Age, wealth and income

A few write in here to express anger that older people are on average wealthier than young people.They demand higher taxes on the old so the state can spend their money instead. More write in to complain that the elderly are overtaxed, penalised for their prudence in saving when younger, or robbed for daring to be successful in business or as investors.

It is normal for older people to own more wealth than younger people. Most people go on a financial journey. As children we have no wealth and survive through our parents spending their money on our food and shelter. As young adults we start accumulating the tools and furnishings for a grown up life, and can start saving to buy a home of our own . Many save for retirement. In later years many benefit from earlier sacrifices, seeing their home rise in value, the mortgage paid off and the pension and other savings reach the point where a comfortable retirement is an option. Not all do this. Some are unable to and some choose not to, preferring to spend everything they earn as they earn it. The state helps those more who reach old age without owning a home and having private savings for whatever reason.It rightly helps those most who are disabled or ill, where incapacity has impeded or prevented paid work.

Most of us find ageism unacceptable. We live in a multi generational world of families, where many of the better off members of a family help the family members who are struggling. People in their fifties and sixties who may often have the most wealth and income in a family are usually helping both their parents and their children at the same time.The Bank of Mum and Dad is a great source of grants and loans for property deposits, education and training costs and those one off larger items young householders need but cannot afford. It may also be paying for one offs to improve the life of elderly Parents, or helping with care costs, or providing free board and lodging or a holiday for an elderly relative.

No-one can take their money with them when they die. None of us know how long we will live, so some overdo the acquisition of wealth and income and die before they have enjoyed it or spent enough if it. Others spend too much too soon and end up poor in very old age.All the money is given to others on death or is taken by the state to spend on others. Many people think it wrong of the state to take large sums on death. Others think that is the best time for the state to take it, disliking the way some get a large windfall from a dead relative when others belong to families with no money to inherit.Some rich people think their children are rich enough or do not like their children, so they give their money on death to good causes or to others who were good to them in life.

A lot of older people also give generously of their time to younger and older family members. Many grandparents give up paid work in order to offer free child care to their grandchildren, and many older people care for a very elderly relative instead of them entering a care home. The army of volunteer carers work for love, not money, losing opportunities to take paid employment.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    As you rightly point out, those who have saved have no idea whether they will live long enough to spend it all. Those that have saved are probably the more prudent and, as such, will prefer to ensure there is some left which will, in part possibly go to the state, rather than spending their last few years reliant on the state. During their lifetimes they will have undoubtedly paid more tax than they would have liked. The one thing all those taxpayers would probably say is, we do not believe in paying for something for which no payment is justified.

    And so it is with the EU demands for the ‘divorce bill’. From their point of view it is clearly about getting the money, not actually providing anything worthwhile for that payment.

    So – from an EU perspective – it’s all about the money! Threats now, from Verhofstadt, Tusk, Macron and, no doubt, others that, unless the UK pays the £39 billion ‘protection’ money, the thugs will not be prepared to even talk about UK-EU trade. This is not only pathetic, but provides real insight into the political, rather than economic, thrust of our ‘friendly’ neighbourhood bloc.

    There are, however, economics behind this stance – it reveals just how desperate the financial state of the EU actually is. The Eurocrats are scared witless that their beloved project is about to collapse entirely – due in no small part to their disastrous economic policies of the past, but also the growing unease of so many of the ‘ordinary’ (obviously uneducated!) people of the individual nation states.

    Britain, unlike the EU, is not unethical and will no doubt pay anything genuinely due to the EU after Brexit – but this should be assessed by an impartial arbiter, not the EU itself. Boris must stand firm against threats from these ‘Bully boys’ and get us out on 31st October on WTO terms. No backstop. No watered down WA. The UK’s negotiation position will then be strong – and if the EU wish to commit self-harm by refusing to discuss trade – let them get on with it. The world is a bigger place and, freed from the shackles of a protectionist EU, Britain will become an even more significant player.

    The need to (over)tax UK citizens of all ages will be diminished if common sense is applied by Government to the unreasonable demands currently being made by the EU

    • James1
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      It has been reported that there is not a single word in any of the treaties to the effect that a “divorce bill” needs to be paid if a country leaves the EU. That being the case, why therefore after nearly fifty years of being a substantial net contributor should the UK offer to pay a single further penny into an undemocratic organisation whose accounts are not even properly audited. We stood up to a European bully eighty years ago almost to the day. We are quite capable of doing so once again.

      • Hope
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        John Longworth in Con Woman writes a good article about UK wealth leaving the EU well worth a read.

        It really is difficult why Mayhab is not being investigated or forced to explain her betrayal of our nation.

        OT: Hammond trying to sneak reselection without full membership vote. Man should never be in public office at all. If current media reports are correct that he and like minded others are conspiring with EU then he should be investigated etc ed

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I’m still waiting for an itemised bill from the EU. It seems that although we are leaving we are liable for about 50% of total EU pension liability for the next x number of years.
      We also have to continue paying for programmes that haven’t even started yet.
      As you say, they are behaving like a bunch of thugs and I fear Boris will capitulate.
      It’s a good job Nigel is on the case.

      • graham1946
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Lunchtime news today Downing Street confirming the Backstop removal will be sufficient and presumably the rest of Mays appalling deal will go through Nigel is on the case. The Tories are signing their own death warrant.
        Sir John, you cannot sit back and ‘wait and see’ as you suggested last week. You did the same with Mrs. May, giving her the benefit of the doubt. You and the ERG must stop this lunacy. The Remoaners are winning again despite the promises made. It seems the Downing Street mind altering ray is at work again.

        Reply I have made clear as have other Conservative MPs that the WA minus the backstop is not acceptable

        • steve
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          graham 1946

          If I may I’d like to add to that.

          I distinctly remember Boris Johnson saying the WA was dead. Am I to understand that Mr Johnson has ‘lied’ already ?

          “The Tories are signing their own death warrant.”

          Personally I think they know it, which leads to the conclusion that they must believe they can run fast enough, or that we’re soft enough to forget their treason.

          ANY MP who has sided with Europe during this saga will not for the rest of their lives be able to look us in the eye. I actually think some will have to get out of the country, certainly the vast majority will have to think carefully about showing their faces in public.

          • Hope
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            We were promised by Mayhab and others a line by line examination. We deserve to see the bill it is our money paying it!

        • steve
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


          “I have made clear as have other Conservative MPs that the WA minus the backstop is not acceptable”

          You do not have the numbers. It’s almost a fact that a general election will have to be called. I think you and your trusted colleagues should consider breaking away to join Nigel Farage, the sooner the better.

          Boris was the last chance for the Conservative Party, now he too has reneged on his promises and the country said after Mrs May’s departure another invertebrate fibber would mean the demise of the party.
          We were absolutely clear on this, and we meant it.

          Mr Farage’s party as I am sure you will know is in a position to field candidates in every constituency. The Conservatives will not survive the next election.

        • cornishstu
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          There seem to be conflicting messages being put out, only the weekend standup4brexit were saying that Boris had repeated that the WA was dead. or does that just mean if the backstop remains it is dead. One thing for sure if the WA goes through minus backstop the CP is dead at least in my eyes.

        • L Jones
          Posted August 28, 2019 at 1:52 am | Permalink

          On the website – for all to see ( – 46 MPs including BJ and our host have pledged to see May’s surrender treaty as ”dead”.

          Surely, then, they are in honour bound to do so? Our host does. I hope that Mr J does too. Political manoeuvrings are one thing – but if BJ breaks his word on this, then he is dishonourable.

          Doesn’t sound like a strong word these day – but to me it is.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Anything but a clean Brexit from the Tories and I will vote for ANYBODY WHO CAN BEAT THE TORY IN MY CONSTITUENCY!
        If we are to be enslaved again regardless then the choice is who rides in the Zills. It will NOT be the Tories ever again.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink


      Comment slightly off topic, but……hear, hear! I agree totally.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink


        sorry about caps….but I am shouting.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      The UK negotiators had already agreed to pay the fee.

      What would you say if the European Union took the UK to the Hague, and that Court then ruled in the former’s favour?

      Because that is what would likely happen.

      Reply Nonsense. The bulk of the £39bn is payments for staying in the EU for longer which clearly do not apply if we leave.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Theresa May and her negotiators failed.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          Her frankly idiotic Red Lines left the European Union’s negotiators with nowhere to go.

          John says that “the bulk” of the thirty-nine billion was for staying in the European Union.

          Given our net contributions, that would suggest about five years. Are you sure, John?

          • graham1946
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

            No it would be about 3 years, which have now passed anyway. We owe nothing. When will our money in the Central Bank and other investments be repaid?

      • Richard1
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        that would be fine. if the court found in favour of the EU all the money would be payable. the govts advice however is the judgement would go the other way.

        in the event of WTO brexit the UK govt must pay what is clearly owed under the treaties – and not a cent more

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Nothing was agreed until everything was agreed.

      • julie williams
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, Barnier.
        Apparently an EU official called Guther Oettinger has said that no court in the world would uphold an EU demand for the money but that the UK should still pay it in order to get a “good outcome”.
        If I was being polite, I’d call that a “bung”.
        I think the UK had better start looking at all areas of EU finance to work out what our share is; based on what we paid in, not one-twenty-eighth either.
        Any long-term project entered into after the triggering of Article 50? We said we were going and the EU would have been stupid and irresponsible to expect that the UK would pay a share.

