Yesterday theBBC reported that former head of the Benefits Agency and crossbencher peer Lord Bichard Retired suggested that people should be encouraged to do community work such as caring for the "very old" or face losing some of their pension.
"imaginative" ideas were needed to meet the cost of an ageing society he said. And although such a move might be controversial, it would stop older people being a "burden on the state".
"Are there ways in which we could use incentives to encourage older people, if not to be in full time work, to be making a contribution?," he asked the rest of the committee."It is quite possible, for example, to envisage a world where civil society is making a greater contribution to the care of the very old, and older people who are not very old could be making a useful contribution to civil society in that respect, if they were given some incentive or some recognition for doing so."
Michelle Mitchell, director general of the charity Age UK, said: "Older people are a hugely positive part of society - over a third of people aged between 65 and 74 volunteer, a percentage that only drops slightly for the over 75s. "In addition, nearly a million older people provide unpaid care to family or friends saving the state millions of pounds."
She added that almost a third of working age parents rely on grandparents to provide childcare - and more than 900,000 people are working past the traditional retirement age "either because they want to or because they can't afford to retire".
Hmm like the ret of the developed world the UK will have demographic problems in years to come but forcing people to work to get contributory benefit paid to them after they stop working? Hmm and tomorrow he'll be writing a version of "A Modest Proposal"for the eating of pensioners....