Op-ed: Wednesday new Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his autumn statement in the House of Commons.
The whole process was less time consuming than it can be but it still entailed spin, hyperbole and what I would term " stuff and nonsense."
The mainstream media has picked up on bits and pieces from the budget and spun a fair few stories out of what was a quite forgettable budget.
As a pensioner the msm spin re pensions caught my eye.
According to the Independent "Chancellor Philip Hammond has hinted the state pension will no longer be ring-fenced from spending cuts after 2020 – raising for the first time the prospect of pensioners' benefits being cut as part of the Government’s austerity measures."
That is as expected. The triple lock pension promise was made by David Cameron; one of many aimed at keeping older voters supporting the Tories, those that do that is.
But look at this statement from the same report "However, he suggested that after that  changes may be needed in order to “tackle the challenge of rising longevity” - the growing financial costs of people living longer."
So the way to tackle the challenge of rising longevity is what? Cut their incomes, make them struggle, hit the quality of life and what? Hope they die sooner rather than later?
And again it will be an attack on the poorer pensioners. Plus ones like me who have a small additional pension which means I am ineligible to receive pension credits and associated benefits.
Will the the state pension age rise further?
Well it could. That adds more financial pain for many people. Too many older people end up too young to receive a pension, too old to find work and living on a pittance as the benefit that fills the gap continues to be whittled away.
If you are young and think that will never be you as you will plan for your old age and make financial arrangements, think again.
Life can throw a great deal at you and scupper each and every plan in some cases.
Then there are those goalposts that are moved, moved and moved again.
If politicians decide to up the retirement age again will they make it fair?
Currently there is a new flat rate pension touted as an improvement but unless you were born after a certain date you will not get it. You will remain on the existing pension with a lower tax allowance for good measure.
Transitional arrangements for older people caught in the current pension age increase trap are insufficient and adding to financial hardship.
But between now and 2020 anything could happen.
As soon as the date of the next general election is set watch out for promises that will melt like snow.
In the meantime expect each and every assault on your income to be blamed on BRexit.
The new state pension will not be the best option for all http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/12007716/Ill-be-28000-worse-off-with-the-new-state-pension-and-no-one-told-me.html
Op-Ed: As election battle-lines were being drawn up in January in the UK David Cameron tried to appeal to the so-called grey brigade for the necessary votes.
David Cameron said if re-elected the Tories will protect 'rich' pensioner benefits for 'fairness' but cut the welfare cap; so we wonder is the last one for spite then?
His latest promises indicate that benefits for those aged over 65 will be preserved but working age benefits will be hit again. We take it this 65 age deadline is not fixed in stone as higher retirement ages are being phased in and some people will be in receipt of older age benefits a little younger than 65.
As a member of the 'grey brigade' this writer does not want to see older citizens hit but why is Cameron protecting these benefits for the uber-wealthy?
Do those who do not need these allowances give them back to the Tories by way of donations or what?
The allowances are not huge so the very wealthy will not need them but Cameron says rich pensioners should keep their bus passes and winter fuel payments as a matter of 'fairness'.
We ask since when has this government operated in a fair manner?
Means testing any benefits can cost in administration but the conclusion has to be the 'protection' is all about winning over voters.
Cameron's coalition partner and Deputy PM Nick Clegg does not believe 'one-size fits all' pensioner benefits are sustainable. According to the Mail Online early this year "Lib Dem Deputy PM Nick Clegg has branded the pledge ‘completely irrational’ and said he would be ‘gobsmacked’ if Mr Cameron repeated the promise in the Tory manifesto in 2015. Senior Conservatives including Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith had been urging the Prime Minister to ditch the pledge for the next election."
But why do the Tories and others have their sights set on the elderly, unemployed and vulnerable of the UK in the first place?
We know they have money to burn when it comes to taking part in NATO bombings around the globe, spying on citizens and others, propping up the ever growing Royal Family, for MPs second home allowances, for MP expenses, for paying a string of bureaucrats and for funding those who sit in the House of Lords so why not for vulnerable groups of people?
This government has created a record number of new Lords and Ladies
If the Tories get booted out of office in May 2015 whoever takes over may face a tough task getting policies through both houses; the Tories that have swelled the numbers in the Lords will give that party a distinct advantage.
But back to Cameron and his promises
After five years under a Tory led government we have to take into account that Cameron breaks promises left, right and centre.
The Tories are obviously aiming for the higher middle class vote though from all age groups
When they cut child benefit they ensured that even relatively wealthy parents were still entitled; when they created free school meals for all children under a certain age kids from wealthy parents were not excluded.
Cameron has gone on record to say that it is only fair winter fuel allowances and other older age entitlements remain available for all; he will not means-test these entitlements even though some wealthy citizens such as Lord Sugar simply send this money to a charity.
Would it be so difficult to have a cut off point for some of these benefits?
Once again the Tories and other MPs include the State Retirement Pension when they talk of benefits but that must surely be a paid for entitlement for most people in the UK following years of work?
Cameron's cunning plan is to reduce the welfare cap further. This means that the current benefits cap with be squeezed along with the poor. No matter how many children you already have, or how much your housing costs, there will be a limit. The current cap of £26,000 is reducing to £23,000 which may or may not sound a lot to you but that will depend on where you live, how many children you have to feed and other factors such as your state of health.
If you are Cameron it is peanuts either way as he is one of the many millionaires filling parliament right now.
According to Cameron when the Tories introduced the benefits cap in 2013 it created a rush to the job centre; that statement is an insult to the majority of claimants.
Did that rush to the job centre result in the jobless securing real jobs? The UK has seen a surge in zero hours contracts, temporary and part time work since 2010 when this government was elected.
Rubbing salt into any wounds Cameron, for the UK government, announced it will put £50million toward an Auschwitz memorial centre.
Conclusion? It is not about money but about priorities, who the government wants to hurt and who it wants to help.