Christchurch pensioners fear loss of “vital” benefits after next election

Bournemouth Echo: PERKS: Christchurch has the highest number of retired people in the UK PERKS: Christchurch has the highest number of retired people in the UK

FEARS that pensioner benefits could be cut if the Conservatives win the next election are felt nowhere more keenly than in Christchurch.

With the highest percentage of retired people in the UK, residents could be hard-hit if perks like free bus passes, winter heating payments and free TV licences were axed.

Speaking at the weekend, Prime Minister David Cameron said that state pensions would continue to rise by at least 2.5 per cent a year until 2020 if the Conservatives won the next election.

But he would not be drawn on whether or not his party would cut back on benefits that so many retired people rely on. On the streets of Christchurch, it was clear that the benefits – particularly the bus pass and fuel payment – would be missed.

Stan Holland, 91, said: “They’re a help because the pension increase is only a few pounds.

“If they stopped we would probably have to dip into our savings. We get by at the moment, but if we lost all that we would use up our savings.”

Ada Guyett, 81, added: “I lost my husband 35 years ago and if it hadn’t been for my bus pass I wouldn’t be able to afford to go out every day. It’s a lifeline.”

Myfanwy Pierce, 83, said: “It’s very important, the bus pass, to me because I don’t drive.

“The heating allowance we’re very glad of as well. We’d miss it.”

Nesta Holland, 80, added: “I think it would be disastrous. So many people, older people, are able to get out and about with a bus pass, it’s very important.

“Some people just go for a bus ride to get out.”

Len Trembeth, 75, said: “They are very important when it comes to heating. People that are on a basic pension are struggling.”

Commitment to increase

CLLR Denise Jones, elderly people’s champion for Christchurch, said she was pleased that a commitment had been given on pension increases.

She said she had “mixed feelings” on perks like free bus passes and TV licences, but added: “The heating question is one where I do really believe that you do need a payment. For a lot of elderly people it’s sometimes a distinction between heating and eating.”

John Mather, from Highcliffe Residents’ Association, said: “David Cameron seems to be looking after the retired person’s position and I know many people tend to say it’s nice to get these things but if we’re all saving that’s one way that we can look at it.

“We’re pretty fortunate down here to be in a part of the UK that’s fairly upmarket, but for people who are genuinely hard-up you can see it.”

Comments (17)

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12:14pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Jim_Springbourne says...

Thats what happens when you vote chumps like Chope in.
Thats what happens when you vote chumps like Chope in. Jim_Springbourne

12:37pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Hessenford says...

Stan Holland said,“If they stopped we would probably have to dip into our savings. We get by at the moment, but if we lost all that we would use up our savings.”
Isn't this what you saved all your life for, so that you could afford to go where you want.
Nesta Holland, 80, added: “I think it would be disastrous. So many people, older people, are able to get out and about with a bus pass, it’s very important.
Good God, some pensioners are better off than people who are working and they don't get free bus passes.
Bus passes should be directed at people who either don't drive any more or who cant drive any more, heating allowance should be means tested, why should millionaires get heating allowances, why should pensioners who have more income that those who are working get heating allowances, benefits in this country are way out of hand.
On the other hand all those who are moaning on hear are the very people who have kept the Tories in power in Christchurch, your choice now live with it.
Stan Holland said,“If they stopped we would probably have to dip into our savings. We get by at the moment, but if we lost all that we would use up our savings.” Isn't this what you saved all your life for, so that you could afford to go where you want. Nesta Holland, 80, added: “I think it would be disastrous. So many people, older people, are able to get out and about with a bus pass, it’s very important. Good God, some pensioners are better off than people who are working and they don't get free bus passes. Bus passes should be directed at people who either don't drive any more or who cant drive any more, heating allowance should be means tested, why should millionaires get heating allowances, why should pensioners who have more income that those who are working get heating allowances, benefits in this country are way out of hand. On the other hand all those who are moaning on hear are the very people who have kept the Tories in power in Christchurch, your choice now live with it. Hessenford

12:38pm Thu 9 Jan 14

hamworthygarden says...

