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Devon Pensioners’ Action Forum
DPAF is your local organisation committed to making a real difference.
Hands off Our Money -
Article from The Times 18/06/11 Here
AGM 2012 + A Message from Bob Turner in Response to this Letter to the IsitFair Website from Albert Venison
“I am sorry to have to tell you that it was agreed at the AGM on Saturday 19th May,
that DPAF should close down. No-
On a personal note I hope you are both keeping well. We drift on from day to day wondering where it is all going to end!!!.
All the best to all”
The Jackboot Mentality Lives On
I would like to apologise to all concerned for my absence from the AGM on Saturday, 19th May. Unfortunately I suffered a heart attack on the Friday evening prior to the meeting and was admitted to the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital for treatment. This was doubly unfortunate in that I was at the time preparing final paperwork for presentation by the Executive Committee at the AGM outlining our plans for the next 12 months. Under the circumstances this information was unavailable to the other members of the Executive Committee, the majority of it being on my laptop computer and therefore inaccessible by anyone else.
Reports have been passed to me regarding the disgraceful behaviour of Albert Venison,
some of which occurred prior to the meeting start time of 10am. Some members of
the Executive Committee were subjected to harassment, intimidation and bullying to
such a degree that they felt threatened and unable to take part in the AGM proceedings,
including the longest serving member of the Committee. Albert should feel ashamed
of himself but, of course, the clear aim was to reduce or eliminate any possible
opposition to his own self-
Albert Venison’s much vaunted comment, “No-
There followed a meaningless proposal and acceptance that DPAF should be dissolved
and a Winding Up/Dissolution Committee was formed from those present resulting in
the ‘election’ of Bob Price (Chairman), Bernard Endicott (Vice Chair and National
Pensioners Convention -
There were two meetings of the Dissolution Committee This Motion for Dissolution is illegal and fails in every respect to follow the procedures as set out in the Constitution that was accepted by the members by a postal ballot.
Dissolution – “Any proposed dissolution of the Devon Pensioners Action Forum must
be determined by a meeting called and arranged by the Secretary acting on instructions
from the Executive Committee, for this purpose only, and all members must be given
the reasons for the proposed Dissolution at least twenty-
Should this Meeting not approve the proposed Dissolution request, it will then be
assumed that the current Executive Committee has resigned en-
Albert Venison and his associates failed to correctly notify members of a Dissolution Motion in accordance with the required Constitutional procedure, preferring to steamroller through their own incorrect concept of how this matter should be decided. How desperate they all are to bring about the dissolution of this organisation that they claim to care so much about.
The Executive Committee, not Albert Venison’s hastily cobbled together ‘Gang of Two’, had already agreed, prior to the AGM, to ballot all members to seek their views on the future of DPAF. Of course, this concept would hold no appeal to those who may find that the majority of members would vote against dissolution if given the opportunity.
I have been contacted by Bob Price who has told me that this website should be ‘cleaned up’ and any negativity, including my letter to Albert Venison, removed. Why, Bob? My letter to Albert sets out a wide range of issues to which nobody has responded. It seems that there are those that would prefer to see DPAF fold rather than answer any of the questions raised. Obviously, positive ‘spin’ is the order of the day and, heaven forbid, do not let the facts get in the way!
If you wish to comment we can be contacted here
'Granny tax' Q&A: Pensioner allowances explained -
The change in allowances will save the Treasury millions of pounds. To Chancellor George Osborne it is a simplification in a complex tax system. To its critics, it is a "granny tax". But what exactly does this controversial measure in mean for you?
The change in age-
It will mean that millions of people will not be as protected from tax as they expected
to be -
So what is my personal allowance?
A personal allowance is the first chunk of income that anyone earns that is tax-
Any amount earned above this level is subject to tax at various bands.
And my tax-
Correct. There has been a different level of personal allowance for pensioners since Winston Churchill introduced it in the 1920s.
Tax terms explained
Taxable income: Includes money earned from employment, self-
Personal allowance: The amount you can earn tax-
So, if you are aged under 65, the first £8,105 of your income will be tax-
If you are aged 65 to 74, then you get a bit more of an allowance. The first £10,500
If you are aged 75 and over, then the personal allowance is £10,660 from April.
However, this extra allowance is gradually withdrawn from those pensioners with a taxable income of between about £24,000 and about £29,000. So pensioners who earn more than this do not get the extra benefit.
And anyone with an income of more than £100,000 has all their personal allowance gradually withdrawn, regardless of age.
So what will change?
Mr Osborne announced two significant measures in the Budget.
The first is that, while the personal allowance for the under 65s will go up again
in April 2013, the allowance for those aged 65 and over will be frozen at the same
levels as 2012-
Secondly, anyone who turns 65 after 5 April, 2013, will not get an extra allowance
at all. They will benefit from the same personal allowance as the under-
Who is most affected?