        • graham1946
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          A bung? I’d call it extortion. The Italians specialise in it.

          • L Jones
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 1:55 am | Permalink

            Money paid in the interests of trade is bribery. That is, a bung. It’s also illegal.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Wrong ( at least youre consistent I suppose )

        German EU budget Commissioner Oettinger: If UK doesn’t pay 39m divorce money ‘no court in the world’ would rule in EU’s favour. But UK ‘would lose any credibility in future negotiations’ with EU ‘and other potential partners’ #Brexit

        Oh and no UK would not lose credibility with other countries, as other countries are also sick and tired of the EU’s bullying and blackmailing. The EU has the second highest amounts of complaints and rule infringements in the WTO

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink


        Never passed by our Parliament and never passed by the EU Parliament, it was a proposal which Mrs May promised to put before our Parliament and it failed, so simple to understand really.

        In reality we are back to square one unless Boris decides to put it, or an amended agreement before Parliament again.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          back of a fag packet estimate dreamt up by some underling to give Barnier, or whoever to quote. May and other dimwits assumed it might be valid. Don’t think we can be held over some casual wild guess that suits the EU, who have now stopped laughing.

          Re[ply £39bn was a UK Treasury estimate, doubtless too low.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            reply to reply ….and about as accurate as the last 10 Treasury estimates?

      • graham1946
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        The 39 billion was ‘negotiated’ i.e dictated to Mrs May and Robbins, but that was never authorised by Parliament. It has no legal standing. Maybe the EU bent court would decide in the EU favour – no surprise there, but they could not make it stick as it is not law.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      excellent contribution. We are at a crossroads. Continue being a virtual slave to the pseudo dictatorship, overspending on pipedream political nonsense, after being humbled as a message to the rest of the economic midgets, or strike out for FREEDOM. Yes freedom from the petty intolerant dictators condemning europeans to an economic meltdown to come. That followed by a catastrophic public disorder series of protests. I look forward to a fresh future – its in our own hands.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Do you actually believe all that? Seriously?

        Public disorder? Do you not remember Toxteth, and all the other places ablaze under the Thatcher governments?

        • Fred H
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Yellow vests over minor benefit changes? Wait for the real crisis on economic collapse.

    • Shirley
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Well said Pominoz. Let the EU explain why we owe so much, when we have been non-stop contributers. I wonder what on earth they would ask a non-contributer to pay, if they were to leave the EU? Would the EU continue to give them money, even after they leave?

      In the business world, if you take on the liabilities you also benefit from the assets, but there seems to be a deafening silence on that front.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Surely applying EU logic if a net recipient left, they would continue to recieve subsidies for 5 years after leaving.

        • tim
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          and be given £39,000,000,000 to help them! lets spend that money on the armed forces!

    • ByeandBye
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Pominoz don’t fret because you really have the EU on your side- despite all that has been said they are only hoping to get you to the other side of midnight 31st Oct so that Farage Widdecombe et al can be removed from the parliament and the ERG argument nullified. After that there will be plenty of time to talk about 39 billion the movement of people and the Irish border. It’s the way they really see it- the master plan

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        which will be torn up and burnt on Nov 5th.

    • Mark
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Perhaps they need reminding that there is an obligation on the Union to negotiate and conclude a deal with us – which means reaching agreement, not shouting out demands – and that will still be with them after we leave, since they remain bound by the Treaty and Article 50, even once the Treaties no longer apply to us.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    “Most of us find ageism unacceptable”

    But, sadly, as we regularly see here, not all.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Well like all ‘isms’ it rather depends how you define what ageism, sexism etc. actually is. Older people do on average do tend to have poorer eyesight, less physical fitness, more heath problems, more assets, difference political views, more life experience and often show less youthful enthusiasm. Just as there are differences between men and women on average as can be seen just in the A level choices and career choices they make.

      But surely one should try to judge people individually on merit and not assume that all in any group are the same.

      An excellent book by Dr. Rex J. Fleming, (a former NOAA climate scientist with a Master’s and Ph.D in meteorology) The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change.

      Just how long will it take before the climate alarmist religion finally dies a death. The propaganda and duff science fed to our children (in schools, exam syllabuses and by the BBC/Guardian etc) and to people like Greta Thunberg is surely a form of child abuse and brain washing. But then nearly all religions like to get them young before they have the ability to think rationally for themselves!

    • eeyore
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      This topic can’t be addressed without a reference to demographics. In Britain, as in all developed countries, birth rates have toppled while life expectancy has soared. That’s why there is a bulge of older people.

      The good news for the young is threefold. First, older societies are less violent and do not start wars in which the young must fight and die. Second, servicing the elderly provides a seller’s market for the labour of the young. Third, pretty soon they will inherit all the wealth of a cohort larger than their own.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Your last 2 points are wrong. The Labour is earmarked for cheap immigrants and the inheritance is stolen by the government

        • John Hatfield
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          “There’s normally no Inheritance Tax to pay if the value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold”
          So you/we need to give away enough before we die to keep our net wealth below the threshold. If that means down sizing then it must be done.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            not if a case for the intention to avoid is made.

    • jerry
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      @Pominoz; Indeed there is a lot of unacceptable ageism posted by commentators to this site, it usually has the same unwritten message, ‘The young should do as I was able to do XX number of decades ago’, whilst totally forgetting how the economic climate has changed. Take housing for example;

      Forty plus years ago how many saved for a mortgage deposit whilst renting a cheaper than market value LA council house, these days the young are being expected to pay the full open market value of a private Let whilst having to save far more to secure a mortgage because of property value inflat6ion due to homes becoming houses that are regarded a part of the owners (retirement) investment portfolio.

      No wonder the “Bank of Mum & Dad” (they themselves barely holding their heads above water anyway) are increasingly having to come to the rescue, which of course will perhaps impact later, when further help is needed by Mum or Dad and there is no money left to pay for care or adaptation to allow them to remain in their own home, leaving the LA to pay. Forget the children helping out in return, they’ll still be paying back the mortgage plus perhaps their Student Loan(s)…

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        and those 2 new cars, the new kitchen, the bathrooms, the foreign holidays, the season tickets, the restaurants, the wines…..

        • jerry
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          @Fred H; Yes the parents will still expect to run their two cars, have their two (or more) foreign holidays, the theatre season ticket, restaurants and wine etc… Not that I begrudge them such luxuries.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            Jerry ….not where I live. We childsit to 14 years old, while they ‘go out’ ‘popround to friends for a few…’ ‘need a weekend away’ ‘run out of money’ ‘could you come (20 miles) to feed the rabbits while we are away, they would be alright for 2 days, but…’ ‘these are details for the grandkids trusts’ ‘the sofa’s 5 years old and had it’ ‘thinking of an electric car, instead of a new petrol one for her’.

          • John Hatfield
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            The art of accumulating wealth is achieved by not overspending.

      • sm
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        I have to say I don’t know anyone who rented a Local Authority home, whether at less than market rates or not, while saving for a deposit. In 1967, we rented a flat, then a year later (because house prices were beginning to rise significantly) we got a small amount from the Bank of Mum&Dad and with them guaranteeing the mortgage, we bought our first house. My salary could not be taken into account in those days, because I was of child-bearing age, and for some years we lived a very restricted life-style in today’s terms: ancient car, no tv, almost all our furniture and white goods were given to us by family and friends, and any redecoration or DIY was done by my husband and his dad, and I made our own curtains from fabric bought at sales time.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          a very familiar story….I had hoped to have forgotten it.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        “how many saved for a mortgage deposit whilst renting a cheaper than market value LA council house”

        Extremely few! I and everybody I knew was renting in the private sector while saving every penny – economising on food, clothes, books, telephone costs, and travel, until eventually the necessary 15%-20% deposit was achieved. It took years.

        Very little of that economising is visible among today’s young. Their parents have given them a standard of impatient expectation to which they have become addicted.

        • jerry
          Posted August 28, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          @mancunius; “I and everybody I knew was renting in the private sector while saving every penny”

          The town I grew up in must have been unique then, the vast majority of the rented housing stock was LA!

          “Their parents have given them a standard of impatient expectation to which they have become addicted.

          No, our beloved capitalist consumerism has done that, the ‘must have’ products simply did not exist for our parents to get in a state of impatient expectation about, at best some will have got excited about owning one new(ish), whilst for the vast majority it was an upright vacuum cleaner and perhaps an upright twin-tub washing machine – whilst many rented their Colour TV, singular….

    • Woody
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Driven always by the socialist policy of envy.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      For people who obviously had issues with their own parents. It’s very sad. Another symptom of their malaise is the veneration of uneducated 16-year-olds in a Millenarian cult.

  3. formula57
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    “A few write in here to express anger that older people are on average wealthier than young people.” – there are only two, are there not, both turned mad by Brexit?

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      but claiming to pay tax for several incomes for nurses (or 1 MP?) – excl our host who is good value..whether you always agree with views or not.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    All you say above is true and sensible. What matters for the economy and overall living standards is that the people (or organisations or government) that have the wealth spend and invest it as wisely as possible. It true that some people and organisations do not do this well. But on average they do it far, far better than government tend to. The reason is obvious perhaps put best by Milton Friedman with his 4 Ways Of Spending:-

    1) Spend your own money on yourself.
    2) Spend your own money on somebody else.
    3) Spend somebody else’s money on yourself.
    4) Spend somebody else’s money on somebody else.

