Taxing the generations

The last Conservative Manifesto suggested that elderly people should have to pay more for their social care at home, to match the way they have to pay for residential care from the proceeds of selling their house. This was an unpopular proposal which has been abandoned as I understand the government’s position. It was an illustration of how people in the UK are not willing to pay more tax or to make a larger contribution to social services they enjoy.

Some now say there needs to be higher taxes on the elderly so the state can offer more to the young. I do not agree with this logic. It is one of the successes of recent years that more pensioners retire with a reasonable income than thirty years ago. It is good news that the basic state pension has gone up thanks to the so called triple lock the Coalition imposed. Why would we want to reverse progress for pensioners?

It is true we need to help young people more. The best help they can receive is a good education followed by plenty of decent job opportunities. In recent years the numbers of jobs have expanded, and considerable effort put into higher education, apprenticeships and training. The government  needs to press on with the task of improving education and training and providing a supportive framework for a growing economy.

It is true that more needs to be done to help young people buy their own home. Survey after survey shows that homeownership is the preferred tenure for most people. Many people currently renting would like to be able to afford to buy. The budget should tackle this matter most strenuously. It will need a new migration policy to back it up, to narrow the gap between housebuilding and demand for homes.

It would be a good idea to lower Stamp Duty. If we believe in home ownership as a good why do we tax it so much? It would be helpful to be supportive of lending and deposit schemes to assist young people with the capacity to service the debt into ownership. This does not require us to tax the elderly more.

The multi generational family may have substantial housing wealth amongst the old members. Maybe we also need new ways to share this if the family so wishes, and to ensure it can pass from one generation to the next without tax. The exemption of a family home from IHT for some people is a step on this road.

The high Stamp duties get in the way of elderly people trading down as well as adding to the costs of first time purchase in many  areas.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. oldtimer
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Current tax policies are a disincentive to moving house. We are actively examining our options. The stamp duty implications are extremely onerous especially if there is overlap between buying and selling. It is a disincentive to move.

    • Hope
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      JR, your party stated it would cap social care costs. Your party changed over the last seven years to reach May’s dementia tax. Do not pretend the case was otherwise. Your manifesto is meaningless, there is no point holding it up when it suits when there are so many examples of failed promises, things not included that it has no meaning. Look at the cut to immigration to tens of thousands, under May record numbers and Osborn claiming no one was serious to achieve any cut! Your manifesto! No one could believe a word Cameron said and now it looks the same for May.

      The real irony is that May is turning your party into having the reputation of the nasty party she first labelled in 2003! Her weird values, lack of direction, decisions against the will of the people, now she wants the EU to give her a deal she can defend to the British public! Utterly useless.

      Explain to us how there can be any bill over the yearly EU contribution? We were told this amount was smaller in the referendum. Has there been add ons all along that we were not aware of like pensions, infrastructure to other countries that cannot be provided here etc.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the national debt up to around two trillion, and they want to borrow more to fix the mess they have made of immigration, and housing.


  2. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Indeed the best way to help the young is good education followed by plenty of decent job opportunities. The best way to help them get a home is to relax planning and the expensive OTT green crap building regulations. The best way to a well paid job is often to start with a poorly paid job and work up from there.

    So deregulate, cut taxes, cut red tape, go for cheap on demand energy and reduce the bloated (and largely useless and unproductive) state sector. Get more real competition in heath, education, banking and housing with some fair competition between the state and the private sector, (with vouchers and tax breaks).

    Alas (Corbyn light) T May seem to be against all this. She is a misguided big state interventionist at heart.

    • acorn
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      “[when] considering that the political and economic philosophy of vanguard ideologues such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan emphasised, reduced state intervention, free markets and entrepreneurialism […] was summed up well by Reagan’s now-famous phrase: ‘Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

      “This, however, does not fit the empirical record of the past decades. A quick glance at the rate of state expenditure across the OECD countries, for example, shows that there has been little or no decline in the size of the state as a percentage of GDP; if anything, it has tended to rise (the only real exception being post-2008 Europe).

      Even supposedly neoliberal governments – such as those of Thatcher and Reagan – did not reduce their public spending and were associated with relatively high deficits. As noted by Miguel Centeno and Joseph Cohen, ‘available data suggests that the policy and macroeconomic changes realised under the neoliberal policy regime are more complex than is often assumed’.

      First and foremost, it illustrates the basic point that core capitalist countries have not been characterised by a withering away of the state. Quite the contrary, in fact. Even though neoliberalism as an ideology springs from a desire to curtail the state’s role, neoliberalism as a political-economic reality has produced increasingly powerful, interventionist and ever-reaching – even authoritarian – state apparatuses.

      (The above paraphrased by me from “Everything You Know About Neoliberalism Is Wrong” by William Mitchell and Thomas Fazi on 20 October 2017)

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:48 am | Permalink

        Indeed they all failed to cut the state down to a sensible size. Technology improvement have been massive but nearly all the benefits of this have been taken and largely wasted due to the state getting more and more bloated on higher taxes, this while delivering little of any real value in return.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Yes we have a health system that cannot reliability fit heart stents to those that need them, like they would reliably get in any other developed nation, leaving many to die decades earlier than needed for want of modest cheap treatment.

          Absolutely shocking that the political class get away with it.

          Meanwhile money is pissed down the drain all over the place.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Just tax the older generation more who voted for Brexit to pay for Brexit. That’s the only way you can have your Brexit and eat it.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        The inverse being those who want their uncontrolled immigration pay for it.

        And boy ! Aren’t the young doing so !

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Leave promised £350M. Clearly nonsense. No evidence Leave will be able to deliver lower immigration whilst keeping our economy growing enough to keep people in general happy. In fact, looks like immigration might increase from outside the EU if India (and other countries) have their way in trade deals.

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            How about all Labour voters pay for Labour policies etc.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            ‘How about all Labour voters pay for Labour policies etc’

            – But the argument about old and young isn’t political. It’s generational, the older generation going against the economic interests of their children and grand children. Many older people already feel guilty about this. Don’t believe me. Ask around. And it will only get worse when the economy begins to slacken and then sink, to a degree, once we officially leave the EU and whilst we re-jig our economy (could take years).

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear, how sad. That’s not even close to a witty remark.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps you would like us to wear a symbol on our jackets so we can be identified.

      • hefner
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink


      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        the other day you were grizzling and crying about rudeness, so what do you classify that comment under?

        Anyhow thanks, I do believe us oldies ought to “pay” the price of Brexit. That would be a massive saving of £350 m per week handed back to the over 60’s as a tax rebate

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Fine. But if you make swipes like that, just proves you’re not really that particularly effervescent and elated about the whole Brexit thing in a positive way.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Lammy says there are 3000 students with three As at A level from the bottom 30% income households but few have any chance of a place at Oxbridge. Very true but irrelevant, as hardly any of them even bother to apply. Anyway for many subjects, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Laws, Architecture ….. 3 A is really not a high enough standard anyway to be able to cope.

