Jackers, making it possible for them take better paying jobs, and make provision for their own retirement.
[quote][p][bold]Pavinder Msvarensy[/bold] wrote: Myron your sad attempt at humour falls flat (although you do have a relevant point) What was the point of these pensioners risking their live during the war, then going through years of rationing, paying their Tax and NI for another 40 years only to be left living in one room watching Brucie or Morecambe and Wise on a Black and White set? Tax Free Beer, Fags and petrol (and bingo if you like) should be provided for pensioners as these carry about 75% tax and these people have paid enough in their life time already. All of the above comments about saving etc are great if like most of the above you are on 100K but most of the pensioners were on a couple of old pounds a week, so do not comment if you do not understand the reality of trying to live on £20 a day including EVERYTHING not just food. I am really disturbed by some of your comments, and it seems that I am alright Jack, and s0d the rest of you poor people is really the opinion of most of the "people" in Oxfordshire. Shame on you.[/p][/quote]That appears to be the main problem for the struggling pensioners today. The "I'm alright Jack" attitude seems to be prevelant amongst the Haves of this world. Many pensioners today weren't fortunate enough to have sufficient income to make provision for their retirement. Many of the 4% of British pensioners trying to survive on frozen pensions, were unaware that their pension income would be restricted simply because they chose to live in a certain country. Those pensioners paid to educate many of today's I'm alright Jackers, making it possible for them take better paying jobs, and make provision for their own retirement. Magpied47

6:40pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

I think I'll throw another two-penneth in, because I think some people may have forgotten a few points.
If I'm not mistaken, in addition to their pensions, they also receive Council Tax benefits, and Housing Benefit, although some of them will be living in their own homes, mortgage free, so will not require the latter.
So basically their pensions, and the additional winter fuel payments, are money to live on, which as I said before, is more than I, yet my thermostat is set at about 20°C, I eat a healthy diet, I can afford to buy new clothes, smoke, run a car, I've got phone & broadband, and am Solvent, it's all down to budgeting.
All my utilities are paid monthly by Direct Debit, so are spread over the year, so no excessive bills when the weather's colder, if people stick to quarterly bills, and don't put something aside during the warmer months, to contribute towards the bills during the colder months, then they will find money is tighter, but to say it's a choice between heating, or eating, I think is stretching things a bit, unless of course they're buying hampers from Fortnum & Masons.
Also, as I've said before, if it's a struggle to heat a large property, that has bedrooms that are just extra rooms gathering dust, downsize to somewhere more suited to your needs, why pay to heat unused empty space?
If people are in receipt of all the benefits they're entitled to, and don't spend all their money on stuff that's not needed, such as Widescreen LCD TVs, games consoles, designer clothes (although not necessarily apt in the case of pensioners), and don't live on credit, or drink excessively, nobody should struggle.
I should point out, I'm not a Tory, and I despise everything that the Con-Dems are doing to this Country, but I'm being realistic.
I think I'll throw another two-penneth in, because I think some people may have forgotten a few points. If I'm not mistaken, in addition to their pensions, they also receive Council Tax benefits, and Housing Benefit, although some of them will be living in their own homes, mortgage free, so will not require the latter. So basically their pensions, and the additional winter fuel payments, are money to live on, which as I said before, is more than I, yet my thermostat is set at about 20°C, I eat a healthy diet, I can afford to buy new clothes, smoke, run a car, I've got phone & broadband, and am Solvent, it's all down to budgeting. All my utilities are paid monthly by Direct Debit, so are spread over the year, so no excessive bills when the weather's colder, if people stick to quarterly bills, and don't put something aside during the warmer months, to contribute towards the bills during the colder months, then they will find money is tighter, but to say it's a choice between heating, or eating, I think is stretching things a bit, unless of course they're buying hampers from Fortnum & Masons. Also, as I've said before, if it's a struggle to heat a large property, that has bedrooms that are just extra rooms gathering dust, downsize to somewhere more suited to your needs, why pay to heat unused empty space? If people are in receipt of all the benefits they're entitled to, and don't spend all their money on stuff that's not needed, such as Widescreen LCD TVs, games consoles, designer clothes (although not necessarily apt in the case of pensioners), and don't live on credit, or drink excessively, nobody should struggle. I should point out, I'm not a Tory, and I despise everything that the Con-Dems are doing to this Country, but I'm being realistic. Dilligaf2010

8:06pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Bon Rurgundy says...

