Letters - Monday, November 15, 2021
Budget is a betrayal of our pensioners
Rishi Sunak’s Autumn Budget did nothing to help the elderly and most vulnerable in our society.
With living standards squeezed, and the cost of everything increasing – from putting food on the table to council tax, fuel and energy costs – pensioners face a bleak future of rising prices.
He has splashed £150bn on public sector pay rises but our Chancellor cannot find the money to honour the triple lock promised in the Tory manifesto.
This move will cost pensioners an average of £2,600 over five years and a saving of £30.5bn for the Treasury.
Ditching the element of annual wage rises, which would have seen the state pension (SP) increase by eight per cent, we will receive 3.1 per cent. Bear in mind inflation is heading towards five per cent, undermining our spending power and the value of our cash savings.
The basic state pension will be £141.85 per week, an extremely low figure when compared to other OECD countries.
Analysis reveals retired couples will be spending an extra £70 a week on essentials next year compared to 2016. I am fortunate in having the safeguard of the provision of an occupational pension, but these final salary schemes are a dying breed.
More than two million pensioners live in poverty and a quarter rely on means-tested benefits.
In effect, we oldies have been thrown under the proverbial bus and, whilst we still have our bus passes, how long will it be before this concession is withdrawn?
There is a faint glimmer of hope as the House of Lords recently voted by a majority of 47 to retain the triple lock, considering it a betrayal of pensioners, but I doubt the Government will back their decision when it returns to the Commons.
Miss Thunberg is a load of hot air
As per Roger Brown’s letter in tonight’s Gazette (Thunberg should take her crusade to China, Your Say, November 11)
Instead of sending Miss Thunberg to China I recommend instead we send her to North Korea or Russia.
We didn’t miss her one bit during lockdown and I wish the Swedish would drag her back to work in Sweden. She s nothing more than a load of hot air.
Paterson affair is a stain on country
Here we go again, these Tory politicians just can’t help themselves when the opportunity to get their noses in the trough comes along.
Regarding Owen Paterson MP, after being found guilty by both the the Standards Commissioner and a unanimous guilty verdict by the Standards Committee, what does our great leader do? He only tries to change the rules to get his ex-minister off the hook by the means of a Commons vote and decides to scrap the investigation process altogether because he did not like the verdict.
What he wanted to replace it with is a committee overloaded with Tory MPs and a Tory chairman who has the casting vote, needless to say no other party has agreed to sit on this corrupt committee.
It is not the first time that Boris has ruled against a verdict from the Standards Commissioner and its all getting to look more like a government of dictatorship that wouldn’t look out of place in Russia. But come the dawn there’s a sharp U-turn when the realisation of what has transpired the day before starts to look much too sleazy even for this corrupt government .
I might be a little cynical but if they had got away with it was the real reason to do with the “dodgy covid contracts” enquiry next spring and that they were clearing the decks in the hope of whitewashing the possible repercussions that might come out of this.
The tragic death of Sir David Amess shows the pressure and danger faced by MPs, but it also highlighted that there are men and women of admirable integrity who serve selflessly in Parliament.
Sadly, the case of Owen Paterson’s outlawed advocacy has highlighted how necessary it is to have an independent panel who can investigate corruption and misconduct wherever it occurs.
The vote on delaying Mr Paterson’s suspension for sleaze and the subsequent government U-turn was not a proud moment for British democracy.
But I draw hope from the way that the only people who came out well from the murky affair were the Conservative politicians who rebelled against the three- line whip to vote with their conscience rather than their party. I hope that this behaviour spreads and becomes endemic!
On the day of the vote, my school led an excellent assembly on the British values of democracy and the rule of law. Young people deserve to be led by politicians who adhere to the same standards that the Government is asking schools to promote.
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