Letters - December 14, 2017

Protest against this treatment of OAPs

Thursday, 14th December 2017, 1:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 1:20 pm

Cold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years from cold-related illnesses against a background of soaring energy bills.

The state pension paid out in this country has been meagre since the 80s, when Margaret Thatcher’s right wing Tory Government broke the link that kept it rising as male average earnings increased – a pension to which our elderly people had paid decades of National Insurance contributions.

Consequently, Britain’s State pension has been reduced to a pittance compared to Western European levels, particularly that of Germany, where the state pension is £26, 366 per year, and the French state pension is £15,811 per year.

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Age UK says every winter, 25,000 older people in England and Wales do not survive the bitter weather.

This represents 206 deaths a day.

None of this is necessary if Britain’s state pension was on a par with Western European levels which, as stated, are far higher than the UK’s State pension.

Britain’s low state pension has nothing to do with costs, because there is a “surplus” in the National Insurance fund in excess of £30bn.

And the National Insurance system was set up to pay state pensions and benefits.

Britain is a very wealthy country.

Please sign my online petition, and share it, to show your disgust at this disgraceful treatment of our oldest citizens, and to force Parliament to discuss this issue,https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/increase-the-state-pension-for-our-elderly-people.

Michael Thompson

via email


I have never seen Blackpool so quiet

It’s good of the council to give free parking in central car park, but so many people have given up coming into Blackpool due to gridlock with road works and street closures.

I have never seen church Street and birley Street so quiet at Christmas time and I have been involved in retailing in Blackpool for over 50 years.

I hope shoppers who now go elsewhere come back to the town when we eventually get back to normal.

tony king



Is it going to be worth us leaving?

So we have a deal on phase one of Brexit - or have we? Our Government has an agreement on maintaining the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

The so called Brexit Divorce Bill has been settled - or has it? We do not know exactly how much this will be until we know what else is on offer.

We have agreed to a frictionless border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is problematic as we do not have a free trade deal at the moment. If we do negotiate a free trade deal then goods moving across the border will be fine, but what about people? Our Government has very clearly stated the free movement of people between the EU and the UK will end when we leave the EU, so how can we keep an open border?

All of the above have yet to be put before the EU (the political leaders of each member state).

We are often told that the EU Commissioners have all the power, they have not, they are civil servants and are there to enforce the rules set by their political masters.

So now we are moving on to talks on a trade deal with little idea of what we actually want. The Conservatives are as ever hopelessly split on every aspect of our relationship with Europe. Many seem convinced that we can simply walk away and create a new world where they make the rules. This I’m sure will lead us into a low tax-low wage culture with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This is certainly not what I want.

The labour Party is sitting on the fence as they are terrified of losing the votes of their supporters who voted for Brexit.

Labour are also heading for civil war as their internal movement, Momentum, deselects any candidate who does not subscribe to their Corbyist views.

Another potential future I’m not in favour of.

With our two largest political parties not being in a position to agree the way forward on Brexit negotiations, I see little hope of a successful outcome to these trade talks and we will probably leave the EU with no deal and fall back on to World Trade Organisation rules where our imports and exports will be subject to tariffs.

I believe we could negotiate a free trade deal with the EU, but will have to compromise on a number of issues. We will not be allowed to remove workers’ rights, food safety standards, environmental standards, farming subsidies and so many others things, as these would be regarded by the EU as unfair completion.

We would probably also have to continue to pay in to EU finances. So the question has to asked, when we know what it is going to cost to continue free trade with the rest of the EU, is it worth it?

Kevan Benfold

Blackpool Liberal Democrats


We’ll have to earn our £5bn jet deal

I welcome the news that some jobs will be secured at BAE Systems thanks to the £5bn deal with Qatar to buy 24 Typhoon fighters.

But there will have been a pay-off behind the scenes.

You can call me cynical if you want, but the Government will now do nothing to criticise human rights abuses in the outcast state, including the rights of women and the LGBT community.

It will not support criticism of Qatar by other gulf states for fear of losing the deal.

And it will now no longer dare criticise the questionable decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The whole affair would have made a great Yes Minister episode.

Richard tandy