Charities are reporting growing concern that new pension rules will lead to old people recklessly squandering their retirement income on luxuries such as heating and food.
After 2015, people reaching retirement age will be able to use pension pots however they want, rather than having to buy a guaranteed annual income, and the fear is that many will rush out to buy tinned food, which they will then cook using fuel in an adequately-heated apartment.
Chancellor George Osborne has dismissed fears that newly retired people could “blow” their pension money in this way. “We’re pretty relaxed about this,” he explained this morning.
“We believe that old people understand they are not really in any position to lavish money on non-essentials such as heat and food, and by retirement age many pensioners will in any case have accumulated a large collection of woolly clothes, so the temptation is unlikely to arise. Wool is apparently a bit hard to digest at first, but they’ll get used to it.”
Ever the voice of reason, former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit has pointed out that most poor people spend their wages on opera and luxury cruises before heading to the food banks for splendid feasts of caviare and Bollinger, when they should be spending their money like his father, on bicycle supplies.
“Old people don’t need heat,” Tebbit spat venomously to journalists today. “Look at me, I’m old, and I don’t need any warmth at all. Admittedly, that’s because I’m an inhuman monster with a heart of frozen tears and ice flowing through my veins, but still.”