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Our Pensioners Were Betrayed

by Peter Kendall

PeterKendall.jpg
Peter Kendall

There are excellent state retirement pensions available in this country, enabling the beneficiaries to live in comparative luxury when they retire. The only problem is that these state pensions are only paid to MPs. After a lifetime of dedicated service and contribution to the National Insurance scheme, the ordinary citizen must think himself lucky to get £85 a week because far less is often paid to individuals even if they have paid tax all their working lives. Retired women who spent years mothering children of the new generation and who did not work or pay NI contributions during their motherhood days will not get a full pension because they refused to leave their children in care and go to work  - equality and child welfare are Labour myths.

A widow is required to pay 75 per cent of the council tax paid by her and her late husband. Assuming a council tax of £1,250 per year, this scandalous situation would leave her with £67 provided that she is lucky enough to receive full state pension.

Council tax is levied equally on both millionaires and on widows forced to live on the breadline. There is no consideration of ability to pay. Widows, including those whose husbands have been lost in fighting for their country, have been a target for the Westminster politicians whenever minimising incomes of people who have worked hard all their lives. Elderly ladies have been given a clear warning from the politicians  - fail to pay your council tax and you will go to prison!

When a stout old lady braces herself for a prison ordeal, when she will not sacrifice principle or belief, when she is stripped of all dignity, the politicians exhibit total cowardice, invariably turning their backs on justice and appearing to be deaf and dumb.

All other European Union states pay a retirement pension of literally double that paid in Britain while imposing a smaller tax burden, enabling their retired populations to continue life with perhaps a slightly lower after-work standard of living but, nevertheless, with a decent income that will provide adequately for the basic costs of living as well as an annual holiday or equivalent. The very politicians who continually increase their own pension funds warn the population that the normal state pension might be phased out and that we must work until death or make some alternative arrangement, even though this “alternative arrangement” may well be punitively taxed. The present Government’s message is clear  - “We do not want to pay you a decent return on your lifetime NI contributions and if you are destitute we prefer you to go on your knees and beg rather than be endowed with a dignified income. Military adventures are different: we will fund them, especially for oil and for Israel”.

When warning that state pensions will be phased out, there is never any mention of any corresponding reduction in NI contribution rates. Without doubt, these contributions will continue and, if possible, be increased to fund Government waste and inefficiencies. Public servants are often considered fortunate to have generous pension schemes but the politicians have already admitted that serious over-manning has meant that these pensions can not possibly be paid in full. When the oil runs dry and if Sterling becomes threatened once again (as it always has been following a Labour Government) it would be difficult to see from where the public service pension fund comes.

Many working class people in Britain will never afford the same living standard as their EU neighbours, partly because we are continually assaulted by ever higher but wasteful taxation, horrendous fuel, water, mortgage and council tax bills  - and the high cost of food and clothing. Citizens in the other European Union countries do not have to pay an average of £1,500 local tax simply for the benefit of being able to reside in their local community. And yet, they enjoy infinitely better standards in local amenities such as waste collection and disposal, parks and gardens, public area policing, public transport and health care. Our fuel prices are the highest in the Union but we are the only major oil producer. How can this possibly make sense?

Recipients of the UK state pension are considered so advantaged in having a return on their lifetime NI contributions that their personal allowance is wiped out. The retiree who is industrious enough to get a part-time job will pay tax on the first pound he earns. Many retired persons have already concluded that their remaining days are better spent on things other than earning money for the Chancellor. Politicians have tax-free allowances in the hundred thousand pound bracket but the unfortunate retiree working at his local supermarket gets a constant zero allowance, no matter what transport or other incidental expenses he or she incurs in their post-retirement work.

If a retiree has been wise enough to mistrust the New Labour propaganda of years gone by, that the state will provide, then he or she will have invested in a perhaps modest private or employer-funded pension. The Government homes in on this and the unfortunate retiree is forced to hand over a fraction of the private income. Recent Government regulations rule out final salary schemes and a number of pension companies have been forced to the wall by the introduction of endowment fund taxation at a time when the markets were going through bad times. Many people lost their invested pension funds but were not offered a penny tax relief by the criminals who raided their pension provider.