I think the Government should make it clear what they propose to do as regards the benefits for the elderly, they are the group who had to work hard for a living without handouts. I will miss the bus pass if it goes it makes life so much easier especially for hospital visits etc where parking is difficult and expensive. I am afraid it will also mean that a lot of elderly people who should not be driving will continue because they cannot afford the bus fares. The fares are excessive I enquired recently about a short journey I wanted to take with my 3 grandchildren and it was so high that I could afford the petrol and parking twice over in my car for the cost of the bus.
I think the Government should make it clear what they propose to do as regards the benefits for the elderly, they are the group who had to work hard for a living without handouts. I will miss the bus pass if it goes it makes life so much easier especially for hospital visits etc where parking is difficult and expensive. I am afraid it will also mean that a lot of elderly people who should not be driving will continue because they cannot afford the bus fares. The fares are excessive I enquired recently about a short journey I wanted to take with my 3 grandchildren and it was so high that I could afford the petrol and parking twice over in my car for the cost of the bus. hamworthygarden

1:12pm Thu 9 Jan 14

BmthNewshound says...

“If they stopped we would probably have to dip into our savings. We get by at the moment, but if we lost all that we would use up our savings.” ..... Think yourself lucky you have savings. Many younger people struggle to get by and can't afford to save for their old age.
.
Retired people today are simply never satisfied. They are the wealthiest generation of pensioners this country has ever seen and are far better off than their children and grandchildren will be when they retire despite the fact that they will have to work until they are older. The triple lock on pensions means that whilst many workers have not had a pay rise for several years pensions have continued to rise year on year. Many of todays retired people belonged to final salary pension schemes which were often heavily subsidised by employers, live in houses which have significantly appreciated in value. But still they moan about how hard up they are.
.
My mum is an OAP, she's comfortable but by no mean wealthy She doesn't think that its right that she should get free bus travel, or a free tv licence, when she see's her grand-daughter and partner having to do take on more than one job each to support their family.
.
“If they stopped we would probably have to dip into our savings. We get by at the moment, but if we lost all that we would use up our savings.” ..... Think yourself lucky you have savings. Many younger people struggle to get by and can't afford to save for their old age. . Retired people today are simply never satisfied. They are the wealthiest generation of pensioners this country has ever seen and are far better off than their children and grandchildren will be when they retire despite the fact that they will have to work until they are older. The triple lock on pensions means that whilst many workers have not had a pay rise for several years pensions have continued to rise year on year. Many of todays retired people belonged to final salary pension schemes which were often heavily subsidised by employers, live in houses which have significantly appreciated in value. But still they moan about how hard up they are. . My mum is an OAP, she's comfortable but by no mean wealthy She doesn't think that its right that she should get free bus travel, or a free tv licence, when she see's her grand-daughter and partner having to do take on more than one job each to support their family. . BmthNewshound

1:32pm Thu 9 Jan 14

dylexic bobert says...

Please don't take away the bus pass!there's 2 many of the old doodlies pottering about at 20 miles an hour as it is.We want less OAPs clogging up the roads and removal of the bus pass ain't gonna help that.In fact I would suggest it's compulsory for them to take the bus.Also why is there no re test for people when they get to 65?I would like to see their first pension payment to go straight to the DVLA to pay for a retest or some refresher course.
Please don't take away the bus pass!there's 2 many of the old doodlies pottering about at 20 miles an hour as it is.We want less OAPs clogging up the roads and removal of the bus pass ain't gonna help that.In fact I would suggest it's compulsory for them to take the bus.Also why is there no re test for people when they get to 65?I would like to see their first pension payment to go straight to the DVLA to pay for a retest or some refresher course. dylexic bobert

1:32pm Thu 9 Jan 14

trolley says...

Is this some sort of joke?pensioners in Christchurch vote tory and on the whole live in properties young people could only dream of ,if you don't like it sell up and move to a cheaper area,pensioners these days have never been so wealthy,especially the majority in christchurch
Is this some sort of joke?pensioners in Christchurch vote tory and on the whole live in properties young people could only dream of ,if you don't like it sell up and move to a cheaper area,pensioners these days have never been so wealthy,especially the majority in christchurch trolley

3:32pm Thu 9 Jan 14

nothingtofear says...