    Government is the fourth way. So they care not what they spend nor what value they get. If they are investing they care not what return they make. As the spend is usually directed by politicians much is spent attempting to brain wash the public, buy votes or augment the feckless and fecklessness in an attempt to buy votes. Other money is wasted on religions and group think insanities like climate alarmism, HS2, socialism,

    Furthermore government money comes through taxing people and businesses (and deflating the currency). This in itself (beyond the small level needed to fund defence and law and order and a few other things) is hugely damaging distracting people from productive activity and wasting much of the funds even before the government get their hands on it and start wasting it.

  5. Dominic
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I despair, though it is a consequence of Labour’s stoking of resentment among young people, that a mature, intelligent politician feels the need to compose and publish such an article.

    Labour is a political animal. It’s aim is to incite resentment, envy and a sense of revenge within those it considers the next generation of voters. They do this by warping perceptions of young, impressionable minds.

    Older people are by and large wealthier than those less old. That’s a reflection of years of earnings, savings and graft. Those assets have not been handed out gratis by the State. You have to work to accumulate such wealth. It takes effort. This is common sense to most.

    But Labour see political opportunities everywhere. They are devious, nasty and destructive. They will deliberately and maliciously stoke an emotional response that cuts through the politically inconvenient truth that effort and time affords wealth.

    And herein lies the political agenda at the heart of the idea that is society. That I have a moral responsibility for the financial welfare of someone I have never met. Instead of people naturally protecting themselves against threat, Labour tell the young they should look to others and blame others for their position.

    Personal responsibility is a fundamental part of a moral world. Labour have been attacking this for decades and the Tories have, as they have with every other leftist shift, stepped into line behind them.

    Labour want to own the young and to do that they’ll stoke hate and resentment within their souls. Labour will convince the young they have a moral right to take what is not theirs and what they have not worked for. If only they vote Labour. etc ed

  6. Nig l
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I didn’t go to university. I joined a profession and whilst many of my contemporaries in manual jobs were earning good money I was not. Couldn’t afford a car and one big night out a month. It is utter rubbish to suggest young people now are worse off.

    I took professional qualifications and when my industry moved on so did I going to Durham Business School. In my working life I was not employed for only seven weeks.

    I chose not to have children and the whole thrust of my financial planning was to ensure I could fully enjoy my retirement. The views of the Andy’s of this world are contemptible and certainly from what I read fuelled by jealousy. There is no place for prudence, it would seem in their world,

    As an aside for the last 15 years my working day started at 0600 to get to the office with sometimes breakfast meetings before the formal day started and finished home 1900, minimum often later.

    I was doing some work with a Local Authority but they could never get all the necessary team members to all the meetings so I suggested breakfast meetings before their official start time. They laughed. That sums it up.

  7. Mark B
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The family and societal world began yo change when the government hit on the wheeze of turning women into tax units. No longer were they there to look after the home and kids, plus gran and/or grandad. No, they were to be treated as equals, more or less.

    We then started to have fewer babies as women began choosing career over motherhood. So the government hit on another wheeze of brining in foreigners. “They would do the jobs Brits’ won’t do” they cried. No one thought as to where these people would be housed. Something that made the, Ratmans of this world jolly rich.

    Fast forward to today and we have the same problem. A shorterm government fix to solve a long term problem.

    You’d think they would have learnt the first time.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      For many women Mark B it wasn’t choosing to have a career it was having to work outside the home to pay the ever-expanding bills, if they didn’t have parents to help with free childcare, childcare costs ate up most of the wage anyway and there certainly wasn’t enough for a private pension.

  8. lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I read that Iain Duncan Smith has taken aim at ‘deeply inappropriate’ plans for the Archbishop of Canterbury to play a role in resolving Britain’s tortured Brexit process.

    Well nearly everything Justin Welby comes out with is foolish and wrong headed as we know. Rather like nearly every line that the leftie, wrong thinking, climate alarmist, insufferably PC, BBC endlessly comes out with.

    Another excellent book detailing the endless propaganda methods at the BBC I have been reading is:- Brainwashing Britain by David Sedgwick.

  9. Dominic
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Targeting the young is prime territory for crud Labour. One of their aims is to incite inter-generational resentment and invoke a keen sense of entitlement. This game of emotion is intentional. The left do emotional manipulation very well. It is their bread and butter. They are laying the foundations for more pressure to reduce the voting age to 16 years of age. Those naive, raw, undeveloped minds are fertile territory for that utterly offensive party.

    And how do the Tories respond? They haven’t got a clue. You cannot reason with the left. You cannot reason with the young. You fight back by usurping the left’s message of state dependency. Tell the young they are being ‘played’ like idiots. Tell them they are lambs to the slaughters. Recognise their needs and support them but instill within them the message that working hard, focusing on their careers and ignoring idiotic Labour will see them fulfill their dreams

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      “Tell the young they are being ‘played’ like idiots. Tell them they are lambs to the slaughters.”

      I’ve never understood why the young have a propensity to vote for parties that like to spend beyond the country’s means when they, and not the elderly, will be the ones eventually paying for the debt incurred.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 28, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        They are young and being lied all the time most even believe all the climate alarmist religion exaggerations.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear.

  10. sm
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this John – I wonder if the viciously ageist contributors will one day experience old age themselves and regret the insults they have strewn around here?

    What it amounts to in financial terms is that the prudent among us are ‘damned if we do, and damned if we don’t’. Save for our old age and we are condemned as being rich and selfish, squander it and we are condemned for relying on others.

    But perhaps what I most object to is the recurring theme that ALL baby-boomers sailed through their working years on a golden tide of easy conditions. I think of those of my contemporaries who had to deal with continuing serious illness, untimely bereavement, severely handicapped children, economic downturns, high inflation – problems that can and do and WILL afflict every generation.

    Finally, along with many others, I do believe that as far as medical care is concerned, too much time and money is spent on actively keeping people ‘alive’ – but that is perhaps a very big discussion for another day.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      and IVF for single women, and cosmetic surgery.

  11. Andy
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    All the time on here I get accused of being ageist. Actually all I argue for is a level playing field. Why should the elderly get benefits others do not get?

    Take the free TV licence.

    Sure there are some poor over 75s. But there are some very rich ones too. Why do rich old people get this benefit when poor younger people don’t?

    The same with winter fuel. It is madness that Sir Paul McCartney gets his heating subsidised by us 1 when there families with young kids who are left to freeze.

    I know, by the time I am old, the state pension will not exist in its current form. I know I will have to pay into some sort of scheme for social care. You guys get this social care for free. You get a state pension pretty much regardless of how much you have paid in. Why? We subsidise the rest for you.

    You lot would be the first to complain if young people got all the free stuff you get. And yet you do not see the irony that you are the biggest beneficiaries of the state subsidised culture you all range against.

    I have no qualms with poorer people getting the help they need. I have lots of qualms with rich or comfortably off people getting handed loads of stuff just because they are old.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      You’ve said some really awful things, Andy. Awful.

      The rich old people get the benefits that they do because the poor old get those benefits. If this did not happen then younger people would see it and not bother saving for their old age. There would be no incentive for prudence.

      We have to trust the old rich to use the money to the benefit of society. Spend it in the local community or give it back to the state.

      This is much the same as we must trust a rich Greenist to enforce sacrificial austerity upon himself rather than waiting for the government to do it, or using corrupt carbon offsetting to make everything alright after his private jetting.


      As much as we must trust a rich socialist to voluntarily pay more tax and use rubbish state schools rather than waiting for the government to force it on him.

      I have yet to see any of them do either. They ALWAYS leave it for the little people to do.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I agree that universal benefits such as the winter fuel allowance are not justifiable. I’d rather see them go, have a huge simplification of the tax system, and focus help on those who actually need it. but it is unlikely any political party will advocate this.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      The pensioners should have sufficient State pension Andy, often after working 50 years from the age of 15 to 65 and contributing the required % of their pay (there would have been government actuaries working out the employee and EMPLOYER contribution for their pension) but they don’t get out a fair amount compared to the national minimum wage even. The winter fuel payment should be in the pension payment.

      You have a point though I don’t believe working retirement age people in London should get free transport. People don’t all get social care for free in England – do you actually know any elderly poorly people?

      Young people get plenty of ‘free stuff’ from child benefit, child tax credit, working tax credits from the age of 25, free school meals, housing benefit, free schooling and college to the age of 18 now, if you want to end the benefit culture then it would end for all wouldn’t it?

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 29, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Here is another freebee benefit the young can take advantage of Andy, “If you are on universal credit or working tax credit, a Help to Save account will match every £1 you save (up to £50 a month) with 50p over four years. “

    • L Jones
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Andy – people here will reply sensibly to you. It will doubtless fall on deaf ears. You seem to have no concept of real life, and the explanation of the financial journey most of us make is well described by our host. I doubt you are very far into your journey, although you suggest you’re ”well off”. You seem far too envious of others to be a well-rounded grown-up.

      I am not old. My parents and my children have all benefited from the fact that I have time and money to spend on them. They have done and will do the same for me and they will do it generously. The younger members of the family are in the middle of their own journey. They don’t resent me for being further along the line.