    It is hardly surprising that brighter, middle class parents have, on average, have brighter children with different aspirations & motivations.

    I suspect Mo Fara’s children can run distance rather better than the average and Beckham’s are better at football than the average.

    Reply I think you normally need 3 A stars for Oxbridge

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Not really, quite a lot do get in for some less competitive subjects with rather less than 3 A* and Oxbrige do, very sensibly, adjust to try to judge potential too. The question is why do only 3000 kids from the bottom 30% of income housholds get this level of 3As or better and why do many not apply anyway?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        I assume many don’t apply because they see the type of rich public school Oxbridge graduates who have been prominent in the government in recent years and conclude that socially they wouldn’t fit in at Oxbridge. They’d be right. There are universities as good or better than Oxbridge in many subjects anyway so it is outdated to regard Oxbridge as the pinnacle of education in general.

      • Hope
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        JR not true. Your govt introduced the social experiment to allow people with lower A level grades into Russell university group and Oxbridge than people with higher grades from middle incomes. Your govt allows EU students into some of our top universities without paying tuition fees and put themselves ahead of our own citizens for jobs in our own country! Your party, no one else.

        To add insult to injury Scottish universities allows international and Scottish students to have lower grades at AS stage and unconditional offers whereas their English counterparts are required to have higher AS level grades and conditional offers! This is to balance the books on finance and to keep the university near the top in league tables. Nevertheless this is racism on the English. What has your minister done about it? I will tell you, nothing.

        • Hope
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          You wonder why the young are turning against your party! Wake up. Better school places given to foreigners, Expensive university education compared to other regions and foreigners, no housing because of mass immigration. Foreigners getting first chance at better jobs. Wages suppressed because of mass immigration, demand for housing increased because of mass immigration.

          What could the young be so angry about?

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Peter Hitchens reports that Oxbridge do take a good share of BMEs.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          BME’s? mainly ones that went to public schools, or with pushy parents that moved specifically to one of the better grammar state schools in the country. BME’s with public school backgrounds so not demonstrate diversity! It is the lack of working class and regional accents that says it all for me.

          I am actually a friend of a professor at Oxbridge who in one of their videos punted round the schools as supposedly one of their examples of a entrant from a poor family that made it into their place, and all the way to be a professor… problem is that whole story (which is on the web) is extremely economical with the truth as I know the facts of his public school and wealthy background. If this is their best example it tells it all for me.

          I also look on in disgust that we have been able to afford a top class education to a young girl shot in Afghanistan, and yet we reserve the worst sink schools for our own children. The political class and journalistic class make a massive mistake about how this is perceived in the country. We are a complete and utter laughing stock.

          Sadly the media rarely let people with majority views like mine on air.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–What was wrong with the Special and Scholarship Level and Oxbridge Entrance Exams of my day not to mention that it is, certainly was, perfectly possible, indeed the norm as I remember, at least on the Science side, to take more than three subjects eg by taking Applied Maths in addition to Maths and Special Chemistry I think it was called? And the other stairway to the stars, routine in my wonderful Grammar School, was for an Oxbridge stream to take an A level or two a year early, and then again the next year by when it was duck soup. I’m no longer sure, but we might even have had extra classes and work on Saturdays. Not to mention the then compulsory and extremely useful Latin. As with so much in life, so much has been replaced and ruined for no reason whatsoever that I can perceive.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Dear John–Do you not believe what I have written?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Typical emotive outburst from Lammy. Hardly a scientific finding, is it?
      They are also saying less black and minorities go to Oxbridge. Again, no comparison with applications.
      Oh, and more than average numbers apply from the Home Counties. I wonder how that compares with the numbers from the North East applying for Newcastle, or from Scotland applying for Edinburgh.
      It’s just eyewash.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Oxbridge is so oversubscribed with 3 A* candidates (the applications to places ratio is up to 10:1) that they have their own exams (to reduce it to 6:1) and final interviews (to reduce it to 1:1) to make final selections. I also understand that if you attend one of the top public schools, as opposed to a local school, there is an additional hurdle that you must achieve 10 A* at GCSE otherwise you will not even be considered whereas a lower standard of fewer A* results is accepted. This criteria is certainly applied by Hampton School in preparing and putting forward Oxbridge candidates.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Hampton school that was a state grammar when Brian May went there which is now fee paying? Lol…

        They have the nerve to sing his praises as one of their old boys, and yet he would never have been able to afford to go there if they were run on their current basis…

        Just another example of a mixed set of views biased towards their own fantasy view of themselves

    • Richard1
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Mr Lammys argument is bogus and his language – “apartheid” – ridiculous. The issue being skirted around – which came out inadvertently in Mrs May’s recent & silly audit of racial prejudice – is that in some ‘communities’ education isn’t valued. The reason we see proportionally fewer black students than, eg, Chinese or Indian students in top universities is nothing to do with racist exclusion, as David Lammy asserts, but everything to do with attitudes to education at home. That’s what needs to change and Mr Lammy would serve disadvantaged young black people people better if he focused on making sure they got better early education.

  4. eeyore
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Good to read that one MP at least has had enough of redistribution and social engineering. Taking money from A to bestow it on B is the sort of monkey trick best left to socialists.

    Yes, offer better education to the young (God knows they need it). Yes, assist them to buy a home. Certainly cut Stamp Duty. But the best way to help the next generation is to abandon the ethic that the world owes us a living, and that the State is our universal provider. Never has Britain done its future a worse turn than to countenance those two pernicious falsehoods.

    • sm
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink


      I have no problem with contributing to the cost of defending this country, providing it with a justice system, a basic welfare ‘safety net’….all the way down to the collection of rubbish and the disposal of sewage.

      But I too have a major problem with taxation being used to manipulate people’s behaviour and/or bribe certain groups of voters. Such motives may gladden the hearts of Mr Corbyn’s supporters (and every tax specialist in the land), but the blind addiction of powerful politicians to the demonstrably appalling results of making the tax system ever more invasive and complex terrify the wits out of me.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      The young certainly need some sound education on economics, given how many fell for Corbyn as Father Christman with the magic money tree.

      But clearly May and Hammond need to read and understand some Milton Freedman type of sound economics too. If they are capable of it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        Milton Friedman!

      • Embarristering
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        “If they are capable of it.” ( Hammond and May understanding Milton Friedman ). I think these two individuals would understand but disagree.

        Though I am ongoingly updating my assessment of some MPs as to whether the are too stretched, unable to multi-focus, in pursuing anything greater than that of being a plain and handy barrister.,,such as the whole Understanding that is necessary for MPs working in the English language. It would be easier, happier, if one thinks of them as blatant liars. . But no. It is now impressing they genuinely do not understand English, I fear.

