‘I've worked all my life and now they want to tax my pension’

Pensions have been a hotly debated topic in the upcoming general election. We took to the streets of Cardiff and asked older people if politicians are doing enough to help them.

Registered nurse Nicholas Parry, 53, had to retire early. He believes that politicians are not doing enough for the elderly.

He said: “They work for up to 50 years of their lives, with a life expectancy of perhaps 10 to 12 years in retirement, and a lot of the time if they've worked hard and they've saved money, they still have to pay for eyesight tests, glasses, hearing aids, dental treatment, stuff that really at their age, they should have for free. It's the same as TV licenses and stuff like that should be exempt.”

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A crowd walking along buildings in Cardiff's Saint Mary Street
Pensions and taxes are some of the most important issues for older people in Cardiff -Credit:Shaurya

John Rees, 73, a former hotel worker, said: “I get penalised because I’ve got to pay full council tax, you know, everything I’ve got to pay for myself. I don't get anything for nothing.”

Patrick Toner, 68, who is a retired designer also believes that politicians are ‘definitely not’ doing enough for the elderly. He said: “They're talking about taxing pensions and investments. I've worked all my life, I've paid my taxes all my life and now they want to tax my pension. I think that's all wrong.”

While all the people we spoke to gave a resounding ‘No’, most believed that even state pensions have not kept up with the cost of living.

Graham Hackett, 80, a retired college lecturer believes that state pension alone is not enough. He said: “If I lived just on my pension, it wouldn't but I have a teacher's pension as well, which means that it is adequate. Just on the old age pension alone, I wouldn't be able to live as I do now, no. I wouldn't be able to afford very much.”

These views were shared by Patrick Toner as well, who believes that pension alone is, ‘not even close’. He said: “If it wasn't for my other investments, I wouldn't be able to live a decent life. So if I was on pension alone, I would struggle — happily I'm not, but I see people that are, and that’s sad.” Watch the video in full above