Thursday, 6 June 2013

Target war makers and tax evaders not the pensioner's winter fuel allowance

The Labour Party maybe right that wealthier pensioners do not need the winter fuel allowance but such moves amount usually to trojan horses being driven in with a long term view to ending the universal benefit altogether regardless of means.

The background to this move is the squalid little discussion among the main parties over skivers and strivers, the deserving and undeserving poor. What this is really about is an overall attempt to return to the Victorian days of the worthy and unworthy poor. In those days need was dealt with on the basis of the charitable discretion of the wealthy. The less charitable option being the workhouse. There was no right to support as under the welfare state. Living in one of the wealthies countries in the world there is no logical reason to be going back to such days.

If we really want to look for savings in the budget I'd suggest starting with the redundant Trident nuclear weapons system, costing billions and on the point of renewal. The crazy intervention in Afghanistan that we are told has cost £37 billion so far, a cost of £2000 to every tax paying household in Britain. The tax evading companies that take billions from UK customers each year but pay virtually no tax here. The list goes on, underlining that there are far better places that the Labour Party could go looking for revenue before it starts picking on the elderly via the likes of their winter fuel allowance.

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