        • eeyore
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          . . . and for those of us who speak English?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:32 am | Permalink

          If you disagree you have not understood it.

    • Excalibur
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed. You have preempted my contribution, eeyore. It is not even an imperative to have a good education. The most essential elements are an inner drive, and a determination to succeed. Neither of these can be bestowed. You either have it or you don’t — hence the folly of socialist egalitarianism.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Quite agree!
        Look who cares if Oxbridge reserve their places for their ‘chosen ones’, as the more ambitious, driven and determined go to other institutions they will eventually rise to the top, become the top recruiters and it make take years but eventually they will overcome, especially if Oxbridge lower their standards to take the chosen but challenged ones.

      • getahead
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Aka work ethic.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Turnover taxes are always a bad idea, stamp duty on property at up to 15% is totally absurd. So why has Hammond retained this hugely damaging Osborne absurdity?

    • getahead
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Why do Osborne and Hammond (reportedly) dine together?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:34 am | Permalink

        Hopefully so the Hammond can learn to avoid all the appalling mistakes made by Osborne, but I suspect he is the type who is more likely to copy and augment them.

  6. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    “It is one of the successes of recent years that more pensioners retire with a reasonable income than thirty years ago.” Eh? Well why is ONS telling us more and more people are working past normal retirement dates, rather than enjoying themselves as the pensions industry ads told them they should be doing? For example the number of women working past 70 has doubled in four years. You know fine well that this phenomena is likely to get worse with the demise of final salary schemes or some of those existing schemes having problems in paying out their promised benefits. For anybody in a money purchase scheme at the moment and who is planning to retire at 65, a pension fund of £100k will buy an income for life of £5,224 but thats before tax and comes without any inflation proofing, widows pension or guarantees.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Annuity rates are particularly low currently as the government has rigged the system, in effect it is yet another tax.

      • rose
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        And interst rates on savings used to be an important part of retirement for many people not used to buying stocks and shares. Now a distant memory.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Also John, you ask ‘ why would we want to reverse progress for Pensioners’? Because they are a soft touch, and are unlikely to riot! Many Pensioners have worked hard during their lifetime, and are doing their best to assist their young relatives – even though they got very little assistance from their parents when they were young.

      Many older people despair when they see the Government throwing money away on their ‘vanity’ projects, and feel this money could be better spent on other essential things here. Those who can afford it are probably not unwilling to contribute a little more, but they are fed up with being told how ‘greedy’ they are, and they want to see taxpayers money spent on essential services here, and an end to handouts to many who have never paid into the system.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        It’s not what the older people do but what those following do when they see there is no point in prudence.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      We may be wealthy but we’re also generally more healthy. I worked until 71 and now do voluntary work.
      Until generation snowflake realise the world doesn’t owe them a living the quicker they will succeed.
      I don’t agree with mass immigration but the young should take a leaf out of the immigrants book.
      Where are the British car wash sites etc.

      • Gabriel
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Oh come on. There’s a massive transfer of wealth from the young to the old, which is totally backwards. The older generation enjoy pensons that were never paid for and take by far the biggest chunk of the NHS budget. And they’re sitting on most of the housing wealth in this country while the young can’t afford to buy. Add in student fees and it’s little wonder young people are feeling disenfranchised.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          ‘Twas always thus, but is perhaps more so now.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          When you are older you will enjoy a pension and possibly take some extra health care costing more than young fit people.
          If you decide to buy a property then it will probably be worth more than you paid for it.
          Student finance is a cheap way of funding your education advantage.
          Paying back a small percentage of your salary.
          Life goes on.

    • Duncan
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      You’re assuming people work beyond 65 or indeed 70 because they have too. I know many old people who choose to work beyond 65 because it gets them out of the house, allows them human contact, makes them happier and provides an income.

      My father is 75 and he still and indeed enjoys working. Yes, it’s not physical labour but he gets up in the morning with a purpose.

      Assumption, assumption, more assumptions. Stop assuming and think

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        If you had read my comment properly you will see that this is not an assumption but a fact from ONS that since ZIRP and falling annuity rates people are having to work longer.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        This just in from the FCA … 31% of UK adults have no private pension provision and will have to rely entirely on the state in their retirement. The full state pension is £159.55 per week, but that is only available to individuals who have a complete record of national insurance contributions.

        Of particular worry is the group of people aged over 50 who are not paying into a pension and have few years left to build one up before they reach their 60s. When the FCA asked why they had made no provision, 32% said it was too late to set one up, 26% said they could not afford it and 12% said they were relying on their partner’s pension.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Dear Dame–“…too late to set one up” is open to inferences different from yours, eg “I spent all my money rather than contribute but I still now expect somebody else to support my retirement”. I do not for a moment say that that always applies but in many cases it most certainly does.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      You wouldn’t pay tax on £5224.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        You will if you add it to your state pension and other taxable income

        • Cheshire Girl
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          Quite right! There is this assumption the the state pension is not taxed. It is, as Dame Rita says if you have other money to add to it. Personally, I think the state pension should be exempted from tax. I now look forward to the howls off outrage from some on this board.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Dear Cheshire–Sure, just make it tax free–What a clever solution–Oh by the way, don’t forget to reduce the gross accordingly

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        You would when it’s added to your basic state pension.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        But it is taxable.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Well you usually have the state pension too so then you would.

      • David Price
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Add that private pension income to a state pension and you would pay tax

    • Bob
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Yemen is today home to 30 British pensioners, all aged over 100, who are claiming full UK state pensions.

      The average life expectancy in Yemen is 64.

      • hefner
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        It is a sad situation when journalists (Daily Express, Daily Mirror) and some members of the public are shown not to be able to make a simple multiplication: 30 British people on full state pension of less than £9000/year, that’s about £270,000/year, not millions. And if the UK Department for Pensions has not been able to figure out the potential fraud over more than 30 years for some of these pensioners, that’s to despair of the Department.

  7. Liam Hillman
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    How about government stop offering everyone “free stuff” that they then have to pay for with swingeing taxes, and encourage younger generations to pay into private insurance plans that will cover the cost of their end-of-life care? Why not treat those over 18 years old as adults and expect them to stand on their own two feet and provide for themselves?

    Government should be concerning themselves with important issues like Defence of the Realm and Law and Order, not treating everyone like infants and changing their nappies from Cradle to Grave.

  8. alte fritz
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    So true! How does the debate drift to the idea that one helps one group by attacking another. How does it work? What does the state usefully do with the assets it takes from the elderly for the benefit of the young? The very idea is laughable.

    Housing is the key and although it cannot be tackled overnight, it can be addressed soon if the government has the will to do so.

