Pensioners should pay more tax

Tax burden

Pensioners should pay more tax to "share the pain of deficit reduction", according to a leading think tank.   

Older people are now in the top half of the UK earners and have considerable disposable income so they should pay tax at the same rate as younger people, says a report by the Fabian Society.    

Andrew Harrop, the report's author, says older people today are often on middle incomes – neither wealthy nor poor – and this has "profound implications" on the way society works, given young people are struggling to get on the housing ladder.   

"In public policy and deficit reduction measures, ministers should adopt a presumption of equality across age groups," he writes.   

"In financial terms alone older people are no longer distinct ,and blanket policies favouring them should be reviewed."  

As well as recommending pensioners' taxes be increased, the Fabian Society says benefits such as the winter fuel allowance should be reassessed and the government should scrap its "triple-lock", which keeps pensions rising with the rate of inflation as working-age incomes fall in real terms.   

Limited options

Michelle Mitchell, the Age UK director general, said: "The Fabian Society is right to point out that there has been significant progress in tackling pensioner poverty in recent years. But there are still 1.7 million pensioners living in poverty today, while a further 1.1 million have incomes only just above the poverty line.  

"It can be difficult for older people to change their financial plans as their options are likely to be very limited.

They have also contributed national insurance payments throughout their working lives to receive in return a state pension that ensures a financial safety net but little more."

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I am not retired yet but hope to in 8 months time when i will be 60.This comment made me so mad, I have worked full time since i was 17 and will have paid over and above my national insurance.Firstly i am told at the age of 57 that i now have to work to 65 to recieve my state pension loosing approx  £25000 plus all the other benifits.With the new flat rate pension i believe i loose all the serps i have paid into and now they want to take more. Most people of my generation have worked full time since they were  17 or less unlike this generation who work part time or dont start until they 26.Lave the pensioner alone.They have worked very hard all their lives and in alot of cases are subsituting their children and granchildren. 

Because of the bank's irresponsible behaviour, which led to the financial crash, and  the previous government's inability to run this country on a responsible level, it has led my wife and I to take desperate measures. We thought we were doing the right thing by protecting our nest-egg, and stopping the erosion of our capital, we bought a holiday lodge in which we have lived for three years. 
We are on a limited, joint, pension of £1200 a month, for which we pay tax at the same rate, the basic rate, as anyone else on that rate, whether old, or YOUNG. 
Out of this, apart from our weekly food bill, which takes most of my wife's pension, £400, we have to pay £200, monthly for the site rent, council tax at £90 and the usual running expenses for our small car.  Utility bills, lodge insurance and and normal living expenses, including mobile phones, we don't have a land line, and normal living expenses takes nearly all of the remainder. We still have to dip into our capital. Eating out is very rare. Perhaps Mr Andrew Harrop would like to get in touch to discuss how we can manage to pay more tax. And when all our spare money is gone, we only have £6000 left, we will then be a burden on the state, because we won't have enough income to support ourselves. 
Grow up Mr Harrop. 
With regards
john Sullivan 

Much of the cash held by banks and building societies has been placed there by older people. The interest they receive is derisory and to further reduce the interest by additional taxation is totally unacceptable.

Well the Hampstead /Islington dinner party set have spoken.   This bloke is talking tosh.  The Fabian Society is straight out of the 19th century.   Fellow pensioners, don't take what this fool says to heart.   Because the Labour government messed so much up and the Coalition are going down the same road,  pensioners have become the whipping boys and girls of society. I have been a tax payer since 1965 as have many of us and they seem to think that we are to blame for society's ills.   Why doesn't he start on the bankers?   Why? Pensioners are an easy target that's why?

ROGER:  What planet does this clown come from???? I started working at aged 16 and retired at 65 paying tax and national insurance all my life. I didn't ask for help to get onto the property ladder....we saved what we could and cut our cloth accordingly and, as with most pensioners, still do. These days there are too many people expecting something for nothing. It is not pensioners who are the problem. My generation was born during  the war..things were tough for many a year..we worked hard to help the country and ourselves.

I never read so much rubbish in my life!
The opinion of the 'think tank' takes no account of the facts that:
pensioners who have worked all their working lives (and some are still working) paid both tax and national insurance throughout those working lives;
struggled fifty, forty, maybe thirty years ago to buy their own houses when mortgage interest was as high as 15% for several years;
maybe had two jobs to achieve the things that they wanted and to provide the kind of lives that they wanted for their families;
now 'enjoy' one of the lowest State pensions in the western world; and
where they are not working (i.e., where they have retired) cannot control their levels of income.
For these reasons (and many others too numerous to list here) pensioners should be paying significantly less tax, not more!

