The EU bashing desperation of Rupe’s downmarket troops knows no bounds: now the Sun has decided to go in with both feet on pensioners. That would be those people who have spent decades paying in to the system so that in their old age they can get something back – like a state pension, winter fuel payments, bereavement benefits, and for the less able, disability living allowance and incapacity benefit.
But the cheaper end of the Murdoch press has suddenly figured out that some of these pensioners are allowed to reside anywhere in the EU, and that some of those have chosen to live in places like Spain. Nothing gets past a Sun journalist, does it? So hack Grant Rollings has penned a “Britain’s Bonkers Benefits” column to try and whip up some hatred against these cheeky OAPs.
“Latest government figures, seen by The Sun, reveal emigrants are allowed to claim EIGHT different types of handouts” he thunders, making sure to put WORDS in CAPITALS to make sure READERS know when to get REALLY ANGRY about SOMETHING. “This means that even though they no longer pay into the tax pot, British expats still receive payouts from home”. No shit, Sherlock.
Playa Levante, Benidorm
They already paid in, Grant. You don’t just get benefits. And, as the man said, there’s more: “The Government has tried to ditch winter fuel payments to emigrants in the EU, but could not get out of the deal — despite a vast percentage of expats living in sunny SPAIN”. They don’t all live in bloody Benidorm, and you could have used an up to date photo of the place.
Yes, the Residencial El Tempo – that twin tower block in the left background – has been finished since the stock photo used by the paper was taken. But, as Clive James might have said, I digress. It’s not baking hot all year round in Spain. And what if they live in Madrid, for instance (Tuesday top temperature forecast to be the same as Crewe, at 11 degrees Celsius)?
Crystal Palace, Retiro Park, Madrid
And it snowed last week in southern France, another favourite destination for expats. If they’ve paid in to the system, what’s the problem? Heck, it’s not as if they’re costing us anything – they go to the doctors over in Spain. But it must be a serious matter as there’s a comment from Matthew Sinclair, chief non-job holder at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA).
“Benefits should only go to expats who have built up a genuine entitlement” he wibbles. Christ on a bike, if they weren’t entitled to the benefit, it wouldn’t be paid. Go on, amaze us some more. “Ministers must put safeguards in place”. Dead right they must – like safeguarding newspaper readers from the routine bullshit peddled by Astroturf lobby groups. Some pensioners live abroad. Get over it.
And that goes for you Murdoch hacks. You’ll want your place in the sun someday.