  9. Nig l
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    The political difficulties you have us that the pensioners now were brought up with all promises that the words National Insurance imply. Those promises seem to be broken. They were expected ‘to save’ and work for things. The current generation want it all now supported by the usual, have all you want politicians desperate for votes. Saving for old age was considered good and passing assets to children encouraged. These savings were taxed as income initially and are now taxed again on death and your party has acted mendaciously on this. George brown raided private pensions reducing their value as does low interest rates.

    All the time people in the public sector with no performance management are virtually unsackable, paid in part by the taxes of the above mentioned pensioners and enjoy inflation proof defined benefit pensions that are rapidly disappearing in the private sector.

    Finally again they suffer because zillions have been wasted over the years and your answer is the triple lock worth probably £5 a week next year and of course for many people It will be taxed. Wow.

  10. JoolsB
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    We pay enough tax. It’s the way Governments spend/waste it which needs to be changed, not how much we pay. For starters, how about scrapping the ridiculous arbitrary foreign aid budget, set to rise to 20 billion a year by 2020 and spend it on our elderly instead.

    • Dennis
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      That £20 Bn has to be reduced somewhat (I don’t know by how much) by the amount of foreign aid the UK gets (from foreigners coming here to prop up our economy).

  11. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Think about re-winding the clock to when things worked, apart from education and training for trades, which has never worked well here and needs a re-think

    Re-introduce MIRAS
    Decrease University places dramatically and make tuition free on merit
    Increase training for trades and technical jobs dramatically and sponsor employers for taking young people on.

    Then, together with a clean Brexit, the Tory party might just survive

  12. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I say the older generation should be taxed for the relief of the young.
    If there was any justice, the young should not be paying the cost of national debt previous generations have built up.
    They enter the world of work being taxed for massive debts they aren’t responsible for.

    • lo
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Massive debts were also there for the older generation when they were young. We had a war to pay for.

    • Nig l
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Ok, so let’s tax the young to pay for the massive public sector deficit liabilities incurred annually but kicked into the long grass by successive governments etc etc. Try thinking this through in its entirety.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Well said. Many of my middle class friends in their 40’s and 50’s say their children study much harder, and work more for money in their holidays, then they ever did at their age. And that my generation (and older) were able to enjoy far more hand-outs from their parents than they are able to give to their children now.

      The young coming out of school and university now are not responsible for this country’s massive debt. They’re worried about the future, above all, buying houses (homes). And now we’re going to saddle them with even more debt when we leave the EU, as it will take at least 15 to 20 years to re-jig our economy back to what it was before Brexit.

      Only the only generation can afford Brexit. Only the older generation can take the risk of Brexit. And it is the older generation that devised a referendum where no proper planning or no clear leadership was in place to implement Brexit properly (whilst we still have a massive debt and our economy isn’t built up properly). And it was the older generation who voted for it.

      The moral burden is on those of the older generation, who voted for Brexit, to pay for it. Not the young.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        And our country and the Conservative Party will pay dearly if the older generation don’t pay for Brexit.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          If Brexit brings prosperity can I have this money back plus a dividend ?

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            No! You will do it out of love for your children / grandchildren (if you think they don’t know best).
            (And out of sense of sacrifice / duty for your country if you feel that strongly about Brexit).


          • Edward2
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Odd logic Ed.
            You demand I pay if Brexit brings your very gloomy view and costs us.
            Yet if Brexit is a success and creates a dividend then I cannot share in any future prosperity.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        I gather you don’t have children Ed.

        Well I do.

        Presently I am paying out 10k a year to help them through university (as advised by the government.)

        I will also have to forgo either/or my inheritance and pension lump sum to help them on the housing ladder.

        We’re all being hit.

        That’s why I voted Brexit.

        I did it for my kids – and if I hadn’t been a father I’d probably have been away from here long ago.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Ed, you have lost the plot…

        I worked from the age of 14, weekend paper round, Saturday job in a retail shop, holidays worked on factory production lines and I don’t for one moment believe that I am the only one who has gone though this.

        You are suggesting that those that have paid tax, NI, rates, council tax for all of their lives are now taxed again and thus making them even more reliant on the State in their old age…

        Self sufficiency in old age should be encouraged not suppressed.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink


          I have no doubt you worked hard. And fair dues to you starting off so young!

          ‘are now taxed again’ – yes, because the older generation voted for Brexit. Someone has to pay for it. Those who wanted it. If the young had more money, fine, the tax could be more evenly spread. But the young don’t. Many can’t begin to buy a house and set up a home. Brexit has made it all that much harder. The older generation have the money (in general). They voted for Brexit. They should pay for it.

          Anyway, doesn’t really matter what you or i think. What matters is when the economy begins to sink (as we re-jig our economy). And the younger generation will simply vote socialist Labour / Lib Dem and the Tories will be toast for a generation, perhaps for good.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      ‘BREXIT – Young Britons still ‘bemused, angry and resentful of OLDER generation’s vote’ – From the Express.

      This is a real tragedy. Brexit has divided the generations to a degree. Whilst many of the older generation won’t be young enough see what post-Brexit Britain will be like in 15 to 20 years time (but what is clear, the young will have to endure more stress, economically, during this time) (and no guarantee that things will be better in 15 to 20 years time, including the peace and security of our continent). Meanwhile, they will need as much love and support from their children and grandchildren as they can get as they move into old age and infirmity. Etc.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Brexit is an opportunity, no more than that, for the young to break free of the tyrannical hold of the Franco-German grip on our laws, finances and borders. Do you REALLY not believe that the alternative is to be part of a United States of Europe with its own army, own laws and no proper borders? Things don’t stay in aspic. Juncker has spelled out the future for you, and you haven’t been listening.
        Answer me this – if the EU is such a gracious, democratic organisation, why do they not accept our democratic decision to leave with good grace?

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          ‘Brexit is an opportunity, no more than that, for the young to break free of the tyrannical hold of the Franco-German grip on our laws, finances and borders’

          – The young care more about the economy. That’s why they voted remain. What’s more (and a lot of Brexiters are ostrich-in-sand about this), most people don’t really care that much about the EU. Sure many voted leave and remain but without strong convictions. They’re far more concerned about the economy. (‘It’s about the economy stupid’ as someone said to Bill Clinton). And so Brexiters will just have egg all over their faces when the economy eventually begins to slacken and sink and most people will get fed up with Brexit and demand its reversal. We might end up returning with worse conditions that before.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Remain and the BBC have fomented this hatred. You seem to have been joining in.

        Most older Brexit voters are caring parents.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          Incidentally my kids went off the cliff edge long before the referendum.

          Buying a house ? Very unlikely. More likely now though.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        They manage OK in over 150 nations who have never been members of the EU

      • Monty
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:06 am | Permalink

        I think you’ll find that inter-generational hatred was being stirred up (by Guardian journalists among others) long before we had the Brexit referendum.

