26 June 2012

The generation game

The Tories seem to hate the young; or at least they want the young to hate them.  Hiking university fees, abolishing the educational maintenance allowance, and now depriving under-25s of housing benefit.

By contrast, we old folks are treated with velvet gloves.  The Independent reports:
Benefits for the elderly account for £110bn of the total welfare bill – more than half the £207bn total. The growing gulf between pensioners and the working population has led some in Government to question whether pensioners are getting an unfair deal.
Both Nick Clegg and Iain Duncan Smith have privately questioned whether some benefits for the elderly should be means tested. But yesterday Mr Cameron explicitly ruled out any change of policy, saying he wanted to do the "right thing by those who have done the right thing all their lives".
I do wish politicians would avoid such fatuous remarks.  There is no reason to suppose that the elderly "have done the right thing all their lives" to any greater extent than any other section of the community.  So if Mr Cameron wishes to inflict pain, it would be fairer to spread it around.


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