May I respond to Nick Keer’s letter? Mr Keer, do you not realise that you live in a welfare state? This encompasses help for individuals of all kinds, paid for by everyone through various kinds of taxes.
Pensioners do realise that these “freebies” have to be paid for; we are old, not brain-dead. Pensioners have paid taxes all their lives, so know all about helping to pay for other peoples’ welfare. I am a retired person (no state pension as yet) but I still pay income tax – and all other taxes – which goes into the common pot to help people like Mr Keer. I, like many others, help to pay for children’s education and child benefit, amongst other things. This is how the system works. I make no complaint about it.
The reasons for these “freebies” are historical. They were paid out as a bribe to avoid the government (tax-payers) having to increase the state pension. It is actually cheaper to pay out these “freebies” than to increase the state pension. Don’t forget, these “freebies” are not index-linked, so it gets cheaper year-by-year to pay out these “freebies”. Would Mr Keer prefer having to support a state pension of £200 per week rather than these “freebies”, some of which are never taken up?
Mr Keer and others appear to think that they should not be paying taxes to pay for people of a previous generation. I have news for these people, this is what previous generations have been doing for a long time. We often hear the statement “we should not have our grandchildren paying for our spending”. Why not? This is precisely what my generation and others have always done. For example, I was born after the Second World War, but part of my taxes was used to pay the debts incurred during that war. By Mr Keer’s argument, I should not have had to pay those costs as they were not of my generation, but in the real world we do have to pay for previous generations.
Mr Keer, I choose to go on a bus and you help me through your taxes. You choose to have a child and I help you through my taxes. Who has the better deal?