        I distinctly recall articles about selfish old people having the effrontery of being still alive, in the houses they had spent their lives paying for.

        The truth of this matter is somewhat ugly. There is a real gulf between sectors of our population, but it isn’t generational. It is between the hard-working and provident on the one hand, and the idlers on the other hand. The first generation of Britons to spend their entire lives on welfare, by choice, are moving into “retirement”. They, and their offspring (statistically highly likely to be welfare dependent) have neither the means or the inclination to contribute to care of their parents. The welfare bubble is expanding beyond the means of society at large to pay for it all because the people who really had it all, spent it all on themselves, and now they want more. And they want to asset-strip the provident to cover their costs.

        It was ever thus. Perhaps it is time the children of the provident got wise to a few things.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink


        Stop being a dimwit. the young of today will be able to stage a referendum to rejoin the Euro Peoples Paradise in future should they stupidly wish to sacrifice everything. So you once again have been handed the best of both world by us oldies, you know the ones who invented the technology and prosperity that you all take for granted . You have a chance to se the benefits of being out and if they dont materialise you can surrender yourselves and go back in assuming the EU still exists

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      The National Debt has always been created by the debts of previous generations – that is what it is!

      The young inherit the infrastructure built up over hundreds of years and the accumulated knowledge over thousands of years.

      If only our Education System could impart some of this knowledge and attitudes to the Young, they would be better prepared for competing with the Rest of the World.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        ‘The young inherit the infrastructure built up over hundreds of years’

        – And so did the older generation who voted for Brexit! So your argument there is null and void. Rather, let’s look at the debt incurred most recently (by the older generation!). And then the older generation adding to that debt again by the inevitable cost of Brexit over the next 15 / 20 years.

        If people feel strongly about Brexit. Fine. But they should put their money where their mouths are. And pay for!

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          ‘And pay for!’

          – Or else the Tories will pay for it dearly at the next general. That’s just the logical consequences of their actions (and putting one’s hands over one’s ears, or head in the ground, will change nothing). Sorry to be harsh. But that’s the truth.

    • David Price
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Where would you start, in the interests of justice? I entered the world of work in the 1970’s since when my taxes paid for social and health care of my parents and grandparents generations, the debts they had built up and the education of my children’s generation.

      I never thought about complaining about that as it was each generation looking after the other. I did vote for conservative governments in the belief they would reduce the debt, we all make mistakes

      But what makes you so special, why do you think you have only entitlements and no obligations?

    • mike fowle
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Disagree completely. Not just because I am now “old” but because the young should be more resilient, more able to plan ahead and be more active. The oldies deserve their time in the sun. A society that panders to the young becomes itself more infantile.

    • getahead
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Just like when we were young. It’s not just this generation.

  13. Newmania
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The glut of affluent unproductive and elderly is, in an existential sense, a good thing; after all they are happy, but in the context of social fairness, it is not.
    The inequitable distribution of housing and pensions, should worry anyone with any allegiance to market solutions and conservative principles. Business and prosperity are under immediate threat from a political system unable to digest this swollen rentier class of idle oldies, free to indulge resentments while the risks are born by others.
    That is the heart of Brexit, a decision that would never have been reached if the people voting were themselves, facing the problems.
    Young people, their future`s stolen, must work until they drop to fund pensions enjoyed for decades by wizened hoarders. They fight in a pitiless job environment, as the last company jobsworth positions occupied by their parents disappear. They are being consumed by wrinkled parasites from their bungalow lairs, financially and politically. The cackles form the stair lifts , the guffaws form the cruise are almost audible .
    Perhaps it goes in cycles .Their parents were the bravest and noblest we shall see, and across Europe they came back from the war determined to make things better. The children….have been a terrible disappointment

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      A bit jaded.
      You remember 3 million unemployed? Men working in pits? Taking asbestos from roofs and breathing it in? Castings factories which resembled the home of Hades? YOPS? 3 day week?
      Those are the people in your bungalow lairs.
      Not snowflake territory at all.

    • 37/6
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Fomenting hatred again, I see.

      Old people did it for their children and their children’s children.

      We are all worse off, have you not heard of bank of mum and dad ?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Ridiculous divisive propaganda.
      You forget how many old people live in poverty.

    • 37/6
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      It was OK for the old to be increasingly wealthier than the young before the Brexit vote was it, Newmania ?

      (They were. This is not a recent phenomena.)

    • libertarian
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink


      Yeh the children have been a terrible disappointment bloody hell all we ever did was invent commercial jet travel, container shipping, computers, the internet, mobile phones, microwave ovens, the birth control pill, communications satellites , space travel, polio vaccines , eradicated small pox, MRI scanners etc etc etc

      We have started more businesses ( 5.8 million) than any previous generation, we’ve created more jobs ( 32m in employment ) , more access to university ( only 5% of our generation went) . This bit won’t get passed the moderator……

  14. JJE
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Stop the outrageous Help To Sell schemes that make builders rich at taxpayers expense.
    Allow property prices to fall back to the levels people can afford to pay. Reform Planning law.

    It will have to happen eventually and continuing to pour more wasted money into the Ponzi scheme is cynical politicking. Don’t bother trying to present yourselves as a party of principles while this goes on.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Reduce immigration for goodness sakes ! It’s what we demanded in the referendum.

      Stop denying the very obvious by omission.

      They’re building everywhere around here and it’s a shit idea because no amount of *planning* can cope with an unexpected influx of people.

      Roads clogged, no school places queues at doctor’s surgeries.

      How do changes in planning laws deal with that then !

      • Chris
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        With waves of mass immigration from the EU they have never been able to plan for infrastructure and housing as they had no idea how many would come, and official estimates were wild underestimates. This would continue if we stayed members of the EU. However, few politicians will speak about this, and certainly not those in power. Hence the wrong solutions to the problem of lack of housing are being put forward. If politicians refuse to acknowledge/recognise the cause of the problems then they will never find the solution to those problems.

  15. Epikouros
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Mises said that a generous welfare state is an unstable state. He was certainly correct to state that. All such welfare states are finding out that welfare and the high incidence of the redistribution of wealth is making them very unstable. It creates a culture of entitlement and dependency and a disincentive to be self reliant and the demand easily outpaces the resources to sustain it. At which point the need arises to curtail and reduce the largess which is met with intransigent and angry opposition. Exacerbated by the less rational political groups usually of the left wing persuasion fervently backing opposition and declaring that they have magical solutions with which to perpetuate the unsustainable and even expand it. A falsehood of course but we prefer to live with false hope than with unpalatable reality.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Yep LL should be more concerned about whether Mrs May and Mr Hammond have read any of the Austrian economists rather than Friedman. Having said that “Capitalism and Freedom” is a good read. However you can bet your last 50p that that neither are on the Oxbridge economics undergraduate syllabus.

      • rose
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        And certainly not on the Geography syllabus.

