The British Government has ruined my life

The British Government has ruined my life…

“I’m 64 next week and I feel the British Government has ruined my life. It has also ruined the lives of many more.

“The Conservative Government has increased the national debt by over 50 per cent; increased homelessness; and increased reliance on food banks.

“They’ve cut back on Social Services to young and old; cut back on funding to our emergency and front line services; and have underfunded all local services.

“At the same time they’ve knowingly allowed major corporations to avoid paying tax back into the country and infrastructure that they exploit. Effectively siphoning off our wealth.

“During the last decade, the rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer at an astonishing rate.  Whilst at the same time the scandal of offshore tax evasion has been brushed under the carpet.

“Whilst allowing major companies to pay almost no tax, they’ve been complicit in supporting the ‘gig’ economy by failing to address zero or 16 hr contracts and ‘false contractor’ roles – all contributing to a fudge of the employment figures that hide the stress and anxiety of millions of people trying to make ends meet.

“We rally and complain, but to no avail.

“When I started work at 14, I signed for a Pension at 60. I found out about the retirement age increase at 59 years old, which a lot of us did.

“The Government changed that without a reasonable notice, and without time to make alternative plans.

“There are thousands of Lawyers advertising ‘No Win No Fee’ services for miss-sold PPI, injury claims and time-shares. But what about the injustices to the British citizens, who have paid taxes and National Insurance their entire lives and are now suffering?

“The lack of investment in our country and economy is astonishing. This will come back to bite us in years to come. What’s worse is robbing from the people. A pension isn’t a privilege – I’ve paid into it my whole life.

“I’m outraged, as are so many of our citizens who are suffering today for our Government’s actions. I can’t fathom how they are still in power, other than propped up by the few that are filling their pockets.”

Written by Linda Hulstrom from Wigan (first appeared as a personal Facebook post on 25th October 2018)

Do you agree with Linda’s comments? Have you been the victim of Conservative austerity policies during the last two terms of Government? Or do you have a different point of view? Let us know. 

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28 Responses

  1. Absolutely word-for-word agree with Linda’s comments; this state of affairs has been considerably worsened by the Brexit fiasco which has and will see food prices rise. Yes the rich have become richer and the poor poorer – Robin Hood in reverse.

    1. Food is, relatively speaking, much cheaper than it was 50 years ago and so is alcohol. If food prices went up substantially it might do something to correct the outrageous levels of obesity. Also, the UK has one of the highest standards of living in the world. If you don’t believe me have a chat with someone from Chad or Ethiopia.

      1. Verysmellywelly

        The UK HAD one of the highest living standards in the world. Try chatting to some of the homeless on the streets or the millions forced to use Foodbanks or ask the UN who are currently investigating the UK for human rights abuses.

      2. elkfish

        As the 6th richest country in Europe you would expect living standards to be higher than Chad or Ethiopia wouldn’t you. We are NOT relatively speaking here but we are speaking about what IS … NOW! We have people starving in this country while the greedy take more and get richer. That is unacceptable! You missed the point of the article altogether.

      3. Allypally

        My standard of living has reduced shockingly since being divorced and now having to manage without a state pension having spent most of my employable years bringing up the children and paying for them to go to university. I’m 64 now and struggling to pay the bills. My exhusband who is a medical professor has kept all of his pension which he got at age 65 to himself, while I have nothing until age 66. Still working part time in low paid work and renting out a room now as well.

      4. Think you need to check your facts and figures on food and alcohol prices, past and present Gerry, although I do agree that something needs to be done about obesity…could it be the much higher levels of sugar in foods today?

        On your second point, comparing the standard of living between a Brit and someone from Chad or Ethiopia is like comparing an American with a Mexican – totally different life styles and different costs of living is what creates different standards of living. Try comparing a Brit’s cost of living with a German’s instead to see a comparative difference in the standard of living!

      5. R.P. Scales

        Bad food with high levels of fats, salt and carbohydrates might be cheaper, but a balanced, nourishing diet is more expensive to maintain.

      1. Jane

        Certainly agree. With health issues making it very hard for me to work, and currently on a phased return for yet another skeletal bones issue, I am now being told I am not capable and they will TRY to get me early retirement on sick grounds and incapabiity. I have worked since 15, I should have retired at 60, and now going on 63 and as my own boss said another 3.5 years is looking almost impossible for me with my mobility problems with pain. Great you may think, but my pension at this will only be about £150 a month, 3.5 years til SP, and I have no idea on benefits, so unless they are kind to me and give me some sort of pay off I will be struggling to survive after working all my life and paying my pension. That is so so wrong. I have never claimed benefits, have always worked, we even did equity release on our house to provide me with things to make life easier like a shower instead of bath, and other home improvements to save me hurting myself. Again we did not beg, we just gave up our house in effect for the future. Feeling serious let down and not sure how we will survive as husband on less SP as he was self employed for years and could not afford to pay in every month.

    2. S. Challenger

      A shocking and outrageous injustice for millions of 1950’s women, the majority of whom were never informed at all, as in my case!