Most significantly, those who hit 65 just after April 2013 will not get the tax-
They will get a personal allowance of £9,205. In contrast, someone who turns 65 just before April 2013 will get a personal allowance of £10,500.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says this will bring an extra 230,000 into the income
tax system. For many, this will mean having to fill out a self-
Pensioners with an income of more than about £30,000 will not be affected at all, because they would not have received the extra allowance anyway. They make up about 10% of all pensioners.
People on the basic state pension and pension credit will not earn them enough to pay income tax, so they will be unaffected too. That is about 50% of pensioners.
That means, it is a "middle-
Their income is likely to be made up of state and workplace or private pensions, as well as some money in savings accounts.
How much will they miss out on?
Figures from HMRC show that, taking inflation into account, this will leave 4.41
million people worse off than they would have expected, by an average of £83 a year
People due to turn 65 after 5 April 2013 will miss out on an average of £285 compared
with what they expected in 2013-
However, nobody will have cash taken away from them that they had already received.
Haven't these people been doing well from government policies?
This is a political argument that has been doing the rounds.
Many pensioners have been spared some potential cuts during the government's austerity drive.
For example, they still receive help with their fuel bills, regardless of their income, and many have benefited from the rising value of their homes.
One thing is certain, they are the subject of the biggest tax raising change announced in the Budget this year.
The move will save the government £360m in 2013-
Water, Water Everywhere….
Those that know me will be aware of my ongoing specific concerns regarding the increases in water supply and sewage disposal costs. I remain convinced that South West Water (SWW) will not be satisfied until such time as their charges to customers are on a par with the other utilities.
My level of cynicism is only marginally reduced by the fact that SWW have taken on board my suggestion and are currently discussing the possible introduction of additional ‘Social Tariffs’ for those customers that are struggling with their bills. The existing Social Tariffs are very restricted and it is hoped that implementing a wider range of options will offer a solution for many pensioners that are currently struggling to meet their financial commitments.
The naysayers are concerned that non-
Newspaper Article 03/06/2012
In 1989 the Thatcher Government privatised the UK water industry, ensuring a number
of private monopolies replaced the former Water Boards. The rationale was to improve
the efficiency of the former Water Boards. It also came with a sweetener to the exchequer
of between £3.6 and £5.3 billion. To police the new system of privatised monopolies
the government formed OFWAT and the Consumer Council for Water (CCW). How has privatisation
worked for the consumer? SWW customers pay 66% more than Severn Trent customers for
what amounts to the same services! Clearly, there is enormous regional variation
in price and it is difficult to understand why this regional variation should exist.
Secondly, there is a growing problem of meeting the water demands of the dry, but
thirsty E and SE regions. Western areas of the country receive considerably more
rainfall and they are generally less populated thereby enjoying a considerable excess
of water. The question for our competing privatised companies is how can we meet
the water requirements of the whole country as effectively as possible? Unfortunately,
the need to generate profit has interfered with the industry’s ability to solve this
Be reassured that the fight for a better deal for pensioners continues.
Letter from The Acting Chairman -
Many Pensioners Will Lose Financially.
AS the Acting Chairman of Devon Pensioners Action Forum, representing hundreds of
pensioners across Devon, I would like to comment on the recent rise in state pensions
and the so called granny tax. This is yet another cash-
This Governments claim that pensioners will be better off as a result of the five-
Some of our members have already contacted us complaining that some, or even all, of the increase is eroded by the impact that the rise has on other benefits they may be receiving. The true effect for some pensioners is an overall reduction to their total income.
Mervyn Kohler of AgeUK commented that the change was, "Relatively small beer in the
big picture of things". This is nonsense and irresponsible and he does his organisation
and, more importantly those he is supposedly representing, no favours by issuing
such a ridiculous statement. Perhaps we can put him right on a few facts of life
relating to what it is like being a pensioner in 21st-
The National Insurance Fund surplus stands at about £40Billion and Devon Pensioners'
Action Forum states in no uncertain terms that this money should be immediately ring-
There is no excuse for such a paltry increase in pensions when there is such a healthy surplus of National Insurance funds that pensioners have already contributed towards for most of their working life on the basis that they would be adequately provided for in their retirement.
While many are prepared to criticise pensioners and write them off as a drain on resources, it perhaps should be remembered that much of the infrastructure that exists in the UK today such as road, rail, education and the NHS etc was created by the hard work and taxes that pensioners have already contributed.
Acting Chairman -
View the Acting Chairman’s recent letter to Albert Venison here
It is with no little regret that it became necessary to respond to Albert Venison
and Colin Hadley’s unsubstantiated and widely distributed attacks on the current
Executive Committee. The letter outlines only some of the facts surrounding events
that the current committee have had to deal with over the past 12-
The current Executive Committee have already received considerable support from many members and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those that have already contacted us with their views. If you would like to offer your support, comment or opinion please contact us here.