The basic state pension’s not enough!

The basic pension was never enough and was further undermined by Thatcher 1980 and now Theresa May 2017    – How read on.

Those advocating axing the annual rise in the Basic State Pension through the triple lock should be aware first that “One in six older people in Britain and Northern Ireland live below the poverty line and up to 6 million have an income of less than £11,000 a year.”

The National Pensioners Convention points out that a very real reduction in value that the BSP suffered when the link with earnings was broken by the Thatcher government in 1980. and linked to prices. This meant by 2012 when the triple lock was introduced, the BSP’s figure of £97.65 which would have been £161.30 a week had the earnings’ link still been in place.

This remained th same until 2012 when the David Cameron Tory government introduced the triple lock of RPI, average wage or 2.5 % which ever the highest

Many now argue that the the triple lock has done its job with the state pension now being too generous. In the six years the lock has been in place the minimum of (2.5%) has been used three times and twice by the prices and once on wages.

That doesn’t mean either that pension’s annual increase hasn’t been reduced. In 2012 the CPI replaced the RPI the CPI being lower. In April 2017 the rise is reduced again with the second (SERPS) and the Graduated pensions increase cut to 1% from the normal same as basic pension increase.

Far from having done its job, the triple lock is still needed to ensure that the gap between pensioners’ incomes and the rest of society does not widen. The simplest and fairest way of doing this is through improving the state pension for all pensioners – taking it to a level which is 70% of the living wage.

What is needed is a state pension in the UK set above the official poverty level, at around £200 a week and linked to the triple lock.

The UK’s state pension is among the worst in the developed world (ranked as 32nd out of 34 OECD countries) and successive governments have allowed it to deteriorate. All older people, both now and especially future generations need a guaranteed income on which

Roy Jones of the NUJ’s 60+ Council.

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Thoughts for the Day 1

Thoughts for the day.. So Trump has assumed the the US presidential personna and all’s well It involves firing missilles and dropping man’s biggest bomb, or (worse)  the US military is. Before he was said to be  bonkers.

What is the point of BBC Radio and TV News telling of a North London murder item .. Is there nothing happening in Wales?

The National Trust at Penrhyn Castle, nr Bangor,  home of the quarry owners Lord Penrhyn(s) has put on an exhibiton telling of the Bethsda quarries where his vile treatment of the quarrymen led to a year(s) strike in 1900.  The first time the quarrymen who made the Penrhyn’s millionaires  using money  made fro Jamaican slaves.

Literery Bonkers.

I don’t mind so much when television “drama” written by numbers has two bonks, four letter words, gratuitous violence on a darkened set entirely populated by mumbling miserable bastards but when perfectly good plays and books are “adapted” with these same ingredients for today’s “modern” audiences enough is enough.

The frequent defence that Shakespeare used the same devices won’t do because the rest of the scripts are not drivel and his plots can be followed to their dramatic conclusion without being littered by confusing devices although even he has not been free of “interpretation.”

Judging by his adaption of War and Peace Andrew Davies who over the years has given the authors of classic novels a chance to have their stories told in their own “unique” way has fallen into the sex scenes (that always fail) trap and I anticipate his adaption of Victor Hugo’s Le Miserables with trepidation.

This piece though was spurred on by the BBC production of Agatha Christie”s “The Witness for the Prosecution” to which was added two bonking scenes and a four letter outburst never ever read in a Agatha Christie novel story. And Not Needed!

Then a master piece of an unsuspected ending to a murder mystery story was destroyed by an added ending as the main character John Mayhew (Toby Jones) shows up a sexual frustration in an attack on his wife.

The problem with these would be emperors trying to embelish great writers is that they “Have No clothes.”

Damn! that bleeding Tin

It was the honey pot that put this article in motion which was more than could be said for its lid!

By Roy Jones.

An attempt at the normal method of holding the jar tightly in the left hand and and unscrewing anti clockwise gave no indication that it would yield neither did the use of a cone shaped ribbed rubber cap aid for the disable, help.

There was I noticed a minute indent on the rim of the metal lid which before the placing of a tea spoon handle could be used to prize it free. A teaspoon handle though was too thick to do the trick but I was nearly there and a smallish (??// ) screwdriver with a twist did the trick.

Although 86 I have retained quite a number of ways of usage that apply to hands and as a man some strength and a number of tools from my days at work and in the home a number of tools and the skills to use them. These tools and attributes s would not apply to all men and I would presume women from an age earlier than mine.

This capacity of manufacturers of a number of items with the seeming intent of testing the strength, skills and implements (why else would to be) of older people to contend with obstacles put in the way of getting at items, food for instance) that are needed to ensure their well being if not their very survival.

Talking of which how are the chances of the survival of elderly patients helped by the packaging for their needs encased in plastic that have to be pushed out from stubbornly stuck wrappings with thumbs/fingers that have to be like tempered steel if the operation is to succeed.

The odds of succeeding in this operation in time to stem a heart condition becoming fatal are at best remote.

All kinds of implements from toothbrushes, to Swiss army knives to paint brushes are encased in a plastic sealed at the edges with the power to entry indicated by a dotted line that proves to be impenetrable except by the use of a Swiss penknife (which is still encased in its wrapping

Those of us who take porridge as part of the breakfast menu will have come across the ingenuous/dangerous devise at its packet’s top corner designed to transform it into a pour-er with a – flap all that is needed is a “SHARP KNIFE” and some dexterity .. I have found the perfect solution to avoiding the loss of the aforementioned steel fingers, (and a lot of the above).