Given that Christchurch is one of the safest Tory seats in the UK it's a bit rich that the very people who voted for them have now got the brass neck to complain.
Given that Christchurch is one of the safest Tory seats in the UK it's a bit rich that the very people who voted for them have now got the brass neck to complain. nothingtofear

5:57pm Thu 9 Jan 14

KLH says...

nothingtofear wrote:
Given that Christchurch is one of the safest Tory seats in the UK it's a bit rich that the very people who voted for them have now got the brass neck to complain.
Just don't vote for them again. Even if you ALWAYS vote Tory, don't this time, this lot don't give a monkeys for anyone except themselves and their rich buddies. When they can't squeeze any more out of the poorer working class/welfare claimants they'll start on the very people that put them where they are! Any seasoned Tory voters - abstain or vote for anyone else but this bunch of out of touch posh boys.
[quote][p][bold]nothingtofear[/bold] wrote: Given that Christchurch is one of the safest Tory seats in the UK it's a bit rich that the very people who voted for them have now got the brass neck to complain.[/p][/quote]Just don't vote for them again. Even if you ALWAYS vote Tory, don't this time, this lot don't give a monkeys for anyone except themselves and their rich buddies. When they can't squeeze any more out of the poorer working class/welfare claimants they'll start on the very people that put them where they are! Any seasoned Tory voters - abstain or vote for anyone else but this bunch of out of touch posh boys. KLH

6:16pm Thu 9 Jan 14

60plus says...

Perhaps we should be like Ireland they have pass's that cover both bus and train anytime and their pension is a lot more than Britain ,and we help them,also they pay no rates or water bills.
Perhaps we should be like Ireland they have pass's that cover both bus and train anytime and their pension is a lot more than Britain ,and we help them,also they pay no rates or water bills. 60plus

6:22pm Thu 9 Jan 14

yasinac says...

I don't get why the people commenting have such disdain for pensioners with savings! I also don't see why they shouldn't retain bus passes, heating grants and free tv licenses. Most of this generation worked and saved hard and took part actively in a world war. They coped with rationing, lost loved ones and family members.
Our older people should be respected, maybe if you have a problem with the older generation living here YOU should move!
Such disrespect, if we don't support our older generations now our future will be bleak too.
I don't get why the people commenting have such disdain for pensioners with savings! I also don't see why they shouldn't retain bus passes, heating grants and free tv licenses. Most of this generation worked and saved hard and took part actively in a world war. They coped with rationing, lost loved ones and family members. Our older people should be respected, maybe if you have a problem with the older generation living here YOU should move! Such disrespect, if we don't support our older generations now our future will be bleak too. yasinac

6:40pm Thu 9 Jan 14

nothingtofear says...

KLH wrote:
nothingtofear wrote:
Given that Christchurch is one of the safest Tory seats in the UK it's a bit rich that the very people who voted for them have now got the brass neck to complain.
Just don't vote for them again. Even if you ALWAYS vote Tory, don't this time, this lot don't give a monkeys for anyone except themselves and their rich buddies. When they can't squeeze any more out of the poorer working class/welfare claimants they'll start on the very people that put them where they are! Any seasoned Tory voters - abstain or vote for anyone else but this bunch of out of touch posh boys.
I've never voted Tory but I will say that for the first time in my life, I have no idea who I will be voting for in the next General Election although I will definitely vote.
[quote][p][bold]KLH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nothingtofear[/bold] wrote: Given that Christchurch is one of the safest Tory seats in the UK it's a bit rich that the very people who voted for them have now got the brass neck to complain.[/p][/quote]Just don't vote for them again. Even if you ALWAYS vote Tory, don't this time, this lot don't give a monkeys for anyone except themselves and their rich buddies. When they can't squeeze any more out of the poorer working class/welfare claimants they'll start on the very people that put them where they are! Any seasoned Tory voters - abstain or vote for anyone else but this bunch of out of touch posh boys.[/p][/quote]I've never voted Tory but I will say that for the first time in my life, I have no idea who I will be voting for in the next General Election although I will definitely vote. nothingtofear

7:36pm Thu 9 Jan 14

fireflier says...