    3. John Smith

      If the poor have become poorer, why do they spend the money, they don’t get, on booze, and smokes? I’ve never been able to understand that.

        1. Takes one to know one Rick. I live in an ex council house with council tenants either side of me….Who complains the most about the lack of money, who smokes and goes to the pub more often, who plays bingo and spends at least £10 per week on lottery tickets and who gets taxis to visit the doctor? Yes, they do….and they brag about all this too!

  2. im 63 years old,lost my job at 59,when i went to sign on JSA i was told i couldnt have my pension until i was 66. In that same year benefits were frozen,and will stay at £73 a week until 2019/2020.I use food banks,dont have my heating on and dont drive. I have to pay £5.40 out of my benefit to sign on,as i cant have a bus pass until i get my pension.On the day i get my benefits,i pay my bills and do an online food lunchtime MY BANK ACCOUNT IS Empty.If i run out of anything ,i have to wait until i get paid 2 weeks later.I started work at 15,iv done a number of various jobs including evening work whem my husband came home,so he could look after our children.I remember working in a cold farm barn in the winter ,topping and tailing carrots,at 6 months pregnant. I dont live ,i just exist,winter is coming and i dont have the money to buy a pair of boots.I dont have a partner to help me either. I cannot believe that this government can treat its people this way. NHS in crisis,no care homes,police are at breaking point,homelessness has shot up,and schools are begging parents for money just to buy pens and paper.This government only looks after the rich,if your not then you will get bashed constantly.If i lived in another country,i would not come to this country to live.Nearly everyone is struggling to pay bills,how can this be right.

  3. Irene Sanderson

    1950s women have been shafted and then some. We have paid in all lives, suffered inequality and thousands and thousands of us have 50 years employment but are unable to retire because up to 6 years has been added to our SPA with little or no notice. Successive govts have done this and the present govt are now lying about it. Shame on everyone who had a hand in this and the recent attempts to pit young against old. My utter contempt knows no bounds.


      the stuffing up of pensions seems to be done all around without notice by governments like Australia Ireland and Britain and most of the European Union. they argue we are all living longer. I am sure there is something wrong with this view given the death rate due to suicide that is on the rise as people have to exist on unemployment benefits for longer as jobs actually decrease in number.

  4. John Burns

    Quite so but for me to answer the question of leadership, I would firstly want to see a real LEADER of the people step forward and non of those offered on the list, are worthy of that mantle.
    The reality is, that is why the Tories managed to get a second term in office. Not because the voters wanted Mrs May or her Tory brand of Capitalism, but because they didn’t want Mr Corbin and voters only listened to the negative sound bites about the Labour party, as also did in the case of those wanting to leave the EU and didn’t recognise they were being conned. Oh what a heavy price we are paying!
    Far too many voters don’t take enough heed of the corruption in British politics, particularly perpetrated by the current Tory Government at the expense of the majority of our population and I would go as far as to accuse the “Prime Minister” and her cabinet of TREASON against the state.
    However, they have the luxury of being able to lie and hide behind their Ministerial cloak impunity, claiming their policies are for the benefit of our Nation. Of who’s nation do you speak Mrs May, the 1% or the 99%? Your job is to serve all the people equally Mrs May, not just the Financial Sector and large Corporate businesses nor wealthy criminals.
    Now that I mention it, is it not way past the time that the Tory government took responsibility for it’s actions and miserable failings since 2010 and stopped harking on about the “legacy” left to them by the former Labour Government? Bestowed upon them by corruption in the financial sector.
    Whatever needed fixing Mrs May, you’ve had 8 years to fix it and the vast majority of people in the UK are far worse off than when the Tories took over in 2010. You and your Government are a disgrace and irrespective of the Ballot Box, you will be held to account.

  5. Agree completely with LInda’s comments – we did NOT get told what was going to happen, the speed of the changes was accelerated under the Tories and we most emphatically did NOT have equality with our male colleagues when we were working, most company pension schemes didn’t allow you to join if you were female. It was solely the Government’s responsibility to ensure that all women who would be impacted by their decision were contacted and informed what was going to happen – they didn’t bother to do that because they fully expected we would just put up with it – how wrong could they be.

  6. Sand Hep

    I am heartily sick of the Government’s lies that the SPA has only risen by 18months – so how come in 2012 I received the only letter I had from the DWP stating that the pension I expected to receive in 2014 would not be paid until the end of 2019? Guy Opperman’s suggestion that, after 35yrs NIC, us 60yr+ ladies should seek apprenticeships was just plain insulting nonsense.
    At the most life expectancy only rose by 2.5yrs, and has fallen back again – so why 6yrs rise?
    To claim it is in the interests of equality, women of this generation are hugely disadvantaged in both private and state pension due to low and unequal pay and opportunities throughout our working lives. To impose this on us now whilst there is still a 17% gender pay gap implies this was not the reason at all, but a political descision taken for the sake of austerity.
    If successive governments had not raided the NI Fund for other purposes (see research by David Hencke, publicised by Paul Lewis there would be sufficient in the pot to meet pension obligations now and in the future

    1. Jane Davies

      The NI fund had a balance of £24.2bn at the end of March, which was above the estimated £16.8bn minimum requirement to guarantee pension payments. The PM is forever saying when the frozen pension scandal subject is brought up that to treat all expats equally is unaffordable. What she refuses to ‘get’ is that ALL have paid for an indexed pension under the same terms ALL therefore are entitled to receive one. A state pension is not a gift or government largess and it’s not the governments money to withhold from just 4% of state pensioners. It belongs to those who have paid into the scheme with their own hard earned money.

