Apr 5th

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L


THE secret to becoming immensely wealthy is to not tell anyone about it, according to a new book.

The Four Steps to Getting Rich by Martin Bishop reveals that three of the steps involve hiring a law firm in Panama and then just keeping it a secret.

Step 1: Make a bit of money by gambling on the stockmarket – or just inherit it.

Step 2: Hire a lawyer in Panama, but don’t tell anyone about it.

Step 3: Get the lawyer in Panama to hide all your money.

Step 4: Make sure the lawyer in Panama keeps doing it.

Bishop added: “It is a very short book. And come to think of I probably shouldn’t have just given you the entire contents like that.

“Could you do me a favour and buy it anyway?”

Aug 26th

From: News Thump

By Colin L

Chinese shares plunged due to Labour’s overspending, insists George Osborne

George Osborne on China crash

Share prices have plunged after the Chinese stock market crashed as a direct result of Labour’s mismanagement of the economy seven years ago, the Chancellor claimed today.

“Once again we see the results of the woeful mismanagement of the economy by Labour,” said Mr Osborne whilst lighting a cigar with a fifty pound note.

“Now as then, a worldwide stock market crash is occurring that, despite having its roots in a different country, is as a direct result of Labour’s carefree spending of the country’s reserves on benefits for immigrant lesbians and sweets for Gordon Brown.”

The Labour leadership candidates were quick to leap to the defence of their party’s economic record.

“It’s definitely Jeremy Corbyn’s fault,” read a joint statement from Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and the other one.

“And if you vote for him then everything will be awful, especially with the economy and that.”

“The problem is that the economic incompetence was so great under Labour that we continue to see the reverberations now, five years on in seemingly unrelated events,” chuckled the Chancellor as he feasted on his favourite swan and diamond Panini.

“In fact, I’d be willing to bet that any economic downturn we see in the future will also be the fault of the previous Labour government.”

Jul 19th

From: News Biscuit

By Colin L


MPs to wear sackcloth and ashes in penance for pay rise

With outrage over their proposed 10% pay rise growing daily, Britain’s MPs have reached a cross-party consensus to wear coarse, ill-fitting sackcloth tunics and cover their heads with ash, in an effort to show due contrition for their £74,000 annual salary.

‘Considering that members of the public would be lucky if they got even a 1% pay rise, it is important for us to assure our constituents that we are receiving our inflation-busting increase with extreme reluctance’ Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Derek Corbright told a packed House today. ‘Publicly debasing ourselves as we pocket our bulging pay packets will go a long way to assuage the anger of those hard-pressed families as they struggle on the breadline without the benefits of a second home or a seat on the board of a multinational corporation.’

While some MPs have pledged to give their bonus to charity in an attempt to placate voters, others have taken to more extreme measures: ‘You should see them practising in the Commons bar,’ said one political insider. ‘All that weeping and moaning; tearing of hair amid much wailing and gnashing of teeth – you’d think it was Kim Jong-Il’s funeral, not pay day!’

Michael Shewbury, Labour MP for Blanchdown South, vowed to fight ‘tooth and nail’ before handing over his account number and sort code to the Salaries Department. ‘I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with the NHS nurses, firemen and supermarket checkout girls,’ he told reporters. ‘That extra six thousand, nine hundred and forty pounds in my wallet will be like six thousand, nine hundred and forty stabs to my heart!’ He was later spotted outside Westminster, sobbing and banging his head on the Cromwell Green entrance before shaking his fist at the sky and yelling ‘damn you the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority!’

However some observers, like Tory peer Lord Obsdunne, have accused the MPs of going too far in their attempts to atone for the rise. ‘It’s all gone a bit silly hasn’t it? This so-called ‘excessive’ increase is going to be balanced out by a major reform to pensions, resettlement payments and other such perks. Just because the proles can’t appreciate that fact doesn’t mean everyone has to go around looking like the love-child of Bob Geldof and Gandhi for goodness’ sake! Listen, if they’re that desperate to flagellate themselves I know a very good club just off Soho, but I suggest they get their membership sorted now, while they can still claim for it on expenses.’

Jul 8th

From: News Biscuit

By Colin L


Rich ‘keeping their fingers crossed’ on budget

As George Osborne finalises his first budget unencumbered by a coalition cabinet, some of the country’s richest people are nervously awaiting the result after five years of hardship in which they had to move large amounts of their wealth offshore.

‘People have expectations,’ said one millionaire. ‘Ostentatiously parading our wealth isn’t cheap, you know. There’s maybe 2% of the population shouldering the burden of having 99% of the wealth and paying maybe 5% of the total tax bill. That can’t be right.’

Osborne was careful to point out that the budget will benefit ‘all hard working families’ in which every member over the age of five works full-time in multiple jobs. ‘We value diversity, especially if they don’t claim working tax credits,’ he said.

Feb 26th

Tracey Crouch MP Hosts Pensioners Advice and Information Fair

By Mary B

On Friday 13th February DropBy joined Tracey Crouch MP in her first ever Pensioners Advice and Information Fair between 10am and 2pm at the Royal British Legion Industries Capel Morris Centre in Aylesford.

Tracey invited all pensioners, their families, friends and carers to attend this free event which shared information and advice about the local services, support and activities available locally.


There were over 60 organisations who had a stall at this event, including Active Retirement Associations, Care Groups, Health Services, Seniors Forums, DropBy, Arriva, Kent Fire & Rescue & Kent Police, Folk Dancing, Citizens & Pensions Advice, volunteering opportunities, Rambling, Bowls and other sports & leisure groups, Charities, community recreational groups, support services and many more! Tea, coffee and cake was also available to all visitors.

