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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 November 2011

The Tory solution to pensioner poverty?

The winter fuel allowance scandal

Derek McMillan

You will have heard of Good King Wenceslas. You may not have heard of his evil twin Bad King Wenceslas.

Bad King Wenceslas (aka chancellor George Osborne) sent a servant to the old man gathering winter fuel. He took a quarter of the fuel telling the peasant he had far too much. "And while we are about it you are living far too long so we will have a chunk of your pension too - now be off with you!"

George Osborne secretly cut the winter fuel allowance, paid to most people who are 60 or older. However the information did not form part of the 100+-page budget document.

This news came just weeks after all the biggest power firms hiked the price of gas and electricity, with more rises predicted. You didn't hear about it? No - because the papers were full of stories of celebrities eating cockroaches. A diet we may all have to get used to if things don't alter!

Most of those aged 60-79 will get 200 instead of last year's 250 when the payment is made in November or December. Those who are 80 or older will get 300 instead of 400.

The government bewail the fact that people are living longer and they cite this as a pretext for cutting pensions.

Well, cutting the winter fuel allowance is a good way to make sure they die soon enough.

Merry Christmas Millionaire Osborne - don't get cold now.

Only the power of the organised working class stands between the poor and this involuntary euthanasia. Yet too many trade union leaders insist on backing Labour. The half-hearted opposition is hopelessly compromised by their pro-privatisation record in office.

We need a party of the working class. A party to stand up for pensioners not rob them.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 30 November 2011:


Socialist Party news and analysis

30 November shows... We can win!

Con-Dems' autumn statement: 'pain now, pain tomorrow and more pain for longer'

Fight this bosses' charter!

Who cares about home care?

The Tory solution to pensioner poverty?

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Eurozone: Into the abyss?

Egypt: Millions cast their votes in the first post-Mubarak elections

Kazakhstan: Demand Georgii Epshtein's release!


Socialist Party feature

Jarrow March for Jobs 2011


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Brighton Greens fail to fight the cuts

A message from Tommy Sheridan

'Not guilty' - support for Cardiff activists

Stoke Socialist Party's public meeting success

Leeds Against Cuts: defiant mood to fight 'daylight robbery'

Showing racism the red card

London trade unionists support electoral opposition to cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers defend the JIB

Electricians occupy building company HQ

Usdaw: Fighting against the policies of 'social partnership'

Workplace inbrief


The Socialist, reviews & comments

When bankers were good?

Why I joined the Socialist Party


 

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Related links:

Poverty:

triangleAusterity kills

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The politics of food poverty

triangle6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

triangleThem & Us

triangleTory minimum wage hike not enough

George Osborne:

triangleOsborne evades Carlisle socialists

triangleRight wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn

triangleTory splits brought to the surface - Corbyn must go on the attack

Pensioners:

triangleLeeds pensioners occupy BBC to save free TV licenses

triangleStop the latest Tory attack on our pensions

triangleResidents mobilise to stop eviction

Gas:

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

triangleNewham gas workers to strike

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