I leave it to the wife!

The Be-Witching of Corbyn

The media which-hunt that has dogged every step of of Jeremy Corbyn’ s Labour leadership has the classic elements of where a victim is blamed for the ills of a community then cleansed by its destruction.

Since his election his dress, singing, abilities and intellect have been savaged in broadcasting and print; twopenny commentators embroider with sly jokes and innuendo any ability he has is questioned.

What was said, done and to whom in the past are used in evidence to solve unsolved mysteries concerning known Satanic (political) activities and curses are uncovered.

There are those in the witch- hunt for personal reasons. “But “friends” (some close) find doubts arising from this “evidence.” The plot unfolds ending in trial by fire or water. Guilty if surviving or innocent if not.

Missing from this plot is a person who considering this so unjust will speak out.. Hilary Benn maybe in his pose as the conscience of the Labour Party instead joins the Blairite sitting with the knitters (deprived of their due,) by the pyre.

The latest accusation against Corbyn is his inability to stop the flow of abusive social messages received by Women Labour MPs, (his challenger Owen Smith says it has grown under Corbyn.

The practice of abusive messages, which has to be challenged, is in fact common and growing and has for some time been, to some degree, a weapon of journalists, politicians and sports people. That Corbyn should be able to stop single handed, (even in the Labour Party) what is a major problem for society is asking a bit much. .

“Old” did not vote to leave Europe

Don’t let them divide us.

One of the implications of the recent EU referendum vote has been the way in which some younger people have expressed anger at older voters for backing the Leave campaign.
A YouGov poll has been widely circulated on social media showing the age break down of referendum voters.
The results show that 75% of those under 25 voted to Remain, whilst the majority of those over 50 voted to Leave.
However, since then a poll by ComRes has found that more over 75s voted to Re-main than those aged between 65-74.
Some younger people have reacted by calling for changes to universal benefits and the triple lock on pensions, and again there has been widespread comment in the media that the generations that have benefitted from the welfare state are now the ones who are making things worse for their grand-children.
It is clear that age will yet again be used as a reason for making further cuts to public services.
It’s worth noting that the under 65s account for 41m voters, compared to 11m pensioners, and other factors such as educational attainment, social class and geography were also very significant factors

Vote to remain? – Not us gov – The Oldies

It is wrong and unfair to denigrate older people because of the EU Referendum  result

Posted on Nov 29 , 2016 by carolineabrahams | 11 Comments

The conclusion of the EU referendum, with its relatively slender majority for Leave, has been warmly welcomed by those who campaigned for a ‘Brexit’ but generated shock and dismay on the part of many fervent Remainers and in some instances real anger too. Such emotions are   understandable, given the huge potential ramifications of the decision to leave the EU, about which we will no doubt be hearing a lot more in the days and weeks to come.

What is less legitimate and frankly much less excusable, in my opinion, is when these outpourings descend into denigration of those who are presumed to be ‘to blame’.  broadsheets, as ‘elderly’, ‘baby boomers’ or, in one case ‘wrinkly bastards’.

What is the evidence here?

An analysis of the age breakdown of voters for Leave and Remain from on the day opinion data certainly shows a definite age gradient:

However, this graph also shows that it wasn’t by any means only ‘older people’ who voted by a majority for Leave: in the 45-54 age group there was a clear majority among the voters for Leave and even in the younger cohort of 35-44s the numbers voting for and against staying in the EU were not all that different.

So a more accurate description of what happened might be that among those who voted, most young adults voted for Remain while most of their parents and grandparents (and their great grand parents too) voted for Leave.

An additional consideration that needs to be taken into account in understanding the impact of age on the result is turnout, as this information from Sky Data shows:

The pattern is consistent and clear: more than four in five people aged over 65 voted in the Referendum, compared to little more than one in three who voted in the youngest group eligible to do so.

Other important factors that explained the result  

However, information presented by the Financial Times this weekend shows that age combined with turnout were not the only factors that explain the eventual result – indeed they suggest that they were not the principal factors at all.

 Financial Times’ article explains, that the percentage of people with a degree was the most strongly associated with the share of voters who voted Remain..  As you may be aware, far fewer of today’s older people had the chance to go to university compared to younger age groups.

The third strongest explanatory factor  was ‘not holding a passport’. The Financial Times ascribes this primarily to ’cultural attitudes’. Voting patterns around the London Mayoralty to substantiate this interpretation.

The fourth best indicator was income, in that they say that “areas with higher median incomes tended to lean Remain.  Age and turnout come in fifth.

In practice, of course, all these factors – class, income, identity, geography and age interacted to produce the result, to varying degrees and with differential impacts across the whole of the UK. Scotland and London voting in favour of Remain,  but to great swathes of the Midlands and the North of England (with the exception of some of the major cities) voting to Leave.

Not jumping to conclusions 

So those who have leapt to the conclusion that the Referendum was a simple matter of ‘Old Versus Young’ are just plain wrong.

In other words, large numbers of individual men and women voted in ways that entirely refute the stereotypes being painted of their age groups and surely that should not come to any of us as a surprise. t about this re race but the horrible name calling referred to in this blog has received no publicity.