      Stop being so insular and envious. There may come a time when YOUR children despise and disrespect YOU – because that’s what you’d seem to be teaching them.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Free TV Licence :

      It seems to me to be hard on 75+ TV owners in the UK to pay for a TV licence when because the BBC broadcasts free-to-air via Freesat there are millions of viewers in Europe who can watch BBC TV without paying for a TV licence.

      This is another reason why the BBC should become a subscription service and not a poll tax charge on only UK owners of TV sets, whether they watch the BBC or not.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    It seems even the Proms Concerts is in on the climate alarmist drivel trying to scare out children.

    Billed as a “unique event for all the family” instead the BBC Proms delivered a catastrophic climate change warning “designed to terrify” the young audience.
    The celebration of classical music opened its 49th Prom of the season with a new composition based on the words of Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, warning: “We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction.”
    A spokesman for the BBC said the Proms team believe music should “react to the times in which we live”, so that it is “not divorced from reality”.

    The BBC is alas nearly always ‘divorced from reality’ – staffed almost entirely by over paid daft, leftie, PC art graduates and climate alarmist pushing dopes.

    Good to see Boris not doing the channel 4 interview what a misguided, leftie remainer, chip on the shoulder dope Ms Dorothy Byrne is. Even worse than the left BBC lot.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Short of paying the Brazilians billions in Air Tax (how far would that go in a corrupt nation ?) or invading (likely to cause more fires) there is nothing that can be done.

      We are doomed.

      There is nothing that can be done. That is the reality. But that doesn’t stop Harry Antoinette trying to salve his conscience by getting others to take austerity on his behalf. Austerity which he and his wife clearly do not intend for themselves.

  13. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I ‘dislike the state’ so much that rather than leave anything to it I will liquidate and have a bonfire of cash! That has always been my intention – I will sell cheap and fast to our own native Brits in the liquidation, so (some) of my own people will benefit.
    The state should think about that.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      If you actually do have “a bonfire of cash” – literally you are in effect just giving it to the government anyway as they can just print more (for just a few pound) to replace it all. The “state” cannot really think.

      So just spend it or give it away!

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      there are many many good causes who will value any donation. You don’t have to ‘throw it away’ as such.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        The very words ‘good causes’ make me throw up! Did you know for instance that international food aid is distributed to people with a document issued by their Government confirming they are destitute. In South Africa no white personnel has such a document in spite of the increasing destitution of white people. Google ‘South African poor whites’.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 28, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

          Lynn, then you took a shallow view of my words. Good causes might be my favourite ORBIS, the volunteered flying eye hospital. There are dozens of animal rescue people (often 2 to 4 volunteers) who treat the less popular ones such as hedgehogs (for instance). Cats & Dogs get more than enough. What about the Search & Rescue helicopters? The RNLI? Macmillan? I personally don’t give to the household names (Oxfam etc). Use some imagination……..

  14. Anonymous
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I decided I wanted to leave the EU as I saw my children getting poorer and poorer whilst under it.

    I saw that I was becoming more and more likely to have to use my inheritance (if, indeed, I get it) and my pension lump sum towards helping my kids on the property ladder despite having been a good parent and having helped them, into their mid twenties, get highly qualified and become useful to society.

    My own parents had to do no such thing for me in the 90s. You worked hard ? You got a house, simple. Alas, education, a good job and working hard are no longer a guarantee of a comfortable lifestyle.

    I cannot help but think it’s down to mass immigration and most vitally that which imports competition directly into the areas in which my kids want to live and work, meaning EU migration. The usual contributors tell us EU migrants pay more tax, which must mean that they are doing the best jobs and competing for the best housing then.

    They tell me I’m being racist when I’m being no such thing. They’ll tell me I voted Brexit because I hate my kids and their friends when the EXACT opposite is the truth.

    For this we must be punished.

    Again. EU Andy is on the opposite side of the truth here. We were already being punished. That’s why we voted Brexit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      “Bank of Mum and Dad one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders” says the BBC today.

      For once we agree. It’s not what I ever envisaged myself having to be. I thought I’d be off touring in a camper van by now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        My children (though British) do not get students loans as we live outside the EU/UK. One is reading medicine and another wants to do architecture, not sure about the third yet. I think I will need about £750k for their student fees and then perhaps another £250k each for a deposit for them to buy a house each in due course. So £1.5 million £500k each.

        I suspect the medical one will be working until he is about 35 before he has even earned more than his costs of his training (after tax and NI). Let alone have anything left to live on so I am not expecting repayment. Hopefully he can point me in the right direction for sound medical consultants as I age further in exchange!

        Hopefully the other one will run a hedge fund, found a unicorn start up business or invent something brilliant!

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          I thought £80k was bad !

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      precisely. well said.

    • formula57
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      @ Anonymous “…education, a good job and working hard are no longer a guarantee of a comfortable lifestyle”

      True, and likely the most serious issue confronting developed countries.

      Ever increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the one per cent. creates fundamental issues and raises questions about the future of capitalism and the organization of society as we know it. If the willing and prepared are nonetheless denied a decent stake, who is going to support the status quo?

    • Andy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Good for you. It’ll be amusing to watch what happens to you and your family next.

      Don’t say you weren’t warned.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Such hostility.

        Well I’m glad my kids are through their education and nearly through their training – though training never ends in the medical profession if truth be known.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Andy …how are you going to plan for your extreme wealth as you get old?

  15. oldtimer
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The imposition of IHT on death is a disgrace. It should be abolished as in other countries. That is unlikely to happen in the UK. At the very least the Johnson government should implement the original Conservative pledge to increase the tax exempt portion to £1 million per person and the reduce the the tax on the balance to 20%, the same as CGT, while it is at it.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I listened to Rachel Johnson on LBC yesterday. Pleasant enough but let’s hope she has no influence on Boris at all. A typical leftie LibDim. Why was she ever a member of the Conservative Party? Then again T May, Cameron, Osborne, Hammond, Major, Clarke X2, Gauke, Soames, Morgan, Rudd and about 150 other MP should never really have been Conservatives.

    Rachel even thought the BBC should be funded just as it is. A bit like going down to the news agents picking up a copy of the Telegraph and Spectator but being charged from them and billed for the Guardian that you did not want in addition. Forced to pay money to a blatant lefty, climate alarmist, big state, identity politics propaganda organisation.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Every single thing the BBC does is ram-down-throat leftism… including football (Lineker) there is no escape.

  17. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Never a truer word spoken John. I wonder if those on this site that have nothing but hate for the elderly realise just how much voluntary work many elderly people do and how much child care some put in. I know many grandparents who are looking after grandchildren on a full time scale. I also know of those who volunteer on a regular basis. Without these people society would be poorer. We have paid our taxes all our lives and if we have managed to save some money to enjoy our retirement we should not be made to feel guilty about it or be taxed more or be left in a heap to die as some on this site advocate.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Well,, the thing is to try not to get upset by know-nothings like little Andy who obviously had a bad upbringing, such that he says he doesn’t even talk to his own mother on account of his bigoted beliefs. There are far more sensible young people who know and respect and indeed love their elders as people and not just for what they can get. Of course there are the Andys as well, but just ignore them. Money is a poor substitute for the love of family and friends, and money is about all they value. Does he ever mention anything else?

  18. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    The simple fact is John people accept that taxes are necessary in order to pay for the sensible running of a civilised society, but do not accept the demand for high taxes, simply for political means, envy, control and then waste.

    Most People like where possible to make their own financial planning and decisions, to spend their own money on their choices, not those imposed on them by Government.

    When you get to the stage where the government takes more as a percentage of what you earn than you do yourself, which is where we are at the moment, with tax on earnings, tax on expenditure, tax on savings, investment, and then on death, of course people want to protect it, and would perhaps rather spend it on their own family, than have it spent for them by the Government on someone else’s family.

    Remember John Major (how could one forget him) proposing/promising a trickle down of wealth.
    But then we have the 7 year penalty death rule on gifting, a limit of £3,000 per annum on gifts, inheritance tax on death, probate tax on death.

    And they wonder why we do not trust politicians, and why some people try to work the system to their own advantage.

    The nations wealth is earned by the people not by politicians.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      You can make gifts from surplus “income” above this £3,000 level if you have such income. You can also gift money and then take life insurance for the 7 years (on a sliding scale) to cover the risk of a death in that period. Providing that is you are in reasonable health and not too ancient it is not that expensive.

      Or just get hitched to someone new perhaps!

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink


        Agreed you can, you can also put certain things in trust so it is outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes, but for goodness sake its your own money, surely you should be able to gift what you like, to whoever you like without penalty or cost.

        I note that you can donate to a political party without any problems or tax liability, what a sick joke that is to rub salt into the wound.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Indeed you can spend it on drugs, alcohol, loose women, private jets or Rolls Royces but not to help you children buy a house without risking IHT of 40%! Insanity as usual with the UK tax system.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            LL…. What have I been missing out on? I’m not sorry I gave the drugs uppers, the downers, the funny coloured ones a miss, but the few dirt cheap ones I have to swallow keep me alive (and kicking). The rest of the options don’t have the same appeal they did in the day.

  19. Julie Williams
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I find this ageism to be one of the nastier and most hysterical parts of left wing and/or remain rhetoric.
    I think I even saw someone compare the baby-boomed generation to bloated slugs yesterday.