Recognising that with a little extra support older people can live well and provide an outstanding contribution to the community, Tracey is committed to taking a proactive approach.  


Tracey said:

“I am overwhelmed with the turnout for my first ever Pensioners Fair. Not only did we have over 60 stalls but more than 600 people visited the Fair throughout the day. We had some brilliant feedback from stall holders and residents and all in all I am really pleased with how the event went. The event was all arranged through goodwill and through kind donations for refreshments we raised nearly £300 for the Royal British Legion Industries Memorial Garden!

My heartfelt thanks to all those who came to support this event and the wonderful team who helped set it all up and ensure that it ran smoothly. I am also so grateful to the RBLI who let us use the Capel Morris Centre. I will hopefully be putting on another similar event in Medway this summer.”


Mary B of DropBy said;

“We were delighted to take part in the Pensioners Information and Advice Fair. The fair was extremely busy and it was great to touch base with lots of older people in the local area to inform them of how our organisation could enrichment their socialising. Many thanks to all involved and looking forward to the next one.”


This is the first time Tracey has run such an event but hopes to host another Fair in Medway during the summer. 



Jun 25th

Request for help from the DWP

By Mary B
New State Pension
The DWP would like to have a better understanding of the reasons for choosing a particular process when making a claim for new State Pension, both for yourselves and the people you support. It would therefore be greatly appreciated if you could take a few minutes to complete the attached short survey to provide some insight into the preferred method (paper claim form/online service/telephony service) when making a new State Pension Claim. The feedback received will assist in improving the service we currently provide. This is designed for organisations who support people when they make pension claims.
The link below will take you directly to the survey:
Could you please ensure your responses are returned before Friday 4th July 2014 when the survey closes.

Thank you for your support
Jul 2nd

Number of over-65s still in work tops one million for the first time with low pension incomes to blame

By Mary B

The number of over-65s still in work has topped one million for the first time, official figures have revealed.

Office of National Statistics (ONS) labour figures for the three months up to the end of April show that almost one in 10 people over the age of 65 are still working, 615,000 of whom are men and 388,000 are women.

And retirement firm MGM Advantage has said a significant proportion of working pensioners are forced to continue employment into their twilight years because of their low pension incomes.

Breakdown: The number of over-65s still in work has broken the one million barrier for the first time.

Breakdown: The number of over-65s still in work has broken the one million barrier for the first time.

MGM's Aston Goodey said: 'With people living longer, the experience of retirement is changing dramatically.

'There are significant numbers of people who now no longer fully retire at a set date and are looking at alternative working patterns, sometimes part-time work or non-executive directorships and consultancy.


'What is worrying is that for many people, retirement is a part-time pursuit because they need to continue working to supplement their income.'

The proportion of people working past 65 varies considerably from region to region. As many as 11.4 per cent of pensioners in London are still in employment, compared to 6.7 per cent in the North East (see map below).

The number of over-65s in work is still outstripped by the 1.38million people who have retired before reaching the age of 65 and are classed as economically inactive, although this is down by 84,000 compared to the same period in 2012.

Regional disparity: As many as 11.4 per cent of people living in London aged 65 and over are still in employment, compared to 6.7 per cent in the North East

Regional disparity: As many as 11.4 per cent of people living in London aged 65 and over are still in employment, compared to 6.7 per cent in the North East

And this is a trend that is likely to continue as the number of people on lucrative final salary pensions dwindles as schemes shut down, with remaining workers having to take their chances on defined contribution pensions and annuities, which recently have been providing miserly returns.

According to MGM Advantage's own research, there are currently around 1.65million retirees who have taken a pension after the age of 55 but continue to work part-time.

Of these, some 44 per cent say they do so because of financial necessity to supplement their pension incomes, while 31 per cent do it for social interaction and 21 per cent so they have something to do with their time. 

David Sinclair, of think-tank the International Longevity Centre UK, thinks the increasing numbers of elderly workers is positive for the economy.

He said: 'It is good news that we now have one million older workers. But the average age of retirement remains too low.

'In an ageing society, and with the state pension age increasing, it is important for individuals and the economy that we increase the number of years we spend in the workforce.

'Far too many people still leave the workforce too early, creating a huge drag on the economy. We must invest in improving the health of older people whilst also ensuring there is a supply of jobs to meet their needs.'

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-2340173/One-million-65s-work-poor-pension-income.html#ixzz2XtOTcEev

Article by Adam Uren 

Feb 19th

A Few statistics

By Jane L
17 February 2012
A scenario, from today’s Daily Telegraph should give the Government sleepless nights!!! The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that of the 17.5 years that a typical man spends in retirement, only ten of these are “healthy” years.

For a woman, just 11.5 of the 20 years she spends in retirement are healthy. This means that every pensioner spends almost a decade with fading health, heaping pressure on already-stretched NHS resources. Currently one in six people in Britain is over 65 increasing to almost one in four by 2051. On top of this, the ONS said that people are living for longer.
Life expectancy for a man will rise to just over 90 by 2051, from around 86 today.
For a woman, life expectancy will hit over 93 by 2051, up from 89 now. Between 2004 and 2010 the average age at which men retired rose from 63.8 years-old to 64.6 years-old. For women, it rose from 61.2 to 62.3 over that period. Recent research found that 40,000 people this year alone will delay their planned retirement because they can not afford the cost of retiring, including the cost of care in later life which will continue to rise by around 2.5 years every decade. With the state pension age increasing in the coming years, it will not rise at the same speed, as life expectancy.
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