The elderly - not immune from wanting a free ride

Just a snippet that amused me from the Guardian's coverage of Dilnot's thoughts on the £75K social care cap:

Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, said the government had failed to reassure people that their homes would not be at risk. "People are still going to lose their homes to pay for this," she told the programme. "£75,000 is a hugely high cap."
Even if the cap was half this amount (Dilnot's original £35K), people are still going to lose their homes. So, Mrs. Gibson, what's the alternative?
She urged the government to think again about introducing "a national care system paid through general taxation", which "would be free at the point of delivery".
So we should take even more income tax from the working population to pay for all the current pensioners? I'm sure that will go down like a bucket of cold sick. No doubt pensioners with money would welcome not having to pay anything towards their social care, but can Mrs. Gibson explain for the benefit of the public why a pensioner with £35K in assets should get care paid for by the taxes of a minimum wage worker?

I realise Mrs. Gibson is just representing her members, and is free to express her opinion. In turn I am free to express mine, which is that she is a mendacious grasping hag who would gladly take the taxes of the poor to pay for the care of the rich.

Update: Thanks for the correction, Gasman - of course, Gibson wants the cap lower, not higher. Amendments italicised.

It turns out that the National Pensioners Convention was an idea of the former head of the TGWU, Jack Jones, and arranged by a steering committee of the TUC. So I wondered, how are they funded? Do all pensioners pay a tithe from their state pension to the NPC or something? I looked at the West Midlands Pensioners Convention and they report:

(Wolverhampton Pensioners Convention)
I'm pleased to announce that the membership target, which I recently specified has now been reached and the branch now has 60 fully paid up members.
Now, Wolverhampton has a population of 250,000 people so if you extrapolate a 60/250,000 fraction to a 65M UK population, that's 15,600 pensioners in organisations affiliated to the NPC. Since 9.2 million people are pensioners in the UK this is such a small fraction that it's not even funny. Dot Gibson is not speaking for 9.2 million pensioners - she is speaking for fewer than 2 in 1000 pensioners.

I still don't understand how the NPC funds all its officers and activities, based on this. The NPC website is very coy about its funding, so I suspect the TUC is behind a lot of it. NPC membership is £10, and £152,000 is not much to fund 11 officers and staff let alone any activities.


  1. I think you mean "how low does the cap need to be" - they definitely want a lower cap so they have to pay less. She is a mendacious grasping hag though!

  2. Cheers Gasman - shows you I shouldn't blog before coffee.


All comments are subject to retrospective moderation. I will only reject spam, gratuitous abuse, and wilful stupidity.