    It is completely laughable that they believe that people like their parents that nurtured them throughout their childhood, that want a better life for them than they had and hope to pass their home onto them have ruined it all by a single vote.Look outside this country to other parts of the EU and the world, are the young in other countries having it so much better?

    My parents didn’t leave me one material thing and I always knew it was completely up to me to make the best of it, no bank of mom and dad, and for that I’m very thankful.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Me too Julie and I agree. I don’t know where this ageism is coming from, my children don’t feel this way quite the opposite but then again their grandparents are loaded.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      This should read aren’t loaded and are what I’d call surviving.

  20. GilesB
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Most people do not benefit from university-level education.

    In the 1960s only 10% went to university. Some others did A levels, but the vast majority left school at sixteen and went to work. After ten years of employment, and living at home, many of them had saved up a 10% deposit and could buy a house of their own and stock it with second hand furniture and appliances.

    Nowadays far too many people do not start work until their mid-twenties having accumulated significant debt, rundown goodwill from their parents and siblings, and have unrealistic aspirations and expectations of owning their own home filled with every modern convenience – all brand new. Of course they can’t buy a house in their late twenties. Many of them never will: because they have left it too late to start saving.

    But there are people who leave school at eighteen, live at home, and save enough to buy a house in their mid/late twenties. Their examples should be much more widely publicised

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed about half the degree offered are not worth anything like the £50K and three years loss of earning they can cost! Many are worth nothing much if anything at all.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink


    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 28, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink


      Indeed I was one of those you outline.

  21. Ex-Tory
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    If a person’s “wealth” was expressed relative to the cost of the annuity needed to provide care home fees, it might put it into a sensible perspective.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Only a small proportion of people need long term care at all and many others not for very long.

  22. Newmania
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Millennials in their 30s are 6 per cent better off than generation X (1966-80) when at the same age. Baby boomers ( 1946-65) in their late 60s are 29 per cent better off than those born 1926-1945.
    Millennial home ownership in their late 20s, at 33 per cent, is 27 percentage points lower than the rate for the baby boomers at the same age (60 per cent).
    One in three millennials will never own a home, which raising families in insecure accommodation.
    On Brexit 63% of over-65s, but just 28% of 18-24s, voting Leave.
    I picture the Brexit disaster as a white haired old lady pulling out into traffic with out the slightest idea of the gear crunching brake mangling disaster she has caused.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      You might say that but then you’re full of……. and too clever by half metaphors.

      Young people cause many deaths and cost a fortune in accidents on the roads and are the most expensive to insure.

      The actual vote was tapered… with the vast majority of Brexit voters being in their forties and above and among the cheapest to ensure because they were are the most experienced and sensible drivers out on the roads.

      Then again we’re not as clever as millennials who seem adept at multi tasking (texting while driving as I see every day.)

    • Fred H
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      New Maniac….and do you have a poster of the old couple waiting at the side of the road for the hundreds of new cars belting past? The speech bubble should say ‘well at least we won’t be alive to endure where this selfishness is headed’.

  23. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    John, as a result of Nigel Lawson’s “economic miracle”, that is, where confidence in the economy based on job security was replaced by that based on lax credit, secured against property in a housing bubble, the young often cannot accumulate wealth.

    Those who do not live at home or in property provided by their parents will likely have to spend every last brass farthing that they earn on enabling a buy-to-let landlord to live in comfort. A home of their own is an impossible dream, let alone saving for a decent retirement.

    Yes, the world that you describe is normal, however the economic conditions and housing market here – thanks mainly to credit deregulation in the nineteen eighties – are not.

    Reply House prices as a multiple of earnings took off under Labour after 1997

    • Edward2
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Your claim “a home of their own is an impossible dream” is complete nonsense.

      Have a look on property websites and check out a BBC helpful site which shows house prices in the UK versus your income and shows areas of affordability.
      You will see there are many towns and cities where buying a home on average earnings is possible.
      Two on average earnings it becomes even more possible.
      You say you are from Cardiff, well in nearby commutable areas to Cardiff homes are for sale under £100k.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Being curious I searched properties in a 30 mile radius of Martin in Cardiff on a well known site.
        Over 5500 properties for sale under £150,000
        Over 2300 properties for sale under £100,000

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        There were several surges in house prices. The most notable one was under the Tories in the early 1980s, when both incomes rather than just one were allowed to be considered for loans. That almost instantly doubled prices.

        They recovered from the preceding 1992-1995 Tory crash, under Labour, from 1997, yes. Unfortunately, the bubble genie was long out of the bottle by then, wasn’t it?

        Yes, there are still some cheap areas, but not generally where the jobs are for the young. The two are connected.

        Reply Wonderful bias. I first bought a home in Didcot in order to go to work in London owing to high London house prices and very high interest rates on mortgages under a Labour government.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Hmm not actually connecting with the posts you first made Martin and my reply.
          Commuting distance from Wales capital city where there are thousands of good job vacancies with prospects.
          Good attempt at squirming though.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

            I moved 30 miles from my parents to afford my first house.
            When I moved in I had less than £100 left in the bank.
            I worked a second job and had a friend take bedroom 2 to help me pay my bills.
            Then I built from there.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          Doubled prices you say? Are you sure ? These are the numbers according to the ONS

          Average UK house prices

          1980 – £24,000. 1981 – £24,000

          1982 – £24,000. 1983 – £26,000

          1984 – £29,000. 1985 – £31,000

          1986 – £36,000. 1987 – £40,000

          1988 – £49,000. 1989 – £55,000

          1990 – £60,000. 1991 – £62,000

          1992 – £61,000. 1993 – £64,000

          1994 – £66,000. 1995 – £67,000

          1996 – £70,000. 1997 – £78,000

          1998 – £87,000. 1999 – £96,000

          2000 – £109,000. 2001 – £116,000

          2002 – £136,000. 2003 – £155,000

          2004 – £173,000. 2005 – £184,000

          2006 – £193,000. 2007 – £214,000

          2008 – £211,000. 2009 – £194,000

          2010 – £209,000. 2011 – £215,000

          2012 – £230,000. 2013 – £242,000

          So they didn’t instantly double it took 10 years

          Just so you know, interest rates on home loans went from 8% in May 1979 t0 17% in Nov 1979 then dropped to 14% in 1980 and fluctuated between 9% and 13% until 1992

          My advice to you is STILL to research before you post…. you never know you might get something right

          • Edward2
            Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

            I love facts.
            Well done Libertarian.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Martin, you can still buy houses in Stoke on Trent for £100,000 3-bed gardens front and back, garage. In the 1960s they were around £3,600 to buy new not all areas have shared in property booms my home isn’t worth more than I spent on it plus interest and updates and improvements.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        There are reasons why house prices in Stoke on Trent are at the level they are.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 28, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I believe a consistent local Labour local authority for decades. Poor school standards for too many. A lack of ambition being encouraged at school. Reduced numbers going to University and thus escaping. Exporting jobs and industries even though a local low paid qualified workforce.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            “you believe”? For the majority of the last two decades, Stoke on Trent City Council has been a hung council often led by a Conservative coalition.

            It’s also not the local authority who had no industrial strategy to deal with the closure of the pits, or Shelton Steelworks, or the offshoring of most of the pottery jobs, or Michelin tyres employing only around 10% of the number of people that it used to at its peak.

            Responsibility for the situation in Stoke on Trent and many other similar places lies with Westminster politicians. It is central goverment, with its focus on a services-oriented, South East dominated economy, who have failed Stoke on Trent and many other similar towns and cities. I am one of those who left the area to go to university, in my case around 30 years ago, and since then have never considered moving back as there just aren’t the jobs and opportunities that exist elsewhere. I only ever go back to visit family and attend Port Vale games.

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 29, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            I will have to investigate further Peter, from 1945 to 1970 the Council was run by Labour 25 years, there was one year no overall control, then from 1971 to 2001 Labour another 31 years. From 2002 its unclear, after the 2015 election, results were as follows: Labour 21, Independent 14, Conservative 7, UKIP 2. The Labour Party lost 14 seats, with gains for the Conservatives, Independent candidates and UKIP.
            I wonder if the elected Independents are associated with Labour/Left-wing parties or UKIP/rightwing? What exactly have local politicians achieved for Stoke On Trent? What initiatives have they started to counter the advances of your suggested central government policies? If they are so ineffective then what exactly are we paying them for?

            I wonder who made the big planning decisions, central or local government on for example where the main shopping centre was sited (nowhere near the main railway station), difficult to park and get around. Who decided on the local road systems, building a rotten flyover that is having to be pulled down disrupting local transport and businesses, who decides what culture and leisure activities are provided and receiving support funding local or national?

            Who puts in strategies to support businesses and business groups to encourage people to build and grow business in Stoke on Trent (national or local?). I know people that stayed building businesses, employing skilled people, investing locally (with no help). The large employer Pottery companies killed themselves in the UK when they lost all their local support and loyal workforce. Who decides who the social housing stock goes to and what skilled training it supports?

