Thursday, July 22, 2004

If I were British, I would live on State Benefits. I can think of few reasons or incentives to do anything else.

Anyone would agree that the taxation system is designed to punish the people who work the hardest. Well, at the least in the mindset of the way I was brought up. The harder you work, the more money you make. But the more money you make, the more the taxman takes off you, so what's the point? Why bother? Why kill yourself to end up not much better off than the person who's living on State Benefits?

I just got a letter from Inland Revenue. It said it was not a demand for payment. It was just pointing out that I had not paid enough National Insurance during 2001/2002 to get a qualifying year for pension. If I would send them £270 for the 44 weeks unpaid National Insurance, this could soon be fixed. Of course, if I was unemployed, and drawing benefits, all I do is notify them and they will automatically credit me the weeks I wasn't paying.

Ok, over and above the fact that I actually wasn't living in Britain for most of 2001/2002, what makes them think they're going to want to pay me a pension when I'm 65? Or 70, as the case could soon be. I'm not British, for a start. They'd find excuses soon enough. And even if they do decide to pay me a pension, do I want it.?

In the leaflet they sent me to encourage me to consider my position, they point out that if I have the full number of qualifying years, which is something like 40, I would be drawing a pension of what is now £79.30 a week. I've put the brochure in for recycling, so I don't have the exact numbers any more. The minimum pension is £19 or so a week, and you get that after 10 qualifying years.

Wow. You work your whole life, pay taxes, do the whole thing, and you end up with a pension equivalent to £79.30 a week.

Gimme a break. Gimme State Benefits rather.