Cross-bench peer Lord Bichard claims that; “Pensioners are a “negative burden” on the state, which need to be “incentivized” into doing jobs that young people could do for a wage.”
Finally, someone has the guts to blow wide open the comfortable consensus which claims that after working and paying taxes dutifully for decades, old women shivering in the cold of their one bedroom apartments deserve some kind of recompense from the state. How exactly are these old duffers helping us compete with the Chinese economy? What value are they adding to ‘UK Plc’, sitting around at home, gulping in their final breaths? Something has to change and the following are just a few, extremely practical suggestions;
Pay on Death Pensions – This is a solution that would only work for those who believe in reincarnation. Instead of selfishly grabbing their pension in the present world, why can’t pensioners ‘defer’ it for when they return in a new celestial body*? This reduces the burden on the state, allowing pension payments to be spread over a longer duration, ensuring the government can continue to meet its obligations servicing global banking corporations. ‘What happens if I return to this world as a slug?’ I hear you ask. This eventuality could only be positive – slugs require less to feel comfortable than humans. The government will set you up in a top quality tank, full of lettuce and bits of bark to slide up and down. These modest surroundings will feel like paradise for you and will be far less costly than heating a whole human home. You’ll only require a 60Watt bulb to keep your tank well lit and warm.
*Payments cannot be paid to ghosts caught between our own world and the next. This was tried under New Labour, but it turns out ghosts are notoriously bad at using ATMs.
Every home a call centre – If pensioners are going to sit at home on their fat arses all day watching Cash in the Attic, why not spend at least a few hours wearing a headset and fielding calls for global corporations? These companies are always looking at ways to reduce overheads, so if you provide your own space (your home) and fill it with your friends for a few hours a day (increased body warmth, reducing the need for a Winter Fuel Allowance), they could pay you a competitive (with Indian call centre workers) wage for an honest days work. Training is minimal, you just need to learn how to cut people off, pretend to be transferring calls to other departments and placing customers on hold. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN MANAGE THAT DEAR?
Double Pension – Right, it’s clear that the government have fucked up that pension you worked thirty years to earn, blowing it on duck pond renovations, Trident missiles that will only be useful if the British military travel back in time to the political climate of 1965 and by misplacing a decimal point in the contract outsourcing all government services to Serco (paying them £1tn to run a leisure centre in Eastbourne instead of £1m). That first pension is gone, forget it, sorry. For the workers of today, there’s only one solution, working two jobs and accruing two pensions; one to cover future government deficits and one to cover your £65 per week and half the cost of employing a Latvian care worker. The government will happily cover the cost of the stimulants required to keep you awake during your second ‘working day’ of the day. You may forget your name, go grey at 28 and die before the pension is actually paid, but won’t you feel a sense of pride that you’re a member of ‘alarm clock Britain’, as Nick Clegg would say. You may want to buy a second alarm clock.
No more coffin dodging – So you’re going to die? It happens to us all – even that billionaire lunatic in America who has funnelled millions to scientists researching a real world ‘elixir of life’. Short of a breakthrough in cryogenics (that you probably wouldn’t be able to afford anyway), you’re going to have to plan for the after life. What better way to come to terms with your own mortality than build your own coffin? Now I realise Keynesian economics is WAY out of fashion these days, but by buying your own materials to build the box, you’re adding demand to the economy. You’re also freeing up your loved ones cash to be spent on the latest electronic consumables, plumping up dividends for Apple shareholders. Imagine the fun you’ll have sanding and painting that bad boy, even giving it the odd personal touch, such as scribbling ‘Vera waz ‘er’ along the side, giving your surviving family members a wry smile as you’re unceremoniously dumped into the bowels of Central Hull Anglican Church cemetery.
Of course, to those stuck in the old mindset of the 20th century, some of these suggestions may seem mildly unpalatable. However, if we’re going to ‘pay off the debt’ and not saddle future generations with said debt (even though they could just pass it on to the next generation ad infinitum) , we’re going to have to take serious minded measures. It’s a new global economy and we all have to do our bit. For some, that will include dying quickly and quietly.