Saturday, 13 March 2010


Economist Brent Wheeler isn't so kind when it comes to oldies keeping their gold card benefits.

We reckon that upping the age is the fairest way to go. Up to 70 seems sensible. However Brent, as economists do, says that the oldies forget that they have been looked after by the state in past decades.

He has no problem with giving them a subsidy- just questions the reasoning.

Not just the gold card either…. the argument is in common use in respect of numerous other things old people consider “I’ve always paid my taxes” gives them some right to.

The logic of this is faulty. At the time these people paid their taxes they consumed government services – education for their children, health care for themselves, a Police Force…. and myriad other things.

They consumed their “taxes worth” back then – more in fact – which is why we have run up various deficits at various times.

If we want to give old people money for being old – fine. But let’s not pretend that its because tax is some kind of saving scheme to be cashed in when you are over 65. If we stopped thinking like this we might see bribes like the gold card for what they are. Cheap vote grabbing schemes which penalise people who are still working and still paying tax.

His whole blog is here

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