One thing you can be sure of with the Tories.....whatever they say about what they will do for everyone.....in the end they don't give a monkey's truck about the people ....just so long as they can look after themselves and keep the 'fat flowing into their own trough.'

Next election...who to vote for ?????? Hmmmm????
One thing you can be sure of with the Tories.....whatever they say about what they will do for everyone.....in the end they don't give a monkey's truck about the people ....just so long as they can look after themselves and keep the 'fat flowing into their own trough.' Next election...who to vote for ?????? Hmmmm???? fireflier

8:29pm Thu 9 Jan 14

pete woodley says...

What about the poor people in Ferndown,Highcliffe,
and Broadstone.
What about the poor people in Ferndown,Highcliffe, and Broadstone. pete woodley

10:31pm Thu 9 Jan 14

politicaltrainspotter says...

Fact is vote all the tories out. and don't be fooled by sweetheart promises and budgets.Look at what they did in London today close ten fire stations.Yet, the debate on their 11 per cent pay rise has gone quiet.
Fact is vote all the tories out. and don't be fooled by sweetheart promises and budgets.Look at what they did in London today close ten fire stations.Yet, the debate on their 11 per cent pay rise has gone quiet. politicaltrainspotter

2:55am Fri 10 Jan 14

misplacedspaniard says...

hamworthygarden wrote:
I think the Government should make it clear what they propose to do as regards the benefits for the elderly, they are the group who had to work hard for a living without handouts. I will miss the bus pass if it goes it makes life so much easier especially for hospital visits etc where parking is difficult and expensive. I am afraid it will also mean that a lot of elderly people who should not be driving will continue because they cannot afford the bus fares. The fares are excessive I enquired recently about a short journey I wanted to take with my 3 grandchildren and it was so high that I could afford the petrol and parking twice over in my car for the cost of the bus.
The reason the fares are excessive is because of the free oap bus passes. Paying passengers pay over the odds for their travel so that they bus company can still make a profit.

If everyone paid it would work out cheaper.

Think yourself lucky you've got a free bus pass. A lot of people won't live long enough to get one.

As for free prescriptions for over 60's don't even get me started on that one......
[quote][p][bold]hamworthygarden[/bold] wrote: I think the Government should make it clear what they propose to do as regards the benefits for the elderly, they are the group who had to work hard for a living without handouts. I will miss the bus pass if it goes it makes life so much easier especially for hospital visits etc where parking is difficult and expensive. I am afraid it will also mean that a lot of elderly people who should not be driving will continue because they cannot afford the bus fares. The fares are excessive I enquired recently about a short journey I wanted to take with my 3 grandchildren and it was so high that I could afford the petrol and parking twice over in my car for the cost of the bus.[/p][/quote]The reason the fares are excessive is because of the free oap bus passes. Paying passengers pay over the odds for their travel so that they bus company can still make a profit. If everyone paid it would work out cheaper. Think yourself lucky you've got a free bus pass. A lot of people won't live long enough to get one. As for free prescriptions for over 60's don't even get me started on that one...... misplacedspaniard

2:59am Fri 10 Jan 14

misplacedspaniard says...

BmthNewshound wrote:
“If they stopped we would probably have to dip into our savings. We get by at the moment, but if we lost all that we would use up our savings.” ..... Think yourself lucky you have savings. Many younger people struggle to get by and can't afford to save for their old age.
.
Retired people today are simply never satisfied. They are the wealthiest generation of pensioners this country has ever seen and are far better off than their children and grandchildren will be when they retire despite the fact that they will have to work until they are older. The triple lock on pensions means that whilst many workers have not had a pay rise for several years pensions have continued to rise year on year. Many of todays retired people belonged to final salary pension schemes which were often heavily subsidised by employers, live in houses which have significantly appreciated in value. But still they moan about how hard up they are.
.
My mum is an OAP, she's comfortable but by no mean wealthy She doesn't think that its right that she should get free bus travel, or a free tv licence, when she see's her grand-daughter and partner having to do take on more than one job each to support their family.
.
Yep amen to that. My work recently ditched our final salary pension scheme. We have a mortgage but no value on our property. A lot of my friends cannot even get on the property ladder no matter how hard they save. Yet these pensioners are banging on about how hard done by they are.