It is odd, googling the Fabian Society, it definitely says they are a left wing think tank. Perhaps they need to rethink their ideas, this is pure Right wing philosophy.
Personally I paid into a pension scheme from the day I started work to the day I left. My idea was to get
1 A decent work related pension
2 Savings to give me some backup
I was doubtful about the value of the state pension from the time Thatcher set about destorying it so didn't include it in my calculations.
Now I have retired. I have a reasonable work pension even if it not icnreasing as fast as inflation, my savings pay a derisory rate of interest and thes tate pension is around £80 less than it should have been. And now Camoron has INCREASED my taxation and set about reducing my pension.
I despair, I honestly do. The winter fuel allowance etc are merely forlorn attempts to avoid making the state pension a decent sum and to paper over the massive cracks. The so-called rich pensioner is basically Capital Rich and Income Poor. Something that needs to be thought about.

Fabian Society says it all - socialists get us in this predicament having spent money like lunatics and then expect pensioners who have worked tirelessly for their pension to cough up and pay to get the country out of the mire. Grow up!!!

Here we go again, take from the pensioners, who, as several people are here say have paid into the system for 50 years. No-one has given us anything for nothing. I have always saved and paid my own way, never claiming any benefits and not spending money that I didn't have which caused the banking crisis in the first place. I also help out my grandchildren where necessary which I couldn't do if I hadn't paid into my private pension for 40 years too! Leave us alone Fabian Society!

The trouble with idiots like the 'think tank' Fabian Society is that they don't!
They don't think!!
They come up with cretinous ideas and just do not bother to think about the sense and implications of what they are proposing!!
If they really want a sensible suggestion then how about this - "All senior officers of Trades Unions should be paid no more than the average wage of their union Members, and any payment in excess of that figure should be taxed at 75%.
Also, all benefits in kind (e.g. Union owned luxury hotel and training accommodation) should be taxable at the same rate for their full value, or provided at the exact same tarriff to all Members of their Union."

Let's see the Fabian Society propose that to the equally left-wing union bosses!!

I think the best bet for these bunch of twisted thinkers, is to be run over by a tank.

I agfree with the eroding and hopefully eventual removal of the Granny Tax allowance.
It is an administative nightmare for HMRC so causes extra jobs / work for little gain.
When it has gone I can get on with trying to get my savings working harder generating more income for me and as a by-product probably more tax for the revenue.

Perhaps the Fabian society could apply their thinking to the following scenario. My partner is retired and still pays tax at 40% because he has a job related pension into which he paid all his working life. He has no complaints about this. However he like many other pensioners is involved in a great deal of unpaid voluntary work. One particular small charity is unable to pay him expenses but relies upon his professional expertise which requires him to keep up his registration at his own expense. When he worked he could off set this against tax. Now because he has no "earned income" the Inland Revenue will not allow him to do so, despite the fact that he still pays higher rate tax.
I think that the next step should be that all pensioners so penalised withdraw their unpaid labour.

This is typical government tatics, fist announce bad news using a so called 'think tank', then if the reaction is not too bad, make it policy.
To say pensioners have not been effected by austerity is rubbish, to mention a few:
Removal of the age related tax code increase at 65 before the new pension scheme is introduced.
Increase in pensionable age, particularly for women.
Tying increases in the state pension to CPI rather than the historic RPI, which the government states will save billions. Then forcing employers to do the same with inflation proved pension schemes.
Stopping women inheriting their husbands  NI contribution, as part of the Flat Rate Pension which is marketed as 'Good for women' when this move could  completely remove some womens pension entitlement! 
Also pensioners have been particularly bady hit by historically low interest rates.
I could go on, but the government must remember that  pensioners are more likely to vote than any other population group! roll on 2015.

I agree with most of the comments -why doesnt the Goverment-any - Tax the Hooligan Bankers and  give them a spell "inside"???,what about Amazon, Google and other professional Tax Dodgers; the Hooligan Bankers Caused the financial Crisis-not only in this Country.
The mortgage Rate is incredbly low for  younger people- a BIG  SAVING for them...we dont benefit from that -quite the opposite-  the Interest rates, as a result,  for most of us retired ones, scraping by, is well below inflation and near to zero in many cases.
Us Pensioners have got our own financial difficulties to Manage 
Think Again and this time consider ALL aspects!!