  16. Michael
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The big risk is Hammond misfiring and shooting himself in the foot.

    • formula57
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      There is an element of risk?

      (O/T – over 200 comments yesterday – @ just under a minute a comment for moderating means 3 hours work! I remain astonished by your industry.)

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      The biggest risk is May Hammond and Rudd getting their way and keeping us shackled to the corpse of the EU.

      • Chris
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Agree wholeheartedly.

  17. Duncan
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It seems John’s ‘heard’ about Hammond’s plan to reduce pension tax relief to ‘help the young’. I have no idea who the young are. It’s a meaningless catch-all term that completely ignores individual circumstances but I do know one thing and it is that the young do not vote Tory.

    Hammond appears to know one thing, how to spend our money. Not his money, our money. What a good politician he is. Using our money to finance political opportunism. Using our money to try and change the perception of the Conservative Party.

    I don’t pay taxes to finance the political games of any politician irrespective of their colour

    When will people realise that higher taxes and higher government spending equals greater State power. The State is slowly taking over our lives and our money and in time it will consume all we have

    Can I have my soul back please or do you want that as well?

    • James Doran
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Good post.
      I see no signs that this Conservative party is ready to reduce the size and power of the state and reduce its interference in people’s lives.
      As for wanting people’s souls, that process is well under way in the form opinions that may longer be freely expressed on a range of subjects: Abortion, transgenderism, same sex marriage, welfare provision and crime and punishment being just some of the issues where conservatism dare not speak its name.

  18. NHSGP
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    In summary, the estimates in the new supplementary table indicate a total Government pension obligation, at the end of December 2010, of £5.01 trillion, or 342 per cent of GDP

    The Tories have doubled the debts 10 trillion owed for the Ponzi pensions and the debts hidden off the books.

    Completely fraudulent accounting. The whole of government accounts says we are IFRS compliant. IFRS states contingent liabilities are on the books. IAS 37 if you want the regulation.

    When pushed the Treasury says but we use ESA accounting for pensions. In other words the IFRS claim is fraudulent.

    Why would we want to reverse progress for pensioners?

    For the simple reason dumping 10 trillion pounds of pension debts on the young is wrong.

    Being born into debt bondage is just another form of slavery.

    That’s why when you look at the Human Rights Act you have exempted yourself, the state, from any forced labour legistaltion. The public can’t use forced labour but MPs can.

  19. William Long
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    This looks like just one more complication to our already arcane tax system that we could do without and I totally fail to see why £1 earned by a 20 year old is less worthy of tax than £1 earned by a 45 year old who will almost certainly have far higher family expenses to meet.
    The tax system is in urgent need needs of reform by a Chancellor of vision, immediately disqualifying the present one, and the same is true of policy on housing, including its taxation. The present situation with high rates of stamp duty seems designed to remove any incentive to downsize with age or indeed, to move house at all, with adverse implications for labour mobility. Rental availability should be an obvious help with the latter and there needs to be much greater tax neutrality between renting and owning. Immunity from CGT on the principal residence is politically attractive and might be difficult to change. It has however resulted in home ownership being perceived as an essential.CGT has the advantage though that the tax becomes payable on a sale when there is liquidity, rather on the purchase with stamp duty, that has been imposed as politically easier than CGT.
    Inheritance tax is a total mess with widely differing treatment for different asset classes. Ideally it should be abolished; the wealth of most people has already born tax at high rates. If not it should be set at a rate that will be accepted (20%?) and applied across the board above a threshold (£1m?).

  20. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink


    You and Philip Hammond function within two entirely different political parties. They just happen to operate under the same banner.

  21. Caterpillar
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    One of the successes of recent years is that some (traditional working class) elderly who made additional provision by traditional bank saving, thinking that the interest would give them a little more have had their decades of “doing the right thing” ripped from under them by a decade of failed monetary policy.

    One of the successes of recent years is to destroy middle class pensions – you don’t get much of an annuity for a pension pot now. A decade of failed monetary policy.

    One of the successes of recent years is to put holes in company pensions schemes, they have to be plugged and those companies’ investments are the cost. A decade of failed monetary policy.

    One of the successes of the past decade is for net capital formation to be only a little ahead of population growth.

    One of the successes of recent year is to inflate asset bubbles, including residential property, those who have property have received huge returns to luck not to skill, innovation or graft, but believe they have earned it. This is a heavy social distortion and, of course, a misallocation of resources (and investment). A decade of failed monetary policy.

    One of the successes of recent years is to decrease saving and increase household levels of debt to a precarious position. A decade of failed monetary policy.

    The last decade has certainly benefitted some, whilst breaking others, more generally harming the stability of a middle class base to upwards/downwards mobility, a middle class base to physical, social and human capital.

    Though there is some correlation with generations, it is not that simple, but it is (for the sake of argument) simple that monetary policy has been wrong for most of the last decade (apart from the initial few years of liquidity problems) with its AD focus.

  22. gyges01
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Professor Richard A Werner tells us that when banks lend money, they don’t lend other peoples’ money, nor retain a fraction of other peoples’ money and lend that but instead they lend entirely made up money.

    The repayment of this money should be used as the source of basic income for everyone …

  23. billR
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    What is needed is a cap on all pensions paid from the public purse. There are far too many ex politicians, ex public and civil servants earning way above what they need for comfort and care into their old age. Some say it comes under the heading of property rights but when these old people die they leave all of this excess unspent wealth to their heirs who never earned it in the first place. Years ago pensions were started by helping old soldiers from the Roman armies to be supported and to live on into old age in comfort and now it has become an industry for which the tax payer is paying out of current taxation and is a terrible drain on resources. therefore I say we should consider a cap on all of this.

    Today JR is talking about other things like stamp duty and more taxes on the old well i say first of all we need to address other topics first of all like do we need so many quangos at government level, do we need to address how competition in the energy sector is not working and more importantly why? do we need to have rethink about the billions we are sending overseas each year to corrupt countries in Africa and other places. Do we need to scale back the numbers in the house of lords? It’s the excess waste that is killing us.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The best way to help the young on the property ladder is to reduce the number of people coming to compete for their housing and their wages. Alas the young can’t see this obvious link because they have been indoctrinated.

    – Pensioners are already the lowest paid in Europe.

    – Pensioners have already suffered ten years of low interest rates on savings to help the young.

    Taxing pensioners will leave less to bequeath their offspring and will cost the young of aspring families more in the long term.

    This is not about helping the young. It is about detoxifying the Tory party and a tax grab at the same time, whilst pretending it’s virtuous.

    The Tory party is still impaled on the ‘nasty party’ tag thanks to you know who.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      If Hammond wants to do this why doesn’t he join the Liberals ? In fact why not rename the Tories the Liberals ?

