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Unhappy the land etc etc

Just why is the government so keen on getting the Greatest Generation, as our American friends call it, to leave the country?

"Since October 2004, every British citizen born on or before 2 September 1929 has been exempt from application or renewal fees for UK passports in recognition of the bravery of both veterans and civilians during World War II".

Apparently some 519,000 of our septuagenarians etc have taken advantage of this outwardly rather minor free lunch. I doubt that the free passports were ever planned as a reward for the wartime generation etc, but rather there was an assumption that take up by the over 75s would not be that great and it could be listed as a government achievement at election time. Based on the footnote to the press release, some 4.5 million souls were eligible in 2004, so let us say that around one in nine has taken it up, and with income etc not taken into account, this is necessarily a fairly regressive piece of wealth redistribution - anyone who can afford to travel overseas is likely some way from the breadline.

I am yet to hear of free TV licences for oldsters as being a reward for wartime sacrifice, but maybe it has been spun that way. One might also note that an awful lot of pensioners would probably have preferred to receive the funds in another form.

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Anonymous nomad said... 3:47 am

Perhaps the idea is to reduce the strain on the NHS. Get rid of the old farts (like me, who is well out of it all!) and the severely strained resources of the health service can then be directed at eg ante-natal, how to eat your veggies in one easy lesson, how to drink spritzers with one hand, always comb your hair to the left, and other useful classes for the ignorant, unwashed masses.  



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