            Compared to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow – Stoke is in the doldrums, it has nothing going on, entertainment and schooling is poor so successful people don’t want to stay, or than in selected little enclaves.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 29, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            Peter Parson

            Join us in the 21st century . Technology has moved us on to a service based economy . Manufacturing is automated using advanced technology . It has nothing to do with Westminster policies , adapt of die. If you dont innovate you end up fading away . Politicians dont create businesses , people do. Its down to people. Why dont you go and set up a business there? Housing is cheap, you know the area and you can go to Port Vale games, soon a local derby v Stoke City too. pop 270ooo, 4% unemployment lowest since 1975 . You might want to take another look at your home town

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted August 29, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

            SoT City Council was NOC from 2002-04, 06-11 and from 2015 to now. The Independents on the council have typically worked with the Conservatives rather than Labour.

            Who was it who put those two roundabouts that used to cause so many problems on the D road for decades rather than build it properly? A roads are buily by and managed by national government, who are therefore also fully responsible for the flyover on the A53 you reference.

            National government are also responsible for decisions such as deciding the location of Enterprise Zones and the benefits such schemes offer in terms of attracting business and jobs. Local authorities have to bid for them from central government, they can’t just set one up because they want to.

            As for the location of the Potteries Shopping Centre, Hanley was always the primary shopping location when I lived in the area, so was the obvious place to build it.

            Arts funding is both local and central (the Arts Council) but, with local government spending so tightly controlled by central government, in terms of reduced central government grants, constraints on council tax rises and so many legal obligations on what must be provided as services, when cuts have to be made to balance a budget, areas like the arts are the sort of thing which goes first.

            @Libertarian, I’ve actually worked in services my whole life. That’s why I’m back in the part of the UK where I was born (London and the South East, the Potteries area is just the area where I spent my school years), because that is where the jobs and opportunities for people with my sort of qualifications, skills and experience are. I’ve no interest in starting a business as it doesn’t interest me to do so and I know I don’t have sufficient skills in some of the aspects that you typically need to start and grow a business from scratch successfully (marketing and business development, for example).

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

            Well reading your answer, if you’re correct, Councils influence nothing and provide no benefit to their local communities wellbeing, affluence, jobs and education because it’s ALL under central government control. 56 years of a Labour local Council and you’re telling me they had no influence? What did they achieve?

            So if we have a Conservative national government local people are better off with a Conservative council working with national government to the same goals? But this doesn’t follow either does it because we had Labour national governments when Labour were in full control of Stoke.

            It just seems to me everyone can blame someone else so no one on the council and MP payroll has to take responsibility for left behind areas.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Dear Martin from Cardiff

      ” Nigel Lawson’s “economic miracle”, that is, where confidence in the economy based on job security was replaced by that based on lax credit”

      What job security?

      You are deluded

      Prior to Lawson was the 1970’s you know the Callaghan government, you must remember him the PM that not one single person voted for , well anyway Martin back then Labour had closed 290 coal mines , unemployment at 9% and the Winter of Discontent was in full swing. Many household name companies went bust and closed down, we’d had the 3 day week and electricity rationing.

      Tony Blair ( a Labour PM) scrapped MIRAS

  24. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Death duties are wrong. There is no ethical reason why the remnants of a person’s financial life accumulation which have already been subject to a lifetime’s taxation should be further taxed.

    Some will say that the beneficiaries are earning money and so therefore should be taxed but “gifting” is permissible under tax law so bequests should be treated as gifts after death. The seven year law should be scrapped and replaced with no tax at all.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      If I had a guaranteed public service pension I’d gift all my savings away now secure in the knowledge of a reasonable sized guaranteed income and the politicians making these taxation decisions on the savings of people with unsafe pension provision is obscene to me with their tidy secure retirement in hand.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        a-tracy … plus successive governments lie.

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Yes everything JR says is absolutely true.
    No doubt however that govt ( maybe as a deflection in 2008) has ramped up various “divisions” with the help of dear MSM. ie young v old.

    However I just wonder how it is possible to enjoy life after all the things politicians have inflicted on Europe?

    It is all very well to have money ( earning little interest) in the bank and obviously a wonderful hedge against adversity ( except that it is being devalued ASAP) but meanwhile just about everything else has been ruined. Who wants to have a weekend break in Paris?

    Do the politicians realise the effect on neighbourhoods of buy-to-let?
    Don’t they realise that families have been split asunder by the growing Marxist sentiments?
    The attitude of some on this blog is also prevalent in real life! It breaks up families.

    The landscape and population has been changed beyond repair and the future is not pretty.
    Governments exact tax and their part of the deal should be to protect and nurture the nation.

    Successive govts have failed dramatically and tragically in their part of that bargain.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink


  26. Jiminyjim
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I wonder if I was alone in having mixed feelings about you opening up this issue, Sir John? I fear that our ‘usual suspect’ will use this as an opportunity for another hate-filled ageist rant. He is deliberately offensive and having given his appalling views plenty of space in recent months, I hope you will be more than usually ruthless if he simply wishes to offend. We all know, or should do, that there are plenty of old people living in poverty. I see this for myself routinely during my visits to the elderly in my community. The statistics show that there are more than 2 million old people in poverty and the number has been growing during the last ten years. The fact that Margaret H has now joined Andy is becoming ageist and offensive might imply that they are using your site to feed off each other. Please do give this some thought, Sir John, none of us wants to lose your site as a forum for sensible debate, but on this issue, they have gone too far

    • Oggy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree JJ.
      If I or anyone else used as much venom about race, colour, gender, homophobia or religion as the usual two’s overt hatred of the elderly the posts would never see the light of day.
      So I am somewhat confused as to why Sir John allows any of their hate filled rants.

    • Andy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      It is awkward, is it not, when your view of the world is challenged?

      All I have ever argued for is a level playing field.

      I say that old people should not get handouts just because they are old.

      I say that state pensions should be scrapped because too many people take more out than they ever pay in – and that is unsustainable.

      I say that older people should pay for their own social care – and not expect it to be subsidised by the rest of us.

      I say that older people should contribute more to the NHS because they use it more.

      I say that older people should pay for themselves and not expect their lives to be subsidised by younger people – which they are now.

      How is this ageist?

      What is actually ageist is all of you arguing that young people should get next to no help from the state while the elderly should continue to live a gold plated existence at everyone else’s expense.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Start your own political party and stand for office with those ideas of yours Andy.
        Or try to influence existing political parties to adopt your ideas.
        Best of luck.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink


        20 million people pay no income tax yet get NHS, schooling , roads, parks, housing benefit, child benefit etc etc so they pay nothing and get loads back

        Any thoughts on this?

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

          Income tax is not the only tax levied in the UK. Your assertion that 20 million people pay nothing, therefore avoiding any VAT, excise duty, VED, Council Tax and any of the other UK taxes is simply ludicrous.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            If they spend a few thousands a year on things where VAT is chargeable at 20% they might pay £600 VAT
            Add VED at say £200 assuming they have a car then add £400 for tax on tobacco and alcohol assuming they both smoke and drink.
            Council tax might be £1500 if they pay it.
            Anyway, call that £3000 total.
            Then deduct tax credits, housing benefits child benefits and you are back to zero.
            Then allow for the free health service, free education service
            and all the other free things the state provides and as usual Libertarian is right and you are wrong.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            What you wrote is utter rubbish. Libertarian claimed that 20 million people pay nothing in and get lots in return. That’s complete tosh as it is almost impossible to pay nothing in at all.

            It is true that some people pay in more than they get back and some people get back more than they pay in, but they do pay something in, as you have clearly stated yourself.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Peter Parsons

            We were talking about income tax. Already made the point about EVERYONE paying VAT etc Do keep up

            Andy tried to argue that old people take out more than they put in, if you think that young people paying VAT etc covers the cost of their schooling, healthcare, benefits etc etc then there only one person here being ludicrous

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            I have never claimed that young people paying VAT covers the cost of their schooling and I already clearly stated that some people receive back more than they put in.

            What is ludicrous is asserting that, because a group of people do not pay one particular tax, that they pay nothing in at all. In the last year, for example, I paid no Stamp Duty. That doesn’t mean I paid in nothing.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            Nearly 45% of the population pay no income tax.
            That’s a fact.
            It’s not utter rubbish.
            Libertarian was correct.

            And as I showed millions more pay a bit in othe taxes like VAT but get back loads more than they pay in.

            The top 1% pay over 28% of all income tax.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted August 29, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            It’s utter rubbish to say that people who pay no income tax also pay no tax of any sort at all, which is what Libertarian said.

            “they pay nothing and get loads back” to quote him/her.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 29, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink


            No I didn’t say that, Ive told you twice now, are you stupid? I said EVERYONE pays some form of tax such as VAT , They do not pay enough to cover what they take out, thats a fact and the point of this thread

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy ….so after a lifetime of saving into the fund, when the old person arrives at their account counter and asks for some money for food, heating, a roof over head, you respond ‘but you are draining my lavish lifestyle, be gone this minute’.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Your last sentence, Andy, is deliberately offensive and makes nonsense of your claim to be arguing solely for a level playing field. You have not been logical or even remotely reasonable on this, as you’re no doubt well aware. Your admission many months ago that you had berated your elderly mother for having voted Leave and wrecked her grandchildren’s lives, tells us all we need to know about your morals. Keep your offensive views to yourself, Andy. I suspect you know only too well that scrapping state pensions would put millions of people into abject poverty. You have no morals or values writing as you do and I’m frankly astonished that our host continues to allow you to insult his other users of this site

  27. Everhopeful
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Oooo…off topic …sorry!
    A little bright glimmer.
    Apparently a whole load of EX Labour voters have publish an exposė of how Labour ruined this country.
    “The Traitors Chart” it’s called!!
    Not sure if it refers to one traitor or lots of ‘em!
    Lovely! Cheering!