Query; the bus pass is valid from 9.30am until 11pm mon-fri. Why do pensioners feel the need to try and get on the bus just before 9.30 and why do they all come out at this time?????
[quote][p][bold]BmthNewshound[/bold] wrote: “If they stopped we would probably have to dip into our savings. We get by at the moment, but if we lost all that we would use up our savings.” ..... Think yourself lucky you have savings. Many younger people struggle to get by and can't afford to save for their old age. . Retired people today are simply never satisfied. They are the wealthiest generation of pensioners this country has ever seen and are far better off than their children and grandchildren will be when they retire despite the fact that they will have to work until they are older. The triple lock on pensions means that whilst many workers have not had a pay rise for several years pensions have continued to rise year on year. Many of todays retired people belonged to final salary pension schemes which were often heavily subsidised by employers, live in houses which have significantly appreciated in value. But still they moan about how hard up they are. . My mum is an OAP, she's comfortable but by no mean wealthy She doesn't think that its right that she should get free bus travel, or a free tv licence, when she see's her grand-daughter and partner having to do take on more than one job each to support their family. .[/p][/quote]Yep amen to that. My work recently ditched our final salary pension scheme. We have a mortgage but no value on our property. A lot of my friends cannot even get on the property ladder no matter how hard they save. Yet these pensioners are banging on about how hard done by they are. Query; the bus pass is valid from 9.30am until 11pm mon-fri. Why do pensioners feel the need to try and get on the bus just before 9.30 and why do they all come out at this time????? misplacedspaniard

3:08am Fri 10 Jan 14

misplacedspaniard says...

yasinac wrote:
I don't get why the people commenting have such disdain for pensioners with savings! I also don't see why they shouldn't retain bus passes, heating grants and free tv licenses. Most of this generation worked and saved hard and took part actively in a world war. They coped with rationing, lost loved ones and family members.
Our older people should be respected, maybe if you have a problem with the older generation living here YOU should move!
Such disrespect, if we don't support our older generations now our future will be bleak too.
Yep and most of the younger generation are working and saving hard yet will have no where near the kind of lifestyle in retirement that pensioners are afforded today.

Pensions are rubbish. House prices are astronomical. I'm a working mother and regularly do 13 hour days. I did have a final salary pension but that's recently been stopped by my employers. I do have a mortgage but no value on the property despite the fact I've lived here for 7 years. So our family of 4 is squeezed into a two bedroomed flat not gaining any value. A lot of my friends cannot even get on the property ladder thanks to high deposits required.

So excuse us if we feel more then bitter whilst you complain about your 'lifestyle'

You can afford to move. We can't.
[quote][p][bold]yasinac[/bold] wrote: I don't get why the people commenting have such disdain for pensioners with savings! I also don't see why they shouldn't retain bus passes, heating grants and free tv licenses. Most of this generation worked and saved hard and took part actively in a world war. They coped with rationing, lost loved ones and family members. Our older people should be respected, maybe if you have a problem with the older generation living here YOU should move! Such disrespect, if we don't support our older generations now our future will be bleak too.[/p][/quote]Yep and most of the younger generation are working and saving hard yet will have no where near the kind of lifestyle in retirement that pensioners are afforded today. Pensions are rubbish. House prices are astronomical. I'm a working mother and regularly do 13 hour days. I did have a final salary pension but that's recently been stopped by my employers. I do have a mortgage but no value on the property despite the fact I've lived here for 7 years. So our family of 4 is squeezed into a two bedroomed flat not gaining any value. A lot of my friends cannot even get on the property ladder thanks to high deposits required. So excuse us if we feel more then bitter whilst you complain about your 'lifestyle' You can afford to move. We can't. misplacedspaniard

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