Friday, 12 December 2008


Such is the dramatic shift in attitudes and distortion of values in this country after 11 years of Labour government, that no-one, from bankers, irresponsible borrowers, knife-carrying thugs and uncontrollable school children seems to be held to account or 'pay the price' for their folly. Excuses, 'counselling' and Government bail-outs abound.

This week Roger Gale highlights the plight of those who did make provision for their retirement and old-age whether here or elsewhere in Europe and who are now paying the price for their thrift. Such is the 'topsy -turvy' value system in this country that it seems that Aesop's careful hardworking ants suffer in winter whilst the irresponsible butterfly is baled out.

Anyway, read what our Thanet North MP has to say:


North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, has this (Thursday) morning raised concerns at the manner in which the fall in interest rates coupled with the tumbling value of the pound is affecting North Thanet's retired community and other constituents who have moved to live elsewhere in the Euro-zone.

"The cut in interest rates might be good for those with borrowings, if the banks would pass on the reductions " says the MP "but it is most certainly not good for those very many more people who have led prudent and thrifty lives, invested for their retirement and now find themselves in receipt of dramatically reduced incomes. Bills that particularly hit the elderly - fuel and food costs - have risen at the same time that real retirement incomes have fallen.
Those who have moved to France and Spain, for example, where there is a large ex-patriate community, have been particularly hard hit. First, the amount of money coming in from savings in the UK has been reduced and then the value of the pound against the Euro has fallen making their money worth less still. Many of these people are trapped. They would like to come home but cannot sell their properties because the market is flat and such sale value as they might achieve is insufficient to obtain another home back in East Kent.
The government has mortgaged our future and our children's future to help the banks and has engaged in a futile reduction in VAT that has failed to stimulate the economy: it would do well to look at the income tax that pensioners pay on their savings and to make a significant cut there. At present the Prime Minister's claim to have increased winter fuel payments while at the same time `saving the World` has a pretty hollow ring about it for many of the elderly people that I represent.
It is high time that we started to help those, who, throughout their entire working lives have paid their way, served their country and, through savings, tried to help themselves. "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gale conveniently forgets his own party's attitude in the 1990's that 'unemployment is a price worth paying to keep down inflation'. The prudent have always suffered while the feckless benefit. It was an argument used back in the early 1900's when old age pensions were first introduced. Those who had saved didn't see why their less fortunate fellows should get help in their old age.

He also forgets the high interest rates in the 1980's and 1990's whereby those with savings did very well while those with mortgages struggled with 15% interest rates.

He also forgets that under the Tories the only winter fuel payment went to those on benefit and then only if the temperature was below a certain level for 5 consecutive days. Now every household with a member over 60 gets £250 and with an over-80, £400 Those who rushed off to the Eurozone are now flooding back as their costs rise with the decline in the £:euro rate but they were happy enough, many of them to leave Britain behind and take their pensions overseas. How many said 'Britain is finished. We're off to enjoy the sunshine'.

His own party would prefer the 'recession to take its course' as they seem still hitched to Thatcher's coat-tails when it comes to dealing with the economy.

Yes, my own income has fallen with the cuts in rates but I accept that my children are less likely to lose their homes with colossal rises in rates.

Mr. Gale also forgets that every pensioner has a guaranteed income, something the Tories never introduced.

Bertie, I'm putting this on here as if I e-mail Roger Gale with anything vaguely critical he never replies because he knows I'm not in his constituency.