Saturday, April 27, 2024

WEEKENDER: Getting Old? by Wiggia

1997: a job well done, never forget.

There is undoubtedly a growing tendency to dismiss older people as an expensive nuisance. This shows in all manner of ways, from the legalised killing during the Covid pandemic and the still current issuing of unnecessary DNR orders as I have explained in detail in another piece.

There is no doubt that old people do make demands on the health service as age starts to eat into their bodies and minds. It was always thus. The same can be said at the other end of the life span as mothers and babies make up a constant stream at any doctor’s surgery; their needs are no less important than the elderly some would say as they are the future so they get preference. In a world of finite resources this may be a choice we have to make, but killing people is not a choice that should be included, yet it certainly is.

It is not just in healthcare where older people are beginning to realise they have been ‘selected’ for special treatment. Consider the ongoing row over state pensions where when questioned a minister recently stated that with the ‘triple lock’ our pensions are now a median in Europe: he lied, they are still low compared with almost all equivalent western societies, and the triple lock is not the golden bullet they make it out to be more as more pensioners are having to pay tax on their pensions as they, through fiscal drag come into higher income brackets and pay tax again on money they have already paid tax on through their lives. There is also the fact that millions do not get the full pension rise, but politicians don’t like to hear facts when they are telling their audience how wonderful things are now for older people.

Can we afford it? Amazing how we can afford anything that will put any government in a good light, or grease the palms of all those underlings that serve them; that is usually only so they spend/waste more money on something that does nothing for the nation as a whole and sod all for the elderly or anyone else.

I am not going to expatiate here about the appalling quality in so many areas and layers of government that we currently have in abundance. I have done that to death.

In other spheres the elderly are also coming under attack. The recent rise in car insurance has hit the elderly very hard, yet this sector is the safest bet for insurance on the road, so why charge them around 40% plus more in one year? You don’t get an answer to that question just a statement as to increasing costs of car repairs and non insured drivers (a million according to police estimates at the last count.) All this has pushed up the costs and premiums, but that does not answer the question as to why the safest and the group with the least claims should pay this huge rise, other of course than the fact that as with all insurance or utilities the elderly are the least likely to switch, not that it would make any difference in this case that as the insurers have all jacked up their premiums in line with one another… cartel, anyone?

Have you noticed that advertising directed towards the elderly has all the hallmarks of a scam? Pages in the Daily Mail for instance have adverts that show goods and services for the elderly and infirm that never have a price attached!

Page after page has items such as adjustable chairs, sofas and bathroom aids, never mind the stairlift ads and the mobility aids that never have a retail price for comparison purposes. A column I came across by chance a few months ago on the MSE money saving expert site, had a thread of dozens of disgruntled potential customers who had complained about the same non pricing problem; the stock answer from several of these firms was their product was bespoke and therefore being tailored to each customer individually meant the pricing was fluid.

Not really good enough, as any car purchased has a catalogue of extras all priced and the standard model the same. It really is to suck in the unsuspecting into the world of silly discounts should you have the temerity to question the price. One comment said he had phoned on behalf of his father for one of these adjustable chairs and been quoted £4k; when he spluttered that was exorbitant they halved the price on the phone without a quibble; even at half it is a rip-off.

That is just one of hundreds saying similar things about these goods aimed at the elderly, rather like insurance where the elderly are the least likely to query their large annual increase. They are seen as a group to be taken advantage of.

We come to the biggest plunderers who believe that all older people have untapped wealth: the government. Who can forget Gordon Brown and his raid on pension funds that brought in billions, the biggest betrayal of a group in this country by any chancellor, and despite shouting the odds on this despicable act did the Tories reverse it? Oh no, they quietly shunted into the siding of things to tackle later, much later.

Now we hear an incoming Labour government, promising to right the ills of the incumbent party should they win the coming election (such a choice we have!) will have no money to carry out their ‘promises’ as the country is bankrupt in all but name, and have hinted at a repeat of this infamous raid on funds. Bereft of ideas and with huge public debts and clueless leadership, they are coming again for the one group who will not be outside Parliament with thousands threatening outside. No, they are coming for the elderly. They will start by withdrawing winter fuel allowances and build from there, mark my words, and you can guarantee the one group who will not have to give up anything will be the gold-plated ring-fenced pension recipients in the political and public sector classes.

Never forget, we the private sector who pay taxes pay for the public sector wages pensions and all. Those who claim they pay into their pensions from their salaries are correct but we pay or have paid those salaries and therefore those pensions, but only the private sector gets raided.

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