Dear Orkney News,
Local elections are over and the UK General Election 2017 goes into full swing as do the political detractors and scaremongers.
During the 2014 Independence Referendum pensioners were harried into voting NO by unscrupulous scaremongers who spread the lie that Scottish pensioners would lose their state pension if Scotland became independent. This lie was ‘scotched’ by the government minister who confirmed that the state pension, earned under them, is guaranteed payable for life whether you live in Shetland or Shanghai.
However, this does not mean that the state pension is safe in the hands of a Conservative government.
To quote Mhairi Black, SNP, from The National 13 May 2017… “And don’t even get me started on pensions. The Tories are intent on reducing the costs of the pensions bill and will remove the triple lock”… which means that the value of the state pension is not any longer maintained.
Do you think your state pension is safe in their hands?
Further quoting Mhairi from The National 13 May 2017… “We’ve also seen how this Tory government has treated women born in the 1950s by making them work longer before they can receive their state pension. The WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign will continue until a resolution is found and I will continue to back it as much as I can.”
Some of these women, who were expecting to retire at age 60, have now to wait until they are 67 before receiving their State Pension. Will you get your state pension when you expect to retire or will you have to wait until some extended date in the future?
Despicable sanctions on other welfare benefits are also affecting pensioners.
Many political analysts consider that the worst of Tory austerity is yet to come.
In their bid to reduce the national deficit by cutting benefits to an ageing and less able population they are, in fact, making the poor pay for the errors of bailed-out bankers and City of London speculators.
Irrespective of how you vote in the coming General Election the result is inevitably, barring a revival in Labour fortunes, going to be a Conservative government and even more severe austerity for, possibly, the next decade.
16 and 17 year olds are not allowed to vote in this UK General Election. Nevertheless, the future of the country is theirs – please don’t let them down again.
Vote Miriam Brett, MP for Orkney and Shetland.
Geordie Pottinger, Shetland
Letters & contributions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in 1955, and I can see my State Pension receding into the distance, until it disappears. I’m not joking. For some years, I’ve thought that, by the time my generation are ready to receive it, there may not be a pension at all. We’ll be told that we should have made our own arrangements while we were working, regardless of the fact that folk on a low income don’t have enough to put aside for a pension. That was the idea of the State Pension, in the first place. And now, rich people can get the State Pension as well. Why not re-distribution, rather than cuts? As with many aspects of government funding.
Britain, as a whole is definitely moving backwards instead of forwards. Why? I don’t know, I’m not a political analyst, but I can see that that is what’s happening.
Does anyone remember, some decades ago, how it was supposed to be the case that developments in technology would actually mean that folk would have more leisure time and be able to retire earlier?
What a muddle
On the other hand, those of us born in the ’50’s have had the best of it in some ways – the National Health Service in full swing, free school meals, free school milk ( until Maggie-Thatcher-The-Milk-Snatcher saw to that), grants for higher education, so that higher education was open to all. That includes myself – there was no way my parents would have been able to fund me for going to Uni. I had a full grant and had to learn to live on it – and I did.
This is turning into an old lady rant, but it’s all there…….all these things are being whittled away, bit by bit, so that folk don’t really notice.
Step back with, as you mention, people who were born in the 1950’s, and it has been a different world since. Better in some ways, not so good in others.
I’ve noticed that some younger folk say to me that that it must have been hard in the 70’s, with all those strikes. They seem to have forgotten, or not been told, what those strikes were about. And that workers use to strike, when needed.
I remember the ’70 with great fondness – I had some very good times in the ’70’s!
I suppose the wheel turns, but living in interesting times, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Getting old in interesting times, is going to be….very interesting.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair……………..” – Charles Dickens – ‘A Tale of Two Cities’
I suppose it depends on where your’e standing.