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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Karl
    • By MSE Karl 23rd Jul 19, 4:49 PM
    • 143Posts
    • 46Thanks
    MSE Karl
    MSE Poll: What should be means-tested? Free bus passes, the NHS, student loans?
    • #1
    • 23rd Jul 19, 4:49 PM
    MSE Poll: What should be means-tested? Free bus passes, the NHS, student loans? 23rd Jul 19 at 4:49 PM
    Poll started 23 July 2019
    Which of the following allowances and entitlements do you think should be means-tested based on your income/wealth Ė in other words the richest donít get it or get less. And which do you think everyone should get regardless?

    Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below.

    If you haven't already, join the forum to reply.

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • Annhuck
    • By Annhuck 23rd Jul 19, 11:28 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Annhuck
    • #2
    • 23rd Jul 19, 11:28 PM
    Free bus pass
    • #2
    • 23rd Jul 19, 11:28 PM
    I would be very angry if free bus passes were means tested or withdrawn. I feel as if Iíve 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. Iím 64 but wonít get state pension until Iím 66 and I didnít 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 wasnít eligible for a free bus pass Iíd have another blow to add to the list. This is dire
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 24th Jul 19, 12:37 AM
    • 12,996 Posts
    • 29,048 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    • #3
    • 24th Jul 19, 12:37 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Jul 19, 12:37 AM
    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.
    • jnm21
    • By jnm21 24th Jul 19, 5:07 AM
    • 652 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    jnm21
    • #4
    • 24th Jul 19, 5:07 AM
    • #4
    • 24th Jul 19, 5:07 AM
    There is a missing option - remove all together! Before I explain, I must point out that I am certain that I will never be a higher rate tax payer.

    Many of the benefits should be scrapped - child benefit for one - we don't need to encourage people to have kids. Free museum access - I never knew this existed.

    That said, I generally say free to all - why should someone who has worked all their life, lived frugally & saved miss out while a workshy career benefits abuser (not those who genuinely need benefits, but those who choose not to work) gets everything? Why should a high earner who has paid many times more taxes (income tax, NI, VAT, Road Tax, duties, student 'loan', etc.) & is more likely not to have availed of public services having gone privately for health care, gyms/leisure centres, etc. miss out on free bus passes (which if they helped convince those in failing health to give up driving would make us all safer) & TV licences?

    Don't get me started on state pensions - I reckon if I ever get one I will be 72 to 78 & I really mean IF I get one.
    • Tesboy
    • By Tesboy 24th Jul 19, 7:30 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Tesboy
    • #5
    • 24th Jul 19, 7:30 AM
    It's all wrong
    • #5
    • 24th Jul 19, 7:30 AM
    Pensioners, people in work or out of work (provided they're trying their best to work etc) should get a SINGLE state benefit that gives them enough to reasonably live on. So if they're working but earning less than this, there should be a SINGLE top up to the reasonable level.


    The problem with all these individual benefits is that they have to be "managed" if they're not free for all and that costs!


    To achieve this, where individuals need extra help eg Disabled needing home care or a modified home or appropriate transport, this should be provided free as the SINGLE state benefit would not expect to cover such costs.



    There will be other examples where things needed to be provided free because of special circumstances but they should be provided for free and NOT given a benefit payment.
    • However
    • By However 24th Jul 19, 8:32 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    However
    • #6
    • 24th Jul 19, 8:32 AM
    • #6
    • 24th Jul 19, 8:32 AM
    This Poll is too simplistic. First, 'means-tested' is a phrase that is emotionally and politically charged. It's an left-wing approach of envy and spite that those who think they themselves deserve things for free wish to prevent others getting them, or because they don't get them for free themselves they wish to stop others getting them for free.

    Secondly, e.g. re state pension, for 45 years I have contributed to everyone's state pension in those years; now that I have my state pension everyone younger is contributing to it, just like I did. So it's not free even now. Similarly NHS, I have contributed to its funding for nearly 60 years now and will continue to contribute to it until the day I die - and that's according to much tax I pay and that means it's already 'means-tested'. It's nonsensical to ask whether it should be free or means-tested. Same applies to most other items - we pay already through taxes of one sort or another things that you think are free and should be 'means-tested' - again an ideology that's irrational based on envy.
    Thirdly, 'means-testing' is a (costly) device for raising money from the victims from whom more money is demanded. Never believe it's about reducing the costs for the deserving, whatever it feels like on the surface.



    So to all those who want others, but not themselves, to pay more money, I say be careful of what you wish for. As as example, the TV Licence debacle will save the BBC £800m or some such but it's forecast to cost the country (i.e. everyone whether over or under 75) £1.6bn due to pensioners taking up the pension credit they are entitled to but hadn't claimed. I repeat - be careful what you wish for. I don't in the slightest begrudge pensioners getting what they are legally entitled too, but you - you - will have to pay for it.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 24th Jul 19, 8:59 AM
    • 26,990 Posts
    • 71,010 Thanks
    pollypenny
    • #7
    • 24th Jul 19, 8:59 AM
    • #7
    • 24th Jul 19, 8:59 AM
    While I enjoy my free bus pass and OH's free TV licence I could afford to do without. However, I fully understand that these are essentials for some without an occupational pension.

    A fair, and fairly simple way to contribute would be to add a notional amount to my taxable income.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • prowla
    • By prowla 24th Jul 19, 9:07 AM
    • 10,698 Posts
    • 9,654 Thanks
    prowla
    • #8
    • 24th Jul 19, 9:07 AM
    • #8
    • 24th Jul 19, 9:07 AM
    I am embarrassed by the fact that my generation went to uni for free and got grants, and then decided that the future generations would have to pay and borrow.


    The NHS should be free at the point of need; enough of these things have been eroded already.


    Bus passes and pensions should be free to all; the people have paid into the scheme over their working life. Otherwise it's just another tax with no returns.


    This is one of the richest countries in the world, so let's act like it!
    • Pickle1983
    • By Pickle1983 24th Jul 19, 9:19 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Pickle1983
    • #9
    • 24th Jul 19, 9:19 AM
    • #9
    • 24th Jul 19, 9:19 AM
    I really wish the over 75s would stop banging on about the free TV licence being stopped for them. My husband’s grandma is loaded and gets this yet people who are younger and struggling have to pay. The same goes with things such as prescriptions and bus passes. If you can afford to pay then I think it’s time that you paid so that other people could get a break. I say this as someone who works full time and would probably be affected by changes such as this but I would rather others could stop struggling than see people who own million pound houses and have thousands in the bank get things for free that they could easily pay for.
    • archie1411
    • By archie1411 24th Jul 19, 10:04 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    archie1411
    Means testing or free to all
    If it is an 'optional' thing - e.g. university education - it should be means tested. If it benefits society as a whole - e.g. free bus passes to enable older people to get about and so a) reduce isolation & b) encourage them to stop driving - then it should be free to all. School meals should not be free other than in extreme cases - feeding a child is the responsibility of the parents
    • newbs68
    • By newbs68 24th Jul 19, 10:48 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    newbs68
    Why are passports on the list? Surely a passport is part of the holiday cost and they aren't necessary like bus travel and or prescriptions.
    Free pass passes for all pensioners have irked me for a long time. Why not give free travel to job seekers. Many can't afford to take a job because it's too expensive to get there.
    School meals should be means tested. Health and education should not unless for foreigners, we can't subsidise the rest of the world.
    Of course libraries should be free, fines should not. I'm a library assistant and see many pensioners taking the mick with their loans. Can't manage to return something on time or renew it because they are off on yet another cruise or new motorhome. But a stressed out mum of four is expected to pay fines, I don't think so.
    • johnny williams
    • By johnny williams 24th Jul 19, 12:00 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    johnny williams
    free bus passes are not free
    Hi, i do get fed up with the phrase free bus pass yes i can get on public transport with out paying but we PAY for the free bus pass in our rates.
    • borkid
    • By borkid 24th Jul 19, 12:33 PM
    • 2,213 Posts
    • 4,725 Thanks
    borkid
    What is meant by available to all? Anyone living in UK for a couple of years regardless of nationality or only british citizens? Where's the contribution based column such as for the SP?
    • Sleazy
    • By Sleazy 24th Jul 19, 12:42 PM
    • 18,815 Posts
    • 40,343 Thanks
    Sleazy
    Hi, i do get fed up with the phrase free bus pass yes i can get on public transport with out paying but we PAY for the free bus pass in our rates.
    Originally posted by johnny williams
    I guess if you're still paying rates you must be in NI?

    The rest of the UK pay Council Tax and pay for transport until State Pension Age, unless we're unlucky enough to live in London when we'd get bus and tube transport free without paying at age 60.
    Weekly Distance Walked 27km / Total For Year 1271 km

    Quod scripsi, scripsi
    • Fitzmichael
    • By Fitzmichael 24th Jul 19, 12:43 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    Fitzmichael
    Get real.
    Politicians decided. I'm 78, and I don't recall ever being asked if free university tuition should be ended. When I passed my A levels, I never gave a thought to university because those were still the days when university was for those - upper/-middle class - whose parents could afford the full costs - residence and tuition - unless they got a scholarship.
    Politicians are in charge; that's why they become politicians and if you didn't realise it before, surely the last 3 years of war in the Tory party must have made it plain.
    • planenut
    • By planenut 24th Jul 19, 12:51 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    planenut
    I'm an old ffffffffellow, so I get a winter heating allowance, automatically, and never asked. I'm not rich, but I really feel that this one should be means tested, and it's not even on the list.

    Why can everyone entering a National Museum or Gallery not just put one pound in an entry machine?
    • borkid
    • By borkid 24th Jul 19, 1:30 PM
    • 2,213 Posts
    • 4,725 Thanks
    borkid
    Politicians decided. I'm 78, and I don't recall ever being asked if free university tuition should be ended. When I passed my A levels, I never gave a thought to university because those were still the days when university was for those - upper/-middle class - whose parents could afford the full costs - residence and tuition - unless they got a scholarship.
    Politicians are in charge; that's why they become politicians and if you didn't realise it before, surely the last 3 years of war in the Tory party must have made it plain.
    Originally posted by Fitzmichael
    I'm 10 years younger, working class family but went to uni because I got grant (not a full one)and worked in the holidays not a penny from my family. There were no tuition fees then. Back then though there were fewer courses and places so unless you wanted to do an academic subject uni wasn't the right place. I do remember people studying HNCs though.
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 24th Jul 19, 1:40 PM
    • 2,143 Posts
    • 5,289 Thanks
    NaughtiusMaximus
    As a general rule I'm against means testing as the bureaucracy involved in carrying out the means test invariably swallows up a big chunk of the supposed savings. Most of these should IMO be free at the point of use (or available to all eligible in the case of disability and child benefits) and funded through general taxation.

    The only exception I would make is passport costs which everyone should have to pay full price for.
    • ever-hopeful
    • By ever-hopeful 24th Jul 19, 4:12 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    ever-hopeful
    All ages deserve support
    Isn't it strange that most of the ones that get the biggest thumbs-up for available-to-all are services affecting the older age group? I speak as a member of that group myself, by the way
    • ever-hopeful
    • By ever-hopeful 24th Jul 19, 4:14 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    ever-hopeful
    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.
    Originally posted by POPPYOSCAR
    And all the other things it's used for? I'd have been lost without mine
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