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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

British Pensioners to Have Winter Fuel Allowance Cut, but Afghan War Continues

British Elderly to Have Winter Fuel Allowance Cut, but Afghan War Continues

Another classic display of arrogance and hatred towards the indigenous British population by the ruling elite has been provided with the news that “budget cuts” will mean that pensioners will see their winter fuel allowances cut while the state continues to spend billions on war and foreign aid.
According to reports, plans to cut the welfare budget include a measure to make people wait until the age of 66 before they qualify for the winter fuel allowance.
Currently, that allowance starts at age 60. In addition, the sliding scale system (which last winter enabled the over-80s to claim up to £400) will also be cut by up to £100 per individual.
Another report claimed that similar payments, including child benefit, could also be cut in order to “pay for radical welfare changes.”
Winter fuel payments, introduced in the winter of 1997, cost around £2.7 billion a year.
The war in Afghanistan costs the British taxpayer around £7 billion per year, and the foreign aid budget amounts to some £9.1 billion per year.
Both expenses are “ring fenced” and guaranteed not to be reduced.
The cut in benefits for Britain’s elderly was leaked to the media less than two weeks after the Tory International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, announced that Britain’s aid effort in Afghanistan would be expanded by 40 percent from £500 million to £700 million per year.
Part of this increased funding includes a £6 million “Business Challenge Fund” which will “encourage new enterprise” in Afghanistan.
Other areas of funding include establishing “local government that is capable of delivering  basic services to its people, and linking the informal justice system to the formal one, to reach areas that have until now sided with the Taliban,” according to a Department for International Development press release.
In addition, the British cash will be used to “extend the reach of the National Solidarity programme to bring community-driven development to improve health, education and job creation to 10,300 communities in hard to reach, more insecure areas.”
In 2007, a report by Age Concern revealed that the previous winter's cold killed more than 25,000 pensioners, up seven percent on the previous year and the highest in Europe.
The Age Concern report blamed the rise in deaths on “soaring fuel costs” and British pensioners being forced to live in “fuel poverty.”  Two-thirds of pensioners,  Age Concern said, were cutting back on the amount of gas and electricity they used.