Letter: The means test and the modernisation of benefits

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The Independent Online
Sir: Polly Toynbee argues in favour of a means test for state pensioners. May I remind her that the contributions paid for these pensions to the Treasury are not a tax, but a premium for an annuity. It would amount to a fraud to take from the better-off to pay more to the poorer, as to transfer funds in any other pension scheme.

It is bad enough that the age allowance is means-tested, the only allowance that is. What tips the balance of being able to claim this allowance or not is usually the interest from the nest egg the pensioner has accumulated during a lifetime of savings and doing without what other people enjoy, in order to stay independent when old and decrepit and not to be a burden on the community.

Yours faithfully,




18 December