French authorities consider private pensions as private property and do not raid either the provider company or the beneficiary when the pension is drawn. Already, the French enjoy such a superior living standard that we British swarm over the channel just to buy consumer goods, food and drink at better quality and vastly reduced prices. Doing this makes a person feel like an economic refugee, cap-in-hand and begging the French to give us a taste of their prosperity. Despite the disgraceful way in which retirees are treated, the politicians still push their insane ideology forwards  - for example, a Government minister recently gave severe warning to the present generation to make their own pension arrangements because the state could not possibly continue to pay returns on NI contributions. Mind you, the minister in question had previously resigned amid a scandal involving another man’s wife, allegedly paying for train tickets from public funds and possibly influencing residence issues for private reasons. Further bear in mind that the same “honourable gentleman” had to go a second time shortly after his dire warning. In the meantime, a war adventure in oil-rich Iraq further shows that the agenda of our former CND “socialist” politicians is to bring misery to the Iraqi people, especially the children, while salting their own people to pay for the war materials. The deepest sad loss in this immoral policy is our fine young service people who have died in a quarrel totally unrelated to the interests of Britain.

These confidence tricksters sometimes use referenda to achieve their aims but when it comes to sacrificing our service people, Tony Blair only has to consider it “right”. The situation has recently further deteriorated. Ordinary citizens now face handing over their personal wealth to the state even after death. Some more fortunate citizens can set up trusts that avoid their wealth being commandeered by the state but so many others, unaware of the draconian threats that they face, will pass away and be robbed after death. In addition, the politicians constantly look for ways to tax sales of first properties, as property is virtually the only vehicle left for the ordinary person to gather some personal wealth. They keep continually knowing away at trust laws in a bid to overturn them, thus giving them the possibility to plunder more of the population’s assets.

These unprincipled blackguards want to tax young couples who, having had an addition to the family, want to upgrade their accommodation. Unmarried sons or daughters who live with an aged mother could easily face eviction from the family home if no trust is set up. Those affected are not rich but, rather, ordinary working families who have invested in modest homes of their own and who may have voted for the same gang that now seeks every possible method to divest ordinary people of their wealth. These very people who face a continual milking from the state are also told that if a son or daughter is bright, then they will have to bear the cost of university if they are English as opposed to Scots or Welsh. Workers in the IT industry have been banned from forming limited companies to provide their valuable services to British and European industries. This insanity has meant that our leading expertise has moved out of England. What insanity! First to tax the population to an absolute maximum, discourage 80 per cent of the population from university and then inhibit wealth-creating activities just in case the worker involved might get a fraction of the tax breaks that MPs get, irrespective of whether their declared expenses are real or imaginary.

Britain is one of the few countries to have avoided the European currency. Why? Because our politicians think it “not right” to join at this moment! These politicians also draw back in panic at the very mention of European Union tax harmonisation, somehow pretending that we are only make-believe members of the EU and not morally bound to the “continentals” who are somehow beneath the British. Such thinking is both arrogant and dangerous and will lead us to the abyss. We are full members of the Union and nothing can alter that fact. Europe is a nation, whether or not the politicians like it.

Perhaps the fear is that full membership of the Euro-currency combined with tax harmonisation and an effective European constitution would force a situation in which honest hard-working citizens would receive reasonable benefits where personal taxation would be gathered and distributed on a Europe-wide basis  - and where legitimate citizenship would really mean security and equality for all irrespective of whether we are Scots, Welsh or English. Gone would be the days when the politicians could funnel money to a region to gain an advantage by buying off the locals.

Can this state of affairs possibly make us want to keep Westminster in its present form? Westminster, the English parliament for almost a thousand years, is no longer a parliament for the 80-odd per cent of the population who are English  - we simply do not have a parliament. Is it not time to rid ourselves of the outdated institution that has been taken over by Scottish communists and which has brown paper envelopes, rent boy and an “introduction for cash” tradition and whose leaders are now under police investigation for misuse of the honours system? Why, after destroying the Upper House and replacing its members with either Labour political cronies or those rich enough to buy their peerages for cash disguised as donations, do the politicians not insist on reform of the Lower House?

Why do MPs, themselves, not want to bring the necessary and rightful reforms? When will we finally rejoice in the prophetic words of Sir Oswald Mosley  - EUROPE A NATION!” and insist that our destiny is shaped in a European parliament and the European judiciary. ¢

[Peter Kendall is a regular contributor to European Action and was an active Mosley supporter. He hails from Bristol]