Wednesday, 9 December 2009


It seems strange that good 'conservatism' involves the principle " to each according to their needs ......." but I have never understood why certain 'benefits' are not means tested. Good to see Roger Gale raising this issue.

Gale's View - 9 December, 2009.

I qualify to receive winter fuel payment.   At present I am relatively young and in rude health and working.  There may come a time when that is not so and if and when I need assistance I shall take it but for the moment let me make it a matter of record that if I find that an allowance has been paid to me then it will be forwarded immediately to an appropriate charity.

There are, however, many people that do desperately need help with their heating bills and who do not get it because they are too young.  Those in wheelchairs or otherwise disabled to the point where they cannot move around to keep warm, for instance, and those recently highlighted by Professor Karol Sikora who are undergoing treatment for cancers.

I do not believe that high taxation assists our economy and I think that people should be left with as much of their hard-earned money in their own pockets as possible rather that having it taken from them and spent by a profligate nanny state. Neither have I ever been in favour, as a matter of principle, in means-tested benefits.  However, in an age when Government is making depressingly regular visits to the pawnshop it is madness, is it not, to give money to people whose need is minimal while denying help to those who are in no position to adequately provide for themselves.  This applies not only to winter fuel payments but to some tax credits and to some other benefits and "free" concessions also.

I would like to think that the next government, which I trust will indeed be Conservative, will make a real effort to rein back the welfare state, to target assistance where it is most needed and to ensure that, as David Cameron has said, we shall enable those who can do so to take responsibility for themselves while making better and fairer provision for those who cannot do so. That, perhaps, is the real difference between socialism and social justice.

We could make a start by removing winter fuel payments from those in the higher rate tax bracket and using the money to give the benefit to perhaps younger but more deserving cases.


Anonymous said...

Bertie. I haven`t looked but the local press report the first wind turbine is in position. Vattenfall seem to have fallen behind with their weekly updates. What does the first turbine look like?

Bertie Biggles said...

20.10, haven't spotted it myself yet. If the bases were an intrusion on the sea-scape, I am not looking forward to seeing the mast and blades. Will go and look. Can anybody else help out 20.10?

Tony Beachcomber said...


I do not agree with any of it, it is just an excuse to attack the welfare sytem in this country by picking out individual cases. To be honest the member for north Thanet does not need much of a excuse. Of course he can make such a statement probably because like most Conservatives he does not need ever to rely on such a Benefit so if he doesn't need it, then the assumption is others don't. God help us if a incoming conservative government is elected, it will be just as harsh and cruel as the one in the eighties making odainary people pay for the near collapse of the world capitalist banking system.

Yesterdays finacial times made intersting reading all about the snouts in the trough squelling over the tax they have to pay on their bonuses.

Anonymous said...

It's academic having this debate as the Tories are going to remove the heating allowance along with the free bus pass although, as Laura Sandys said in a letter to the press 'At the moment, we have no plans...' but that means we haven't actually got round to popping it in the drawer labelled 'Manifesto to get us re-elected in 2010 unless poeple realise how much worse off they might be under us'.