MSE Poll: What should be means-tested? Free bus passes, the NHS, student loans?



  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 7,496
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    tgroom57 wrote: »
    Passport costs ? What do you propose? I'd like to see a concession on passport costs to the unemployed, because employment agencies won't consider someone unless they have a current passport. It's impossible to find a £75 passport fee when your weekly food budget is £15.

    I do agree with this. My son hasn't been abroad for almost 30 years but still has a current passport because there is absolutely no point in him attending a job interview without one. They won't even proceed with the interview without that passport, let alone offer him a job.
  • Kim_kim
    Kim_kim Posts: 3,725
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    POPPYOSCAR wrote: »
    I think we should do away with child benefit altogether and provide a free school meal to every pupil in place of it.

    That way no child is singled out and no child should be in school hungry.

    Great idea
  • gocurlygirl
    gocurlygirl Posts: 214
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Annhuck wrote: »
    I would be very angry if free bus passes were means tested or withdrawn. I feel as if I’ve been hit by every financial scandal and this would be the last straw. I got my first mortgage in early 70s when mortgage interest rates fluctuate between 10 and 15 percent but as a result I did not have the savings to benefit from high savings rates I took out a personal pension which was miss sold I later took out an AVC with Equitable Life which went bust. I’m 64 but won’t get state pension until I’m 66 and I didn’t have enough time to prepare for it. At the same time savings rates have been rock bottom making it very difficult to make headway with savings to boost income and save for future. If I wasn’t eligible for a free bus pass I’d have another blow to add to the list. This is dire

    Very similar story for me .Paid for nursery and child minders to enable me to work, sometimes it took 3/4 of wage . Same story with mortgage high interest etc ..Now 60 no time to adapt to pension change,had just finished supporting 2 children at university. Not eligible for free bus pass.Due to illness ( severe , lucky to be still here) I have had to leave work.
    Plan a) retire and take pension at 60 , work pension not good but state pension will enable me / us to live a reasonable life
    Plan b) Stay working as can't get get state pension .Enable us to live in some comfort.
    Neither of these things have happened,we have both been ill but are still here even though struggling with health. Feel we have paid for many benefits for others and know many have abused them. I agree with Annhuck that these have been difficult to prepare for and we are paying for past poor decisions not of our own
  • arnoldy
    arnoldy Posts: 505
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    The NHS should NOT be free at the point of use. Everyone should contribute something eg visit to doctor = £1 or token amount. If something is free it can be unvalued and abused.

    That's what the Swiss do through insurance and look what a fantastic service they have - for ALL not just rich.

    Ditto prescriptions, if everyone contributed they would be a £1.

    Ultimately there will have to be some X party solution to NHS, when it was set up it was meant to prevent people falling into destitution if they had a serious illness. Now it does Cosmetic Surgery, gives out free Asprin (Tesco 30p) etc and has gone way beyond original remit.

    The rest of Freebies should be swept away, and especially no 'industry' of means testing, and the savings used to cut Tax/NI for hardworking low paid.
  • Owain_Moneysaver
    Owain_Moneysaver Posts: 11,357
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    There's no third option for "everyone should pay", so the poll is already fundamentally flawed.

    And there's a big difference between Free sight tests / free dental services so why put them together? In Scotland sight tests and dental checkups are free, but not dental treatment.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • XRAT
    XRAT Posts: 239
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    There is no "state" just 'everyone else.'
    The "state" is just an entity which takes from those 'haves' who are honest enough to declare it, and doles it out to the alleged 'have nots' many of whom are merely dishonest enough to not declare their wealth.
    Too many of those who expect the "state" to pay for everything just want the rest of the community to subsidise them, but are too poorly educated to realise. (And they are allowed to vote!)
    'Benefits' are merely public money taken in tax being refunded to the community, often taxpayers.., less a 'state tax.'
    Cut out the red tape and let everyone pay for themselves. Why should those who pay most tax be means tested out of recouping their taxes.
    Yes there should be a safety net, but it should be set at a miserable level which encourages work to get out of it.
    Todays sense of entitlement is set too high, cars, children, houses are not entitlements. Many of those who have them are depriving working people of them by relying on other peoples taxes to pay for them.
    Means testing is too easily cheated to make it a viable system.
  • At 44 I've never had a passport except a 1 year version 20+ years ago. Ive worked for many agencies or companies since I was 16 without this. There are other forms of proof of I'd valid, so confused by the comments about paying for a passport just to get work. Should def be one price for all imo.

    I couldn't afford to attend uni, not could my parents help. I think the current fees system is great - students only pay back once earning a certain amount and then at a low rate. I don't necessarily agree that their parents earnings should be used when accessing how much they can receive as not many will have the extra to pay towards a 2nd home for their child. Happy for my taxes to be used towards a loan but not to pay for an optional education system where many are likely to earn more than I ever could with my educational background.

    Last bit of my rant...pensioners of today paid forward to pensioners of the past. Us younger generations continue to pay forward for generations before us and generations after us pay towards us when our time to retire comes. It's a fair system and pensioners should now be able to enjoy what, if anything, they've saved and to receive the benefits that they helped to pay for the generations above them, including the many women who were housewives (not all women had the option to work years ago for whatever reason) - they contributed to the future generations in other ways imo.
  • clip
    clip Posts: 5 Forumite
    Child benefit is a must for most families if there were only free meals how would the children get on in the holidays
  • clip
    clip Posts: 5 Forumite
    Kim_kim wrote: »
    Great idea

    What about the school holidays ? Teachers are saying the children return to school underweight
  • clip
    clip Posts: 5 Forumite
    tgroom57 wrote: »
    Passport costs ? What do you propose? I'd like to see a concession on passport costs to the unemployed, because employment agencies won't consider someone unless they have a current passport. It's impossible to find a £75 passport fee when your weekly food budget is £15.

    The job centre should pay the passport fee
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