Discrimination against Pensioners on Finance and Benefits

18th of March, 2011 Bookmark and Share
The current indication from economic think tanks such as the Institute of Economic Affairs indicating that pensioners cost the UK taxpayer billions a year and that pensioners have obtained a blanket exemption from the austerity measures whilst others have been asked to tighten their belt, causes significant concern. The discrimination on age in the workplace coupled with their access to goods and services is alarming.

It is clear that pensioners in the UK receive one of the worst deals in Europe when it comes to the State pension. In Greece pensioners receive almost 96% of the average working pay, whilst in the UK it only 31%. Figures suggest that 2.5m pensioners live below the poverty line and their access to income and finance is restricted.

A staggering 87% of UK lenders have an upper age limit when it’s comes to obtaining mortgages for pensioners and this is despite European legislation that there should be no discrimination on the grounds of age, unless such discrimination can be proved as fair and reasonable. Inflation has steadily increased and eroded state pensions whilst pension annuity rates have at the same time fallen on private pensions. This is in addition to the age of retirement increasing forcing people to work longer and harder. All in all, pensioners do not appear to be getting a good deal.

The recent call for the abolition of benefits such as free bus travel, free TV licences and the winter fuel allowance thankfully does not appear to be finding favour with the Government despite the findings that by including older people in the cuts, reforming benefits and pensions could save £16 billion.

There is a growing intellectual movement to target the most vulnerable members of society and deny access to state help, their unemployment benefit, earned pension and other goods and services. This is a concerning development and a civilised country is one which is measured on how its treats all sections of society especially the most in need.

Whilst cuts may save the UK taxpayer, we respectfully should remind ourselves that we may not have a country defined as the UK, let alone a UK taxpayer if it wasn’t for the endeavours of our pensioners. Their voices deserve to be heard.

Rob Killeen, Capital Fortune, Award Winning Broker