Carer's Allowance is a flat rate of £58.45.
Get your facts right OM.
Carer's Allowance is a flat rate of £58.45. Get your facts right OM. Bon Rurgundy

8:30pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

I've just read what Veronica Seeney spends;-
Food: £20 to £25 a week in 2008 to £55 now
Gas: Prepaid meter £5 per week in 2008 to £20 now
Electricity: Prepaid meter £5 per week in 2008 to £20 now
Water: £250 a year in 2008 to £300 now

£80 a month on Gas & Electricity!?
How's she managing that, I'm paying above what I should, and my Gas is £26 a month, and Electricity is £35.
£300 a year water, I'm paying £204 a year, and I have a bath every day, and put the washing machine on every week.
I've just read what Veronica Seeney spends;- Food: £20 to £25 a week in 2008 to £55 now Gas: Prepaid meter £5 per week in 2008 to £20 now Electricity: Prepaid meter £5 per week in 2008 to £20 now Water: £250 a year in 2008 to £300 now £80 a month on Gas & Electricity!? How's she managing that, I'm paying above what I should, and my Gas is £26 a month, and Electricity is £35. £300 a year water, I'm paying £204 a year, and I have a bath every day, and put the washing machine on every week. Dilligaf2010

10:19pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

Dilly mate I used to support you, but you are well wide of the mark on this one.
Dilly mate I used to support you, but you are well wide of the mark on this one. Pavinder Msvarensy

10:27pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Pavinder Msvarensy wrote:
Dilly mate I used to support you, but you are well wide of the mark on this one.
Why do you say that, I'm talking sense, and being realistic.
[quote][p][bold]Pavinder Msvarensy[/bold] wrote: Dilly mate I used to support you, but you are well wide of the mark on this one.[/p][/quote]Why do you say that, I'm talking sense, and being realistic. Dilligaf2010

3:08am Sat 24 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

Because this lady has obviously shown her bills to the OM and it is the true figure, she lives in an old Pre-fab (so it looks) and so doesn't enjoy the benefits of a newish development like yours with power saving devices. She is an old lady not a young thug pisising away his money so really we should support her. No offence mate.
Because this lady has obviously shown her bills to the OM and it is the true figure, she lives in an old Pre-fab (so it looks) and so doesn't enjoy the benefits of a newish development like yours with power saving devices. She is an old lady not a young thug pisising away his money so really we should support her. No offence mate. Pavinder Msvarensy

5:12am Sat 24 Nov 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Pavinder Msvarensy wrote:
Because this lady has obviously shown her bills to the OM and it is the true figure, she lives in an old Pre-fab (so it looks) and so doesn't enjoy the benefits of a newish development like yours with power saving devices. She is an old lady not a young thug pisising away his money so really we should support her. No offence mate.
I'm not saying her bills aren't genuine, I'm asking why they're so high.
A newish development like mine, with power saving devices? You have no idea what kind of property I live in, and how do you reach the assumption that she lives in an old Pre-Fab?
At no point have I said pensioners shouldn't be supported, what I have said is, if you read my earlier posts, their income is greater than mine, and I manage quite well.
If you assuming I'm young, and spend all my money on alcohol, wrong on both counts, I've had no more than 10 pints in the past 8 years, and I probably started working, before you were born.
[quote][p][bold]Pavinder Msvarensy[/bold] wrote: Because this lady has obviously shown her bills to the OM and it is the true figure, she lives in an old Pre-fab (so it looks) and so doesn't enjoy the benefits of a newish development like yours with power saving devices. She is an old lady not a young thug pisising away his money so really we should support her. No offence mate.[/p][/quote]I'm not saying her bills aren't genuine, I'm asking why they're so high. A newish development like mine, with power saving devices? You have no idea what kind of property I live in, and how do you reach the assumption that she lives in an old Pre-Fab? At no point have I said pensioners shouldn't be supported, what I have said is, if you read my earlier posts, their income is greater than mine, and I manage quite well. If you assuming I'm young, and spend all my money on alcohol, wrong on both counts, I've had no more than 10 pints in the past 8 years, and I probably started working, before you were born. Dilligaf2010

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree