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    • MSE Karl
    • By MSE Karl 23rd Jul 19, 4:49 PM
    • 144Posts
    • 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 2
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 24th Jul 19, 6:35 PM
    • 5,618 Posts
    • 9,260 Thanks
    Nick_C
    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.
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    I don't see how that would be simple. HMRC would need to know, each year, whether or not you were claiming the free bus pass and TV license.

    It would be grossly unfair to make pensioners pay tax on benefits which are available but which they do not claim.

    The simple solution is to give these benefits to people in receipt of Pensioner Credit.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 24th Jul 19, 6:43 PM
    • 5,618 Posts
    • 9,260 Thanks
    Nick_C
    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
    The amount of Council Tax you pay is nothing like enough to fund your local Council, Fire Service, and Police Force.

    And of course young people who are working and struggling are paying for your bus pass. In many cases, the pensioners getting these benefits - awarded purely on the bases of having reached a certain age - are better off then people going out to work and contributing to the exchequer.
    • LizK60
    • By LizK60 24th Jul 19, 6:44 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LizK60
    Totally Agree!
    I couldnít agree more but quite honestly I donít think itís over for our generation yet. I fear the future and how we and future generations will fund a reasonable lifestyle
    • Kentish Dave
    • By Kentish Dave 24th Jul 19, 7:56 PM
    • 806 Posts
    • 1,500 Thanks
    Kentish Dave
    None of it should be. Benefits should be in proportion to what youíve been paying in, too, like private insurance schemes are.

    Weíve gone too far the road now of means testing.
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 25th Jul 19, 8:12 AM
    • 1,379 Posts
    • 13,145 Thanks
    tgroom57
    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.

    • Squire Fulwood
    • By Squire Fulwood 25th Jul 19, 8:16 AM
    • 383 Posts
    • 239 Thanks
    Squire Fulwood
    The first item that struck me was that parents get means tested to decide what the child gets. Presumably this is so that the bank of Mum and Dad gets used. I suspect there may be parents who might have shut their bank leaving the child abandoned. Students in particular might feel the draught.

    If you want the aged to feel lonely and broke then take their bus passes and TV licenses away. I thought there were initiatives to make them feel more included.

    Maggie had her pension holiday and Tezzer had her snap election which included the intention to cap the triple lock and to impound the house of people admitted to care and allow them to keep £16000. None of these
    proposals did well for the proposer. With the increase in the number of pensioners I can't help wondering if it is wise to keep hitting on them.
    It's not my fault your honour, they made me do it.
    • Mishomeister
    • By Mishomeister 25th Jul 19, 12:08 PM
    • 876 Posts
    • 203 Thanks
    Mishomeister
    Why most people voter for the student loan to be means tested on the parents income? Why there is an assumption that if the person's parents are well off the person is well of himself?
    The parents may not provide any support for the grown up child for whatever reason.


    Also, I strongly believe that although it is right to have certain things means tested the thresholds need to be mucgh higher.


    Legal aid is a typical example. The governmebnt believes that some one on 15k PA income can have a legal aid which will amount to say 20K.


    But some one on 20k PA is well off to pay solicitors himself.
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 25th Jul 19, 12:18 PM
    • 2,172 Posts
    • 5,374 Thanks
    NaughtiusMaximus
    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.
    Originally posted by tgroom57
    An alternate solution is the government introduces a seperate VOLUNTARY ID card available to any UK citizen for a nominal fee which proves your citizenship and therefore eligibility to work in this country.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 25th Jul 19, 1:01 PM
    • 5,178 Posts
    • 9,771 Thanks
    Murphybear
    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.
    Originally posted by borkid
    I went to University in London in 1971. The fees were paid but the maintenance grant was means tested. My father was supposed to make up the amount I got but he told me he couldnít afford to so I managed. Fortunately London wasnít so expensive in those days and one of my circle of friends happened to be the manager of the St Georgeís Medical School all night bar
    • borkid
    • By borkid 25th Jul 19, 2:30 PM
    • 2,228 Posts
    • 4,752 Thanks
    borkid
    I went to University in London in 1971. The fees were paid but the maintenance grant was means tested. My father was supposed to make up the amount I got but he told me he couldnít afford to so I managed. Fortunately London wasnít so expensive in those days and one of my circle of friends happened to be the manager of the St Georgeís Medical School all night bar
    Originally posted by Murphybear
    Same time and place as me then.
    • Fitzmichael
    • By Fitzmichael 25th Jul 19, 4:18 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    Fitzmichael
    ID card
    The problem is that banks and all sorts of places will insist you present it. I've lived in several EU countries, which all have ID cards. Not all require you to carry your card with you, but you'll probably be asked for one. For the police, this is a way of showing their authority, esp to people who don't 'look right', who they can amuse themselves by detaining.
    Of course, our bobbies wouldn't do that, would they? Be careful what you wish for.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 25th Jul 19, 7:17 PM
    • 2,884 Posts
    • 4,584 Thanks
    badmemory
    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.
    Originally posted by tgroom57

    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
    • By Kim kim 25th Jul 19, 7:25 PM
    • 2,980 Posts
    • 4,143 Thanks
    Kim kim
    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
    Great idea
    • gocurlygirl
    • By gocurlygirl 25th Jul 19, 11:23 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 241 Thanks
    gocurlygirl
    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
    Originally posted by Annhuck
    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
    • By arnoldy 26th Jul 19, 9:12 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    arnoldy
    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
    • By Owain Moneysaver 26th Jul 19, 9:42 AM
    • 10,322 Posts
    • 13,190 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    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
    • By XRAT 27th Jul 19, 11:45 AM
    • 211 Posts
    • 197 Thanks
    XRAT
    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.
    • PennySmart
    • By PennySmart 28th Jul 19, 10:37 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    PennySmart
    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
    • By clip 28th Jul 19, 8:58 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    clip
    Child benefit is a must for most families if there were only free meals how would the children get on in the holidays
    • clip
    • By clip 28th Jul 19, 9:08 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    clip
    Great idea
    Originally posted by Kim kim
    What about the school holidays ? Teachers are saying the children return to school underweight
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