  28. NigelE
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    “A few write in here to express anger that older people are on average wealthier than young people.”

    How sad.

    • Andy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I am not aware of anyone who has objected to old people being wealthier than younger people. That is surely just how it works.

      What we (or at least I) object to is old people getting a whole bunch of guaranteed state handouts DESPITE the fact that many are wealthier than young people.

      Genuinely how can you justify thousands, millions even, of richer old people getting hundreds of pounds a year to pay for extra heating when homeless kids are being forced to live in shipping containers.

      • sm
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Well, Andy, I can’t and don’t justify Winter Fuel Allowance – but I’m willing to bet that most contributors to this site didn’t vote Labour, who introduced this benefit in 1997, so don’t vilify us.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          Winter Fuel Allowances and free TV licences are a lot cheaper than proper pensions and retirement ages, as most people have in Germany, in France, and elsewhere on the Continent.

        • Jagman84
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. A plethora of Labour policies, designed to garner (or rather, buy) votes in a G.E. In the same way that the locations of Government agencies tend to mirror the locations of previous by-elections. Both sides of the political divide have dabbled in such skullduggery.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Income tax ie the only tax we pay in the UK. ????

        A shipping container with rooms, a kitchen, a roof. Compared to living on dirt, a desert, violence and possibly drowning in the ocean? Sounds pretty good to me.

        • Andy
          Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          Shipping containers sound good to you?

          You lot would explode with rage if I suggested we house old people in shipping containers. And yet that is what the Tories do to poor children.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            Don’t be stupid. I compared living in shocking conditions in violent places abroad to being able to arrive in UK, even if housed in adapted containers, which they are, it is better than the former.
            Your extreme nonsense views do you no credit. Would you prefer the children live in shop doorways?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 28, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Gosh we are all living in shipping containers now.

  29. Fred H
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Apart from volunteering for older relatives, you fail to mention the 100s of thousands who provide unpaid services to National Trust (and many similar organisations), who ‘man’ charity shops incl back room duties, certain museums (and the like), meet and greet at all manner of events (club and state sport etc), preservation heritage (railways being an obvious one).

  30. Newmania
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The Bank of Mum and Dad is a great source of grants and loans …….

    I don`t actually think you get a round of applause for helping your children as ,much as you are able to. I feel that this would be a minimum for any decent human being in any case the growing inequality in the UK is fuelled by the multi-generational affects of unearnt affluence, just as it is by inherited dependence.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      The Institute for Fiscal Studies in May 2019 said “wealth and income inequality had not really changed in the past 25 years”

      • Fred H
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        more like 50 years.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink


      This is a trick the socialists use constantly – “growing inequality” Innuendo with no facts to back them up….

      Time some people grew up and started to look after themselves according to the thresholds of the day…. as very generation has done..

  31. bigneil
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The people who save – -the people who buy a house – the people who have to borrow of the Bank of Mum and dad etc.

    What about the never ending queue of those who arrive here, having given a trafficker thousands to be smuggled in? Unemployable, illegally here, fake, uncheckable stories, all wanting to get umpteen relatives here – -who is paying for them? – – – – WE ARE – – – – – -and as their numbers rise – our bill for them goes up and up. People here years – but still don’t know a word of English, but living off our taxes. Who is paying for their housing? Who will be paying their care home bills? Who is paying their NHS bills?

    • Andy
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      You have a real chip on your shoulder about ‘illegals’ don’t you?

      Have you ever actual met an illegal?

      (PS: foreigner, migrant, refugee and illegal are not interchangeable terms)

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Contrast the hostility towards one group with the compassion for another.

        Not a comment on the debate but on the person having it.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      To echo exactly what you said.
      WE ARE!
      And now as always predicted WE are the ones who are being told to save water, improve air quality, not waste food, top up our you’ll-go-to-jail-if-you-do’t-pay taxes with many charitable donations, make abject apologies etc etc .
      We supermen…we heroes who have already been milked dry by “them as rules us” must save the planet… single handedly.

  32. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Most of us agree with the posts you have written regarding the financial situation for the elderly – most have worked hard for what they accumulate and actually deserve far more than the government allows them to retain.
    Labour introduced the poliicy of envy, and their followers have taken it to extremes, but I wonder how many would want to swap places with an OAP, even if they retained their good health?
    There is actually little to envy about old age, and a lack of money makes it far worse than it should be. British pensioners are paid the least of any EU state by a long way.
    Looking from the other direction, the only thing that anyone might envy the young is for their physical health – There is very little else that inspires admiration in so many of the young today who fritter away their resources and expect everything on a plate, like all good socialists, and live for the moment.

    • julie williams
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I agree; if anyone envies the elderly and frail, using up their precious taxes in the average Care Home, I implore them to visit one for an hour.
      I have been forced to do so for over twenty years now as there is a family history of strokes in my family and it is an eye-opener, to say the leas.
      I’m going to get some “little pills” for when the time is right, if I am able to use them (!) and then I won’t be a “burden” on the young. Actually, I’m hoping that the legal position will have changed by then and I might be allowed to go with dignity.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        @Julie – Yes, Loss of physical dignity as well as becoming more feeble as we age is of great concern… There’s a whole lot more that a family orientated society could do to ease the mental burden of having bodies that wear out.
        My Mother was in a couple of those homes you describe, where people sit all day in their chair, against the wall, with only a TV as randomity – Most come to such homes to die, and just sit there, slowly filling out their last days with total boredom. My Mother was active mentally and ‘did things’ – many didn’t.
        The staff were usually very good, but it was the way ‘CARE’ was organized that was the problem – The elderly are treated worse than vegetables, and quickly grow into that role.

  33. BillM
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I despair of those who lack the intelligence to realise that the elderly who have saved have also paid Income Tax on their earnings and all other taxes associated with daily life here. Over the past 40+ years in many cases.
    These arrogant young things have been fortunate to live in a time of insanely low credit rates and a booming economy. Most of those born before the 1960s have experienced low standards of living, rationing, unemployment economic turmoil and dubious future prosperity. Despite these drawbacks we have survived and it is insulting to us for an immature, permanent mobile phone operator to insist that we pay more tax on the after-tax savings we have made.
    I say to them, grow up, don’t be angry with us but copy us because you will be at this point some day and sooner than you think.
    Finally, take responsibility for your own lives now and stop cadging off your elders.

  34. Chris S
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I see the Express is reporting that the EU Budget Commissioner, Guther Oettinger, has said that there is no way of taking the UK to court to get a ruling that we must hand over the £39bn May agreed to pay.

    Furthermore, May’s WA was not ratified by either Westminster of the EU Parliament so, as Barnier famously said : “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” We also know that there is no legal basis for handing over any money because the House of Lords obtained a legal opinion that established that in 2016. The A50 rules say nothing about money either.

    Oettinger is also supposed to have gone on to say that they won’t even talk about a trade deal unless we agree to hand over the cash first. Verhofstadt has also said the same thing.

    That’s nothing more than blackmail and extortion and should rightly be ignored.
    We own nothing therefore we should pay nothing.

    Oh, and we want our £1bn contribution to Galileo back as well.

    • formula57
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      And our £10 billion for the European Investment Bank stake.

      • rose
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        And all those reductions to our rebate which were made in exchange for CAP reform which never came.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 29, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          reform? – do you mean in the EU? – surely not? Whatever gave you that idea.

  35. Mark
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    The worrying disconnect in the financial thinking of the young goes beyond the failure to understand the generational cycle whereby the elderly with assets can lend to them to allow them to prosper, and in return secure an income to live off when they are no longer able to contribute by working. It is that they assume that borrowing abroad via the banking system will solve their problems of the future, and they have no need of the elderly. It will come as a shock to them to discover that whole countries can run out of collateral, and when they do, the lending stops and repayment is demanded.

  36. David
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    “It is normal for older people to own more wealth than younger people. ”
    It is not normal for old people to live in homes which they bought in their 30s which people who are in their 30s today cannot afford.
    My house has gone from £245 K to about £400k since 2006 – that is a massive rise, even counting low interest rates it is far more than people’s ability to pay has increased. The worst thing of all is that it went from £70 K to 1997. So a house that used to need a 10% deposit of £7 k now needs £40 k – almost 6 times in 20 years. Wages have not gone up 6 times in that time

    Reply Yes,but mortgage rates are well down on pre crash levels so affordability has not deteriorated by the amount of the price rise.

    • rose
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Our son is earning a lot more (in real terms) than my husband when we bought our house. In his thirties, married and with a family, he inhabits half of a basement which he rents at an extortionate rate.

      I put this down to overpopulation. It drives down wages and conditions as well as causing shortages of everything from prison places and space on the road to school places and houses.

  37. David
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    PS of course the solution is not more taxes – stopping subsidising house prices via help to buy and housing benefit!!!

  38. BR
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    This is an area where the green-eyed monster looms large.

    People without resent people who have. They usually pay little attention to how they got what they have, or what they sacrificed in order to get it. They simply demand that the State take it away from the haves and give it to the have-nots.

    I’m quite certain that people who take the time and trouble to develop qualifications, skills, experience should be rewarded. Otherwise, why would they bother to do it?

