CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM
The attack on the 3.9 million 50s women who have lost their pension income is about to be stepped up again – with the poorest pensioners suffering a new round of misery as a result of legislation passed by the coalition government in 2013.
The Mirror in a scoop last week by Dan Bloom has revealed that nearly one million women who could have claimed pension credit have been denied cold weather payments this year because of the rise in the pension age.
Pension credit is paid to the poorest people who can’t qualify for a pension and have less than £10,000 savings but it is linked to the pension age. It is also the passport to other benefits – including cold weather payments. This year’s cold weather provoked by the Beast from the East has meant more money has had to be paid out – but ministers have saved millions by raising the pension age.
According to the Mirror: There were 2.6 million eligible claimants on Pension Credit in 2010/11, the Commons Library figures show.
That fell to 2.4million in 2012/13, 2.1million in 2014/15, 1.9million in 2015/16, 1.8million in 2016/17 and 1.7million in 2017/18.
But there is worse in the pipeline. From this June a particularly nasty measure comes into force for new people claiming pension credit. Basically it means that if a woman falls for a younger man or a man falls for a younger woman – their entitlement to pension credit is forfeited when they reach the new higher pension age.
Previously the law said when the oldest person in a relationship reached pension age they qualified for pension credit. Now it is being changed to the youngest person in the relationship reaching pension age. This means if there were a 10 year difference – the oldest person could get no pension credit payment until they were 76 – ten years after the raised retirement age.
The details are in this document here. House of Commons library Pension Credit – 2017 onwards. You can access it here.
The money involved is substantial :
Standard minimum guarantee single £159.35 couple £243.
Additional amount for severe disability
single£62.45 couple (one qualifies) £62.45 couple (both qualify)£124.90
Additional amount for carers £34.95
But there are also two other changes in the small print of pension changes coming into force. One involved a rather obscure named Assessed Income Period (AIP)introduced by Labour in 2002 and 2008.
“The Labour Government’s intention, with the introduction of AIPs, was to make means-testing less intrusive for pensioners, by no longer requiring them to report changes of circumstance to the Pension Service on a weekly basis,” according to House of Commons library.
This meant the government only means tested people every five years and once pensioners reached 75 it stopped. At the time Tories and Liberal Democrats were worried that if people got worse off they wouldn’t get extra benefits.
Once both parties were in power they decided to abolish this – but not for that reason. The financial impact of such a change was shown in 2013 to benefit the government with cuts worth £45m by making it law that pensioners lucky enough to get any extra income had to report it immediately so they could slash pension credit.
Another cut came into force in 2016. This reduced the period people on pensioners credit could go abroad from 13 weeks to four – without having the benefit taken away. As one of the comments from Buried News points out allowing people to spend a cold winter in warmer climes might help the elderly. But both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats at the time would have nothing of it.
The benefit is only claimed by 60 per cent of the people who are entitled to it. The House of Commons library report said: “Up to 1.4 million families who were entitled to receive Pension Credit did not claim it and up to £3.3 billion of available Pension Credit went unclaimed.”
Guy Opperman, the pensions minister, told Parliament:” We are committed to ensuring that older people receive the support they are entitled to and the Department targets activity on engaging with people who may be eligible at pivotal stages such as when they claim State Pension or report a change in their circumstances.”
He claimed the best way to help the elderly was to create “a web-based Pension Credit toolkit containing a range of resources for anyone working with pensioners.”
Somehow given his determination to slash the pension budget I suspect few people will believe he is really committed to that.
I think any old codger who manages to persuade a woman ten years younger to ‘fall for him’ ought to be grateful, not worry about his pension, or fuel allowance. I know I would. Vernon.
I can imagine you would.
There are other ways of keeping warm in winter, rather than turning up the heating & worrying about winter fuel allowances. As I recall. Probably not featured in Saga magazine, to be fair. Are you a subscriber, Owen? I imagine Mr Hencke is an avid reader.
Are you quite mad? Can you not see the shocking cruelty and injustice in this? Why should ANYONE be forced into poverty (and many end up with only SP to live on, or some just PC alone) purely for loving someone younger than themselves? This is a new low and I already thought these Evil Shites ruling over us couldn’t get ANY lower, but they HAVE! Dear GOD, but WHY are all putting up them and ALLOWING them to do this? I’m starting to think it’s way past time the British People were armed…for at least that way, we could defend ourselves against the Gross Negligence Manslaughter being wrought upon us by these Festering Pustules currently in power! A pox upon them ALL!
