Letters - August 27, 2019

Raising pensions
Raising pensions
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Tory future is working longer for less money

Your recent article on increasing the pension age had my MP Paul Maynard saying it was not a government policy.

The problem is that Mr Maynard votes with this government on all the cuts to us.

Iain Duncan Smith chairs the Centre for Social Justice and this work till you drop proposal will be bitterly familiar to disabled and chronically ill people up and down the country.

He was, after all, the Work and Pensions Secretary who imposed a fit-for-work regime that imposed humiliation and misery on tens of thousands, while being so irresponsibly run that more than half its rulings taken to tribunal were overturned as unfair.

It is difficult to justify continuing to raise the pension age when statistics showed earlier this year that life expectancy in Britain has now started to fall. The CSJ proposal may not be Tory policy yet, though, as with its previous brainchild, universal credit,it may only be a matter of time.

But it exposes the flog a dead horse attitude that pervades a party representing the tiny elite who preside over Britain’s rigged society, rather than the mass of ordinary people whose lives are getting harder and poorer every year. It should not be an excuse to insist that we can no longer afford to retire at a reasonable age and enjoy a decent income in retirement.

Britain’s state pension is already measly compared with most of our neighbours. Yet Britain’s richest get richer every year.

A Tory future is one in which we work longer for lower pay while public services wither and we poison our environment.

Labour talk about reducing the working week, raising pay and improving public services for everyone.

Royston Jones

Anchorsholme

SPORT

What happened to radio coverage?

I would like to add my thoughts on Radio Wave not doing live commentary of Blackpool FC matches on Saturdays (Your Say, Gazette, August 22).

Last week, I thought the programme was poor. I go to some games and used to really enjoy the radio on the days I didn’t go.

An explanation from Radio Wave, maybe via The Gazette, would be helpful, or hopefully get it back on.

Paul Derbyshire

Blackpool

PETS

Help to get through loss of a friend

A pet cat can be the centre of home life, being a constant presence in their owner’s lives for many years. It’s therefore understandable the death of a cat can come as a shock, and many owners can find it difficult to come to terms with their loss.

Grieving for a cat may become more difficult as the death of a pet is not always seen as a significant loss, leading some people to hide their feelings. This means many people avoid talking about how grief has affected them, which can cause them to feel very alone.

Ahead of Grief Awareness Day (August 30), Cats Protection is highlighting its free and confidential Paws to Listen support service, so people facing the loss of a cat do not have to feel alone. The service is run by trained volunteers who offer emotional support in coping with the loss of a cat.

The service is available between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays. Anyone wishing to use the service can call 0800 024 9494 and a call-back service is available if lines are busy. Or an email service is available by emailing pawstolisten@cats.org.uk.

For more information, visit www.cats.org.uk/grief

Catherine Joyce

Paws to Listen Team Leader

TRANSPORT

Better things to spend cash on

HS2 was a flawed project from the start. The economic case for it never made much sense, which explains why the rationale for the rail project keeps changing.

We should welcome the Government’s plan to examine this pricey project, which should further highlight that the rail line is years behind schedule and will be tens of billions of pounds over-budget.

The review should also compare how the current HS2 budget could be spent in other ways. Lower taxes, less regulation, and investment in local transport would do far more to regenerate the North of England than a hugely expensive rail line.

Dr Richard Wellings

Head of Transport, Institute for Economic Affairs

TRANSPORT

We should let HS2 scheme be ditched

It is claimed that the Northern budget to invest in transport improvements is not enough for the Northern commuters and passengers.

One simple solution is to abandon plans for HS2.

If this was to happen, then there would be enough money to improve transport infrastructure, save green belt land and spare people being forced out of their homes.

Judith Harris

via email