I agree with most of the comments -why doesnt the Goverment-any - Tax the Hooligan Bankers and  give them a spell "inside"???,what about Amazon, Google and other professional Tax Dodgers; the Hooligan Bankers Caused the financial Crisis-not only in this Country.
The mortgage Rate is incredbly low for  younger people- a BIG  SAVING for them...we dont benefit from that -quite the opposite-  the Interest rates, as a result,  for most of us retired ones, scraping by, is well below inflation and near to zero in many cases.
Us Pensioners have got our own financial difficulties to Manage 
Think Again and this time consider ALL aspects!!

Like so many who have commented, most Pensioners are not WELL off, but are of an age where we have worked for around 50years paying Taxes and N I contibutions in excess of what are now required for little benefit, yet those who have contibuted very little or spent spent spent can claim help and not face loosing what they have never saved, unlike the majority of honest , formely hard working pensioners, help us not hound us.

Andrew Harrop and his Fabian Society are a load of rubbish and I bet he earns more than the pension I receive and yet will have paid only a fraction of the taxes and insurance that I have during my working life of 62 years.  I still pay £20 a month in tax on a very small company pension. 

I am certainly NOT in the top half of earners when it comes to my modest company pension, so I suggest the 'Think Tank' go take a running jump and stop picking on those of us who have worked hard all our working life and paid our taxes religously throughout that time.

I will be happy to follow the example set by MP's themselves.....when they take a cut in their 'featherbed' pensions!

Fabian is an obsessive group of extreme hard Lefties, eg. Michael Foot, W Benn, kinnock etc. In other words, a bunch of do nothing who think out the most ludicrous ideas to wreck our country in the name of Socialism. Labour politicians are involved with this crazy bunch - Balls counts on them.

I bet Harrop has a gold plated pension. I have written to him in no uncertain words of what I think of his suggestion. I will be interested to see if he replies. Penaioners have been hit hard over the past five years with low interest rates etc and the value of their savings is being eaten away by inflation. There are several of these so called think tanks the Intergenaration foundation, Fabian Society, The Resolution foundation and probably many more who's sole aim seems to be to penalise and lobby MP's for reductions in benefits to pensioners.
I thought there were laws made recently on age discrimination. The most repugnant seems to be the intergeneration foundation who according the their manifesto want to cut all benefits and even reduce health care to pensioners. I wonder how they get their funding. They are registered charities and obviously pay no tax.
I am considering reporting them to the charities commission as I believe they should not have charitable status when their sole aim is to persecute the elderly.

The Intergeneration Foundation are the vile think tank who, a few months ago, suggested that pensioner should be taxed out of their homes, if they had a spare bedroom.

This man is obviously a "plant" from the Tory party. The Fabians are regarded as soft left liberals by those in the Labour Party. There is nothing left about these comments. The Fabian Society should think carefully about their position on this and this character in particular.

Yep! I'm with you. 60 in 7 months and suddenly I'm not getting my pension till I'm 65. They've just stolen £25000+ without as much as a by your leave. Also losing out on the flat rate pension change and getting really fed up hearing all this sniping at pensioners. Perhaps the people making these remarks live in a world that's full of wealthy retired mates who had endless bonuses, golden handshakes and lots of little undemanding hobby jobs being on the Board of numerous companies? I think they've stung us enough. Now how do we get them to change the laws to get the really big bucks back from all those big time tax avoiders? And maybe the government could run a big nationwide online forum where we could all suggest ten ways they could stop wasting huge chunks of money without resorting to mugging the nation's grannies!

First Fabian Society then IDS, totally ignoring the many millions of pensioners who HAVE saved over their working lifetimes in order to preserve a worry free retirement. Like many others here I have saved not and spent foolishly so surely it is priorities in Government spending that should be considered ? It is their  mistakes not ours that cause this financial situation, yet they  do all they con to preserve their OWN lifestyles at our expense. Cherrys comment above "stop wasting huge chunks of money without resorting to mugging the nation's grannies!" sums up the thoughts of many! To penalise the elderly for having the good sense to try and safeguard their savings tells me that we have the wrong people in power!

There have been a couple of comments about the Female of the species "losing out" on up to £25,000 because they have to wait until 65. I have never understood why women should get about 5 grand a year from age 60 to 65 when they probably paid less tax and less national insurance in earlier years than their male counterparts. There is Nothing wrong with Equality and equalisation on State Pension Age - It is absolutetly necessary.

If we need to reduce the welfare bill then Benefits should be restricted to 2 Children in a Family. It cannot be implemented immediately for obvious reasons. But there seems no willingness to say that there should be restrictions in the Support Parents can expect from the state. This Change would need a years notice to ensure it didn't apply to any women who were already pregnant. If Religious Groups object then let them support the extra children. It would teach / enforce responsibility of only having the children you can afford to bring up. Any extra children would be entitled to state education and Helath care but no cash welfare benefits for extra kids.