The Tories are scum. It really is that simple.
another part of their action t4 plans thus killing all by their kindnesss oh dear jeff3
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Reblogged this on hilary77blog.
Dear David Hencke, The 1950s ladies and I Daniel Blakes PROTEST TO THIS GOVERNMENT without changing Tory national government. COME Thursday MAY 3 however you normally vote, turn and vote Labour in council elections. Might be last time chance to vote for councillors anyway.
All councils – even Tory ones – are doomed to extinction, from the half of funding yet more to be cut over next 2 years and local business rates even more taken. Councils cannot go bust but can cease and be run direct from UK parliament in London. As councillors / council leaders can also be MPs at the same time, this will hit some MP or other in the wallet from councillor expenses and council leader’s fee in role.
Why do they not solve this problem by shipping off our poor pensioners to warmer climes, this would reduce fuel costs and NHS costs. I for one be willing to go as living in a cold damp climate is not good for my health. Living on a island that seems to have a political class hell bent on destroying the economy, fighting a verbal war with Russia, propping up medieval states and acting as a banker to the worlds shady characters, then I for one want out before the day of reckoning arrives. So please provide pensioners not with a bus pass, but a flight or ship off this Islands.
Hi I should have added one further cut the coalition introduced which came into force in 2016. Until then you could claim pensioner credit if you went abroad for 13 weeks. This has now been cut to four – the maximum the government believes a poor pensioner should spend on holiday As you can see this entirely negates your idea. Yo its credit Labour challenged this cut but were ignored by Tory ministers in 2016.
This STINKS….it will devastate MANY people’s lives even MORE and most of them will be MEN, for men are normally the older ones in relationships…How DARE they discriminate against age in this appalling and inhuman way. I HATE these vile humans with every breath in my body and the sooner they are brought down..and ALL those who support them too, the better….May the rot in hell for what they are doing, every single one of them, for they are ALL COMPLICIT in this INHUMANITY! They should all be locked up for life..and the keys thrown away!
Vote for the Democratic and Veterans Party instead – and get the truth,,,,,
May this year, https://www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2019-01-15/benefit-changes-older-mixed-age-couples-could-cost-some-7000-year
So now they can only get 4 weeks, how do I now finance my world cruise? But seriously it just shows the public school boys penny pinching thought to the cuts. When the Concessionary Bus Pass was discussed for the chop I suspect it may have been the Retailing Lobby who pointed out to the penny pinchers the effect it would have on retailing and the travel network itself.
Having researched my family history I have been struck on how many people worked in manual jobs well into their 70’s in the Victorian Age.
Compare the early history of Germany and the United Kingdom towards pensions. In many ways this reflects the difference between German and the UK. One state values its citizens the other see’s them as subjects and sees Welfare as a safety net, but people have falling into this state of poverty because they did not provide for their old age and the state defines the boundaries.
The old age pension program, financed by a tax on workers, was designed to provide a pension annuity for workers who reached the age of 70. At the time, the life expectancy for the average Prussian was 45, although this reflects the high infant mortality of the era and retired workers could expect to live until 70 years. Unlike accident insurance and health insurance, this program covered industrial, agrarian, artisans and servants from the start. Unlike the other two programs, the principle that the federal government should also contribute a portion of the underwriting cost, with the other two portions prorated accordingly, was accepted without question. The disability insurance program was intended to be used by those permanently disabled. This time, the state supervised the programs directly.
Old Age Pensions Act – introduced first general old age pension paying a non-contributory amount of between 10p and 25p a week, from age 70, on a means-tested basis from January 1 1909 – “Pensions Day”
Reading this has made me feel physically sick David. It’s like watching the film “Oliver!” Cept the down and outs aren’t children they’re 60 plus’! This feels like a state culling of older people by stealth! I hope to goodness we have a GE at the earliest and that people vote the Tories out. More especially that people make the effort to vote even, as my experience recently is that people are saying there’s no point in voting because the politicians just do what they want anyway. And that is a serious danger to our so called democracy.