      • Chris
        Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        The Tories, Liberals and New Labour have much in common, so hardly necessary to change party. They all certainly seemed to be part of a political elite determined to maintain approximately the status quo, whichever the actual Party. UKIP was the first credible threat to that, hence the vicious smearing and attacks by politicians, the metropolitan elite types and the media. It threatened their cosy alliance and hold on power.

      • hefner
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        What about splitting the Conservatives between its sensible and its freak branches?

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          There are no freak branches – just two parties posturing as one.

          • hefner
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            Anonymous, OK I give you that. So please can they appear as two parties for the next GE?

  25. Bert Young
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Taxing the elderly would shoot the Conservatives in the foot . There has already been a significant decline in the Conservative membership role and pursuing this course would make things worse . As one in the ” twilight years ” who has saved , had a rigorous attitude towards borrowing , made most of the opportunities life had to offer me , I dislike anything that does not inspire the young to achieve . If society includes a good education and a fair range of opportunity , it does enough for the young to pull their socks up and make the most of it . It is not the role of the elderly to absorb even more responsibility . If Hammond does come up with a tax that molly coddles the young , then he will lose my vote .

  26. Another Oldie
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I have just worked out that 33.4% of my gross, very modest, pension income goes in various taxes. No more taxes please. The size of The State, and its dependants, is surely unsustainable. Scaling back long overdue – organic or incremental change!

    Educating the young – not just for jobs but for life. The natural order of society has been thwarted. The ability to buy a home and support a partner and offspring has gone. Saving for old age in crisis. Capitalism and foreign ownership have removed swathes of job security, career and training opportunities. The values of social media, Eastenders and celebrity prevail. Where does this all end?

    Why are the young being encouraged to blame the old?

    • Chris
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Regarding your last sentence, it is part of the divide and rule policy used by cultural Marxists among others. There has apparently been an insidious spread of cultural Marxist thinking and policy in the UK and its institutions, and it is not restricted to Labour and Lib Dem politicians/authorities.

  27. rose
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    You really have been listening, Mr R. Now will the Chancellor listen to you?

  28. Tom Rogers
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Again, all of this comes back to immigration. The government has repeatedly promised to address the problem but has failed to do so. Once Brexit is achieved, we need a focus on immigration and a reduction of net migration down to four figures before the end of the next parliament at the latest. If that is combined with a sensible trade policy, low regulation and abolition of the national minimum wage, many of the problems discussed on this blog, including housing, would resolve themselves.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:55 am | Permalink

      Not with Mrs May as PM. She is an internationalist and has no wish to put the needs of the likes of us first.

  29. Beecee
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Hugo Rifkind wrote a thought provoking article in The Times earlier this month – ‘For generation rent, owning things is history’.

    Maybe buying a house is not what they want, but being left granny’s fits perfectly?

    Capping the student fees does not resonate whilst scrapping them does – even if it is a known con.

    As with UBER,- they do not need a car as a taxi will arrive within minutes of calling for one on a smartphone, nor do you have to have cash to give to the driver.


    Corbyn has tapped in to this whilst the Conservatives are still living in the past!

  30. Peter Parsons
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    At the 2017 general election, there was a policy proposed which would have meant the elimination of Council Tax, Business Rates, Stamp Duty on property, Section 106 payments, the Community Infrastructure Levy and the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings, along with reductions in VAT, Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax.

    The policy is one that has been advocated in the past by individuals such as Adam Smith, Henry George and Winston Churchill.

    The policy is one which would encourage home building and would make homes more affordable by those not currently on the housing ladder.

    That policy was highly criticised by both the Conservative Party and the Conservative-supporting newspapers.

  31. Richard1
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Off topic, another cliff edge fear needs addressing. It is becoming understood that reciprocal tariffs by the EU and UK, whilst still unlikely, won’t be that damaging. Now it is asserted that loss of ‘preferential access’ to the EU’s single market will make the export of services on which the U.K. depends heavily, much more difficult. It is not stated why. This one needs an answer. As does the argument that pan European supply chains won’t be able to include the U.K.

  32. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    We urgently need an incentive for people to down size once their families have left home. A discount on the stamp duty for someone buying a smaller hoe would be a huge start. If I look at the street where I live over half of the houses are occupied by people with two or more spare bedrooms.

  33. Adult
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Our people, in general, should be weaned off he idea of home ownership. Few of them have any guarantee they can pay the mortgage in years to come. They do not have stable marriages and relationships… and vote for political parties because their dad did. Loans called mortgages should not to be given to children.

  34. Mark
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    The previous stamp duty holiday was of no benefit to house buyers: sellers achieved higher prices. Stamp duty is indeed grist in the housing market, cutting transactions – but it discourages buyers from entering the market at bubble prices and taking on very high levels of debt. That is a good thing – so long as there are policies to unwind the bubble rather than prolong it.

    Policies to prolong the housing bubble and to suppress after tax returns on other assets are the main reason why the elderly stay invested in larger homes and BTL portfolios. It provides insurance against rising care bills, and IHT exemption on the death of the first spouse. Raising IHT thresholds for all assets, not just homes would indeed help – probably far more than tinkering with SDLT, which for downshifter properties under £250,000 works out below 1%, which is lower than the 1% rate that has applied to an average priced property for some decades. But we also need an end to ZIRP, so that annuity yields can rise. It is a heavy tax on alternative investments, and creates bubble conditions.

  35. Dr James Thompson
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Another issue that that many older people would like to sell their second homes, which were often first homes before marriage, and then retained as weekend homes for decades. The Osborne change in Capital Gains Tax means that there is no taper relief for houses bought long ago, but any sale will incur a tax bill of 28%. This means that second homes which could be offered for sale are retained, and not available to house younger people. This needs to be changed quickly.

  36. Castle owner
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    JR’s Twitter Account.
    “John Redwood‏ @johnredwood 3h hours ago
    We need to help young people more. The best help they can receive is a good education followed by plenty of decent job opportunities.
    41 replies 29 retweets 111 likes
    Reply 41 Retweet 29 Like 111 Direct message”

    Yes, but as for enticing the poor to go in for expensive property ownership, not a good idea. If they could afford a house, they would not need a mortgage.

  37. alan jutson
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Taxing the old or anyone else more simply reduces the amount they, spend in the economy on goods and services.
    Thus the VAT tax take is reduced !

    John Major said he wanted a cascade of wealth from the old to the young, why then include the family home for IHT as this is the single and largest value item that will eventually drop down to younger generations.

    The Limit on Tax free lump sum gifts from parents to Children have remained the same I think for the last 34 years at £3,000, why not increase it with inflation
    Likewise unlimited gifts of £250 per person.
    Likewise IHT itself.

    Fact is government wants more and more money because it is spending more, and intruding more and more into our lives.

