Go to the matresses …

A vicious and pernicious programme is under way in Britain to punish older people for their common sense.

The notion has somehow taken hold that oldsters who have scrimped and saved all their lives to achieve a financial cushion for their old age should have that cushion forcibly removed. Why? Because today’s younger Britons, apparently, are a hopeless bunch who can’t earn, can’t save and won’t learn to do either.

This financial grab is being expressed in a number of ways. First, a ‘mansion tax’ on every home over the value of £2 million ($3 million) is proposed. The threshold was quickly reduced to half that amount, when it was discovered that the lower the threshold, the more money there would be for the taking. This would be in addition to the seven percent stamp duty (i.e. tax) already levied on the purchase of such homes.

Various financial stimuli for older people, including free transportation and a winter fuel allowance, will be rescinded if the younger set has its way. The logic is: I can’t be bothered to earn it, so why should anyone else have it?

Savers are already being punished by ridiculously low interest rates, set now to run for at least five more years, according to the new Canadian head of the Bank of England, who is clearly in awe of Alan Greenspan and his success in savaging older people financially.

Prudence and patience require time. Many of today’s younger people, schooled on instant access to the web, won’t wait for anything and don’t see why they should. That old guy next door has some savings. Why don’t I just take his?

The arrogance of youth and its concomitant stupidity are nothing new, but government complicity is. Success has always been distrusted in Britain, since it can only be achieved by the few.

It seems insane that I would be proposing this, but if your government is intent on stealing your savings, it might make sense to keep at least some of your money off the grid. Cash under the mattress has never been a good idea until now. If you’re thinking about it, invest in some serious front-door-locking equipment too. Vicious dogs (which I detest) and machine guns might be in order. A bunker mentality certainly is.

Old age pensions have failed to keep up with inflation for most of the past 30 years, placing the majority of British pensioners close to, or below, the poverty line. (Government Ministers’ pensions, of course, are guaranteed and rise well above inflation annually.)

Kleptocracies, generally, don’t last that long, which will be of little comfort to older people who may not live long enough to see them off. It is for this reason that many older people in Britain are considering voting for UKIP, an extremist party that proposes abandoning the EU and reinstating some of what once made Britain such a delightful place to live. The major political parties will ignore this upstart at their peril.

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