  7. Deborah Marsh

    Hello! Born in 1955, totally agree with Linda. Trying to manage life is extremely hard. I am working abroad as an English teacher, low wages, demanding work and right now I cannot imagine how I will manage three more years. Feel very betrayed and left to die… have had to abandon two youngest children at Uni in the UK, that feels bad. I received notice at age 58. I had to leave my house and move abroad in my car! I am very sad and not a little desperate.

  8. l am sad to tell you ,it is a lot worse than is realised. Our personal information is poured over in order for us to be targeted. If you try to put your head above the pulpit to raise public awareness , then you find actions taken against you and even end up being thought vexatious or mad and some are sectioned. And if you have the kind of constitution to survive, the end result is you are then an older person and easier to bump off. Cynical? YOU BET.
    The worse bit of all that l have been made to go through, is the knowledge of how many are treated the same. I worked for the NHS and worked in a building that it was hidden there was already a demolition order on the building. I was in catering and we would provide for hospital staff and members of the public ( visiting relatives in hospital) between 250-300 covers a day. I had an Industrial Accident , caused by the defects in the building and sued because l was left with disabilities that meant l could never work again. Five years of legal stuff and l was in the process of moving . Solicitors targeted me to involve me in a property / land fraud , already on-going for a year . Yes l have all the paperwork that is ultimate proof of everything , but no one listens. Not your MP for sure and certainly not the courts. The complaints bodies and ombudsman are all listening posts and picking up the telephone to each other to make sure you cannot win, You want statistics?
    Over 20,000 complainants a year , for a decade ( that’s over 200,000 in total) , were gagged by The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman using government legislation for purposes it was not designed for. It was also covered up to the real reasons for Dame Julie Mellor ( Ombudsman PHSO ) and Mick Martin ( Deputy Ombudsman to Dame Julie Mellor and also Managing Director for the PHSO), leaving their posts. In Mick Martins case he was assisting the cover up of a woman being blackmailed in the workplace within the NHS, in a sex scandal and Dame Julie Mellor knew about it and did nothing.

  9. Ellie

    Agree with every word of this post. As a baby boomer, I’ve been fortunate to have lived in a civilized compassionate society with a welfare system as a safety net for those falling on hard times. This Tory government has sold off or starved of funds, all of our hard won advances and diminished our country. They have no compassion for the vulnerable who are unable to cope with the onslaught of austerity. The only surprise is that people are not rioting in the streets.

    I am saddened that my grandchildren will not have the advantages or opportunities that our generation have had. It should not be this way. In my opinion, our only hope is to elect a socialist Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. I am doing everything I can to help make this happen for the sake of my grandchildren.

  10. Richie

    I wonder how many Tory voters regret voting for these bunch of hard right self-serving cretins. We need to understand something the Tories don’t give a s**t about the hard working people that need to feed their children and work every hour, or the nurses and police men that look after us everyday. Instead their only concern is to protect their wealthy chums and cut corporation taxes for the rich….so remember next ”never trust a Tory…

  11. Julie Sheard

    I also agree with this post 100%. On top of that, when I tried to help myself by selling my home woth 150,000 pounds and move to France where the exchange rate would allow me to be nobodies burden, along came Brexit and the value of my pounds was wiped away to th tune of 30,000 euros! This meant a second move in France because I couldn’t afford to stay in the house I had bought there. At least I have a roof over my head, many haven’t and who knows what the Brexit deal will do for me and others like me. I am 63 and have been a widow for 13 years and no, I won’t get a widows pension until I get the one that everyone gets. I live off the very small amount of capital I have. Will it last for me? Maybe, maybe not!

  12. Marti Farrow

    I agree 100%. Where else in the world would a government department rely on ‘the media’ to communicate such important information about state pension age increase? Born 1955, I finally received a DWP letter aged 58yrs. A great shock. Depression and a sense of betrayal stayed with me until I found a voice & support from campaign groups.
    Pension Wise was set up to help over-50s plan their retirement finances following the pension freedom reforms in 2015. Why wasn’t similar set up for 1950s born women? Paid 41 years NI. My own MP remarked how the NIFund had been mismanaged. Older women are fighting back. IDS told Ros Altmann to ignore us & we’d go away!!!

  13. Carol

    I totally agree. We have been robbed. And for me, as a British ex-pat Waspi in France, my life and that of my family is rapidly crumbling with the clock to Brexit ticking away…

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