    The last time Labour tried crazy levels of tax, it resulted in the “Brain Drain” – everyone left this country to work and live abroad in a better tax regime.

    Sweden suffered the same problems when they tried to enforce virtually the same salary on all its citizens such that doctors and people emptying dustbins were paid roughly the same. Guess what? All the doctors and engineers left and they ended up with a society that barely functioned. Until they changed their ways.

    Taking endlessly doesn’t work. We are humans, not ants – we need incentives.

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


      “Sweden suffered the same problems when they tried to enforce virtually the same salary on all its citizens such that doctors and people emptying dustbins were paid roughly the same. Guess what? All the doctors and engineers left and they ended up with a society that barely functioned. Until they changed their ways.”

      I’m trying to find references to your claim about Sweden’s failed salary enforcements but have been unable to.

      Can you help?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Just Google “The Swedish Wage Structure”.

  39. Alastair McIntyre
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Are you aware that if you retire to a Commonwealth country such as Canada, Australia or New Zealand that your British Old Age pension is frozen whereas if you retired to the USA or any non Commonwealth country it continues to be index linked?

    I don’t understand why being loyal to the Queen should cost such people to be penalised. Time something was done about this.

    • Pominoz
      Posted August 28, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink


      The subject of Frozen Pensions must continue to be raised. It is an indefensible situation whereby just some State pensioners are penalised.

      Come Brexit day, a political decision must be made regarding the pensions being paid to those continuing to live within the EU. I do not begrudge them continuing increases in line with those of UK resident pensioners.

      However, if such a decision to permit annual increases is made for EU residents, but there is no change for those in Australia, Canada NZ etc,, it is imperative that the travesty receives the full and detailed attention of Parliament. I would call upon Boris to tell everyone how he can justify the discrimination and for all MPs, Sir John included, to fight for fairness.

      Those pensioners in countries where it is frozen have contributed just as much (in terms of original pension entitlement) as those in the UK and elsewhere. What is more, all pensioners living outside the UK are not a costly drain on the NHS.


  40. Stephen Reay
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s a crying same that some young blame the old for their problems. The blame lies with the media and some government polices. The media have been pitching the young against the old for sometime now saying that the old have had things better than the young, in some cases this maybe true but in the majority it’s not.

    Lets take the state pension age increase for example , my parents could retire at 60 for women and 65 for men and best of luck to them . Why would the young wish to blame their parents for the increase in their pension age when it’s government policy.

    Many pensioners have to live off their state pension only, which is less than £9000 but get some benefits such as free Tv, heating allowance and a few others, most pensioners have this to live on and many are on the povety line. To say that pensioners on the whole are richer than the young is totally incorrect.

    Lets take the price of buying a house, compared to what we the old would had to pay when we were younger. Well theres supply and demand, high demand increases the house prices, poor government policy on housing to blame. Imigration has an effect housing, not enough housing, government policy to blame and lack of reasonable imigation control government to blame.

    Them look at occupationl pensions in particular final salary pensions the government allow companies to change to defined pension they could have stopped it , they changed the way occupation pensions were calulated from RPI to CPI for the public sector and made it voluntary for the private sector they could have stopped it. The very mp’s which allowed this to happen to our pensions didn’t see their gold plated pensions affected paid for by us the tax payer.

    Low interest rates forces up the demand for houses. Help to buy forces up demand, older savers get no return on their saving and therefore bought houses to let out all down to government policey.

    So if young people have woes them blame the government and do something about it , try getting off your bum and start voting and taking an interest in polictics . It’s never been as so easy to get in touch with your MP so if you have a chip on your shoulder then start here first. Most of this happened as a result of the financial crash , government to blame due to lack of policy and very poor financial regulation. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown relaxed reguations and Cameron supported them.

    Surely the young aspire to be old themselves one day , so whatever to call for to be taken from pensioners today will be your tomorrow.

  41. lojolondon
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Arguing that it is somehow unfair that someone who has worked for 40 years should have less than someone who has worked a handful, is as pointless and ridiculous as arguing against the force of gravity.

  42. tim
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,
    do you think we are supid? We are only interested in Brexit no Deal WTO rules. Borris blusters but he is a Quisling. Why is he even talking with EU? He needs to say what he has to say to the UK not the brussel sprouts! Nigel come on, General election!

    Reply Speak for yourself. Many readers are interested in a wide range of topics. My views have not changed on Brexit, and I have no intention of restating the same thing every day. The PM has to get Brexit achieved with a potentially difficult Parliament to contend with from next week. He has made quite clear we are leaving on 31 October and even this Parliament has been equally clear about the unacceptable Withdrawal Agreement.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted August 27, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Potentially difficult parliament. How silly for the 160
      odd have all signed the Corbyn attempt to over throws the democratic vote of the people. Why are these people not kicked out and by elections held? This is now the real beginning of the end of our supposed democracy as thought to be copied throughout thees world. It will all end in tears and there will be repurcussions from the rank and file
      who are more than prepared to mimic France and Hong Kong. They have shown beyond any doubt they are not fit for the position they hold.

  43. mancunius
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m mindful of Frank Field’s admission that he advises many of his constituents not to save at all, or to spend their savings, as they will be worse off in retirement if they save, and better off under the benefits system if they do not.

    Surely there is something sadly wrong with a system that motivates people to ‘remain poor’ for a lifetime. And yet all parties are too frightened of the consequences if they reform it radically.

  44. Katy Hibbert
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    “A few write in here to express anger that older people are on average wealthier than young people.They demand higher taxes on the old so the state can spend their money instead”

    The state generally spends money badly, and takes its cut in the form of bureaucracy.

  45. Dominic
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Marxist Labour would politicise the soul if they could. People mustn’t underestimate just how far the left will go to achieve their aims.

    The politicisation of all human relationships is at the heart of their politics and this issue is merely another example of the left and their allies playing those with assets off against those who may none at all with the sole intent of achieving political profit

    The private has been slowly and almost irrevocably eroded. The left has invaded our most private space

    The Tories have assisted them in this process by their continual reluctance to confront them at every turn

    The real hate-mongers have always been on the left

  46. noname
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Age, wealth and income. For those of a certain age, like myself 73 years, the time has come to ditch a lot of my wealth. However I’m having trouble with the banks in trying to get it all out in cash- they’re asking too many questions and I already got a phone call from the tax people wanting to know what I was up to- but I’ve fobbed them off- ‘my money my business’- the way I see it. So I’m just going to give it away to some younger deserving ones, family and some charities- just dribble it away. I figure that having too much is almost as bad as having too little- especially as an older person facing up to some of the state agencies, everybody, it seems, wants a piece of what you have- but if you havn’t got it then they have no further interest and so less questions.

  47. ukretired123
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Many folks grow wiser with age, some grow wider (my digital device suggests!).
    Many young families our son knows wish they had grandparents as we are.
    Not because of any financial implications, just because they recognise the advantages of a more complete and balanced view of things, as Sir John alludes to.
    I always believe you create your own destiny and when young and poor saw the advantage in the disadvantage. Blessed with a brain which even computers after 70 years cannot emulate we only use a fraction of our capabilities.
    I don’t envy rich folks but say good luck with it because it can be both a blessing and a curse.
    I used to notice years ago “Making a million!” Was most folks idea of heaven.
    Then of those who succeeded the next problem was holding on to it.
    There are many a false Mirage to divert most.
    I always regard a successful person as one who smiles regardless of their wealth. Simple.
    It’s interesting to note how very successful folks become benefactors not just for tax reasons. Bill Gates’ wife encouraged him to give after years of accumulating!
    We all can contribute however humble to life’s party and it’s our personal challenge is to discover what that is.
    I think SJR with his wide ranging topics helps many others to understand and comprehend experiences that otherwise allude them, dynamically changing subjects only surface scratched by others.

  48. L Jones
    Posted August 28, 2019 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    I’m in Canada at the moment – so by the time I get to read things, all the important stuff has happened!

    • Pominoz
      Posted August 28, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink


      Enjoy Canada. Whilst you are there, please talk to UK Pensioners and ask them how they feel about their frozen pensions.

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 28, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    There are some advantages to being old that perhaps shouldn’t be there. Firstly, asset prices, not least house prices, are artificially high due to ultra low interest rates and excess immigration. Secondly, there are all manner of pensioner perks:
    – Concession fares on public transport
    – The winter fuel allowance
    – Cheap haircuts
    – Cheap admission to some museums
    – Cheap admission to some entertainments
    – Free TV licences

    We don’t need to tax the old more heavily – just stop throwing money at them.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 28, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      There are a lot of poor pensioners.
      Living on just state pension and other welfare benefits.
      These concessions are needed by them.
      I suppose you could stop such things for better off pensioners but the admin of looking at millions of individuals circumstances and then discriminating against them would probably cost more that it saves by simply having a universal benefit.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 28, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Public transport – we buy 3 year Senior railcards, or we don’t travel, nor spend where we go.
      Winter Fuel – not good concession, but was introduced with the best intentions (and trying to buy votes!)
      Cheap haircuts – really? – you mean the £3 off? – big deal.
      Admission to museums, others. Tiny discount, so many are free now anyway.
      TV licence – most of the BBC output is rubbish, radio included. Why should they get the £140+

      Throwing money at us ?

  • 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.

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