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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Who would be queen?

What a day for old age pensioners living in big houses.  First of all the BBC pick up on your conversations with the Home Secretary and splash them all over the airwaves.  Then the next thing you know, some washed up politician from a has been party masquerading under the title of Deputy Prime Minister (even though one had no say in the matter) announces that if he has his way, one would lose one's bus pass, winter fuel allowance and free TV licence.

Now I don't want to overstate the obvious, but it is clear that like most Lib Dem proposals, this hasn't been though through and would actually work.  let's give it the thought tat it lacks:

1. How many mansion dwellers have a bus pass? Probably none or as near as next to none as would make little difference

2.  If you live in a £1m mansion, and you are aged over 80, it probably costs a small fortune to heat the place, and the winter fuel allowance would be dwarved by the VAT receipts the government makes on the oil or gas fuel.

3. Cutting the free TV licence would just be churlish.  For the over-75's it makes no difference.  Strictly they need a licence which is available free of charge, but have you ever heard of an over-75 year old being prosecuted for not having a TV licence.  And would TV Licensing seriously prosecute on the basis of the valuation of somebody's assets?  Sounds doubtful  If the government wants to cut the cost of TV licenses for the over 75's they would make more money by reclaiming the cost paid to the BBC of the unexpired portion of the licenses given by the government to the over 75s when they die part way through the term of the licence.

It seems that the Lib Dems are tapping into the last remaining permissible form of discrimination, against the rich, or to put it more succinctly, envy.  We don't means test use of the NHS, roads or schools and quite right too.  Universal services and benefits mean just that.  Either we all get them, or no-one does.

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