  38. Manola Surgeon
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Why are Labour Remoaners so keen on EU citizens staying here in the UK after Brexit? Why are they not encouraging them to flee to the more prosperous and hopeful European Union and taking with them their families and cold coffee. Have Remoaners no compassion? What about EU babies, why do they wish to imprison them here on this Septic Isle?

  39. Treacle
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May wants to build council houses, seemingly oblivious to the fact that, every time you build a council house, you create another Labour-voting family dependent on the state. The high price of housing is caused by our importing half a million immigrants a year. We have to stem the tide of immigration, and make more land available for house building. We also need to find a way of stopping the whole country deciding that they want to live in the south-east corner of our island. The north of England is full of houses that cost less than £100,000.

  40. William Gruff
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    The government might usefully dip it’s timid toe into the turbulent and politically hot water of families caring for their own elderly and sick, where possible, rather than shuffling them off into ‘care’ homes in which they are too often neglected and abused, at great expense, or the geriatric wards of our failing NHS hospitals, where they can clog up beds for months. That would, of course, require the reduction of big state government and the acknowledgement that individuals are much better at deciding what is best for themselves and their kin than the gentleman in Whitehall but it can be done.

  41. APL
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    JR: “It is true that more needs to be done to help young people buy their own home. ”

    I think you and the administration you support ( not Conservative administration ) has done more than enough.

    All government ‘help’ has done is inflate the price of a home. Either through destroying the value of the currency ( blatant government policy ), or ‘house blocking’ by virtue of your policy of open borders and priority for immigrants.

    There are seven billion people in the rest of the world, of which about six billion live in countries where a living wage is £2 per week.

    Is it any surprise many of them – more than the current population of the UK would like the same standard of living as a Welfare recipient in the UK.

    You can have open borders, but not welfare, or you can have welfare but not open borders. You have to choose.

  42. Prigger
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    “Tackling Hate Crime” BBC Parliament..the Welsh Parliament 17th October 2017
    Neil Hamilton, UKIP Mid and West Wales”
    “The BNP has gone away ”
    You wish!
    While EVER we have despots who know not what they do by placing free speech as Hate-Crime there will be a BNP in some form.We British shall prevail!

    • APL
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      “Tackling Hate Crime”


      A surge of hate crime after the Arianna Grande concert bombing.

      Did the murder of 22 men women and children count for the purposes of the hate crime statistics as twenty two instances of discrete hate crimes? Or was it counted as one terrorist outrage?

      Did the eight dead victims of the London Bridge attrocity count as one incident, or eight discrete crimes for the purposes of the hate crime statistics?

      Were either of these outrages classified as racially or religiously motivated for the purposes of the hate crime statistics?

      It’d would be really interesting to hear from Mr Redwood on the topic.

  43. acorn
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I commented recently – and got the usual rants in reply – about my hopes of seeing the death of the Buy-To-Let (BTL) landlord, I think the Treasury agrees with me.

    Savills wrote recently, “… buy-to-let investors with a mortgage have seen their numbers almost double in the past five years. While only representing 10% of the market, this has been a concern for both the Government and the Bank of England. The result has been a combination of tax disincentives and impending mortgage regulation. Though these measures do not herald the death of the mortgaged buy-to-let buyer, they are likely to become thinner on the ground.”

    It will be interesting to see if Mr Hammond’s next budget, dares to put a needed further squeeze on these BTL societal parasites.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      I’m one of those who agree with you.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      When interest rates are near zero people look for alternatives for investing their money.
      Property, Art, Wine,Gold, Classic Cars.
      If interest rates were 3% or 4% these alternatives would be ignored.

      • acorn
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        You can get a 3 – 4% “dividend” from many private sector corporations, that make both needed and wanted products that benefit society. The government’s money tree, has no obligation to pay “interest” to anybody.

        But, as the private sector has no such thing as a “risk free” investment, it depends on the government’s money tree to supply it with one, the Gilt Edged Security.

        When the Australian government was running trade surpluses due to selling natural resources like crazy, they had no need to issue, wrongly called “debt” instruments. Its finance and insurance industries, insisted the government continued to issue Gilt Edged bonds.

  44. nigel seymour
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Ok folks, Let’s start to consider ante-post bets on Deal or No Deal!

    I’ll go 33-1 on deal
    I’ll go 100-1 on no deal + WTO
    I’ll go 250-1 that TM is still there and will deliver Brexit end March 2019
    I’ll go 500-1 that Tories are still in Gov come 2021/2022

    • acorn
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      What currency are we talking here for these bets? Please add a price for Pound sterling parity with the Euro by Christmas 2019. Will JR hold the pot? 😋

  45. David L
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    If things get nasty in Spain can we expect an influx of returning ex-pat pensioners?

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Why should Spain want to lose our pensioners? They do not claim benefits, do not commit crime and have bought their own homes. Quite a difference from the sort of people we seem to bend over backwards to ensure they stay here after BREXIT

    • Pragmatist
      Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they can pick carrots as the whole of our farming community is only able to grow carrots and more carrots and, more carrots

  46. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Why should Spain want to lose our pensioners? They do not claim benefits, do not commit crime and have bought their own homes. Quite a difference from the sort of people we seem to bend over backwards to ensure they stay here after BREXIT

  47. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 21, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    So you really want to help young people, do you? And you give them Brexit!

    • Mark
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      What better opportunity could there be for them to mould the future for themselves?

  48. Peter
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Talking about issues between generations is a divide and rule tactic.

    The real scandal is tax avoidance by large corporations and elites.

    If the country collected a fair revenue from these sources we need not talk about plundering from the elderly. So no more ‘sweetheart deals’ from the tax man please.

  49. Pauline Jorgensen
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Apart from the “green eyed brigade’ of socialists who wish to tax families out of wealth and back into dependency I cant see any argument with the complete removal of inheritance tax. After all whatever is being inherited has probably been taxed once already!

  50. agricola
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Penalising the elderly to reduce the tax burden on the young sounds as if it was dreamt up in the HoC bar after the sixth double G&T. If you wish to advance the cause of the young, educate them to the limits of their ability and do everything you can to create real jobs. Incentivise the students on the disciplines the country needs by reducing tuition fees. factory build houses so that we have large numbers of a high quality. When , and only when supply exceeds demand, slow to a more appropriate pace. While it is necessary to increase the earning power of the young , the other half of the equation is to reduce the price of accommodation both owned and rented.

  51. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    With our annual fiscal deficit over £50 billion and our state debt at 90% of GDP, how can you be so fiscally irresponsible. If you can’t bring yourself to recommend any tax rises, then discretionary government expenditure on the retired elderly is about the only major area left to cut. Such expenditure is investing in yesterday. Capital investment programmes – investing in tomorrow – must be protected.

    You want the elderly to downsize. They will downsize if they have to. With the help of equity release companies, some of the elderly will kick the can down the road, but eventually their money will run out.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page