Pensions unfair to poorest (From Worcester News)

‘Pensions unfair to poorest’

SIR – A few years ago the UK state pension could be received by eligible working men at age 65 onwards and eligible working women at age 60 onwards. But now people must work much longer to be eligible for the state pension.

The Government has just announced that fairly soon working people—men and women– must be aged 68 before they are eligible to receive the state pension. And it seems likely that the eligible age will rise to at least 70 in due course. For each year added the Government takes another £8000 from future retirees.

The Government has working people over a barrel, and particularly working women as it can change the rules at will without agreement with contributors.

The state pension is an entitlement to which people have contributed over their working lives on the basis of a compulsory “contract understanding”with the state, but the Government can change this contract at will.

The Government treats working people and university students differently to the current pensioner population. The latter group has statutory financial protection,while the former groups do not. Not only this,but the former groups will have to meet most of the increased expenditures for the latter group.

Prosperous people who do in general live perhaps ten years longer than people in poorer households will get paid much more state pension in total because the Government promotes a “one-size fits all”approach. No account is taken of the nature of a person’s working conditions.

So in future there will be retired people who live just one mile apart who will receive widely different amounts of state pension in total over their retirement years, in some cases more than £50,000 difference and to the benefit of the prosperous and to the detriment of poorer households.

I am not surprised the Government held off making this pension decision until after the election.

Barry Jones


‘Helicopter discrepancy

SIR – Whilst doing some outdoor voluntary work I couldn’t help notice a police helicopter circling and hovering for well over an hour very close by.

I assume it was giving air support to some form of incident which ground forces were dealing with but the length of time this took caused me to wonder how often valuable police resources are used in this way and how better spent their time and effort could be put to supporting air ambulance incidents particularly as these rely on charity donations.

Why is it therefore that police helicopters are funded totally separately (and sometimes needlessly chasing petty criminals) whilst life saving air ambulances have to rely on public donations?

Michael Dunning


‘I can answer the questions’

SIR – In answer to two relevant letters in the Worcester News: Paul Chandler is right in suggesting the jobs at Kimal on Worcester Six will be part of the 5,000 anticipated for the business park. There will be more traffic, but Highways England have plans to expand J6 of the M5, much as they did at J4, and that will ameliorate the situation.

Cllr Brian Regimbeau made the excellent suggestion of grade separation for the Ketch and Norton roundabouts on the Southern Link Road. Sadly, though, that solution would be too expensive and not appropriate for the levels of traffic for which we are planning.

County Cllr Ken Pollock

Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure

‘Fed up with these buses’

SIR – I would like to know what the public’s views are about the Diamond Bus Company in Tividale West Midlands.

On Friday June 30 I waited for the Worcester bus at 11.56am in York Street, Stourport, at 12.20 I rang the garage to see what the delay was. I was informed it had broken down.

I gave them a piece of my mind then caught a bus to Kidderminster, to catch the 303, which was due at 1.25pm, but that didn’t arrive. I rang the garage to see what was the delay, their reply was sorry it’s broken down, when I said, well why not have a bus on stand by, his reply was “we have no buses on stand by”.

I informed him, that did he know, Diamond buses are the worst service throughout the Midlands, disgraceful, disgusting and unreliable, these buses are no more than sheds on wheels and held together with tape, his reply was “Oh yes, we already know, we’ve been told numerous times”. I arrived home, via taxi 3.15pm instead of 1.40m.

So to anyone boarding a Diamond bus, please beware these wrecks often break down without warning but it’s no good complaining to the Company, they have an answer for everything.

L Presley


‘Quiet soccer at Perdiswell’

SIR – The twins asked, “Can we play football on Perdiswell? Mum said, ”Yes, I don’t see why not, you may as well.

But don’t make a noise or upset anyone. Try to enjoy it and have lots of fun.

But don’t tell those THUMBS DOWN Councillor swells.

JOHN H Gilliard


‘How times have changed’

SIR – Reminiscing one day with my son, that how interesting, some things from childhood, always stick in the mind.

Just before the war I was staying with my grandparents in Exeter. One day I walked into the kitchen and on the floor was a little mouse, caught in a trap, not quite dead.

My gran, with a pair of tongs, picked up the trap and plunged into a buck of cold water. Putting the poor creature out of its misery.

My son responding flippantly said: “I hope she washed the tongs properly.

Smiling, I said “The tongs, were for picking up lumps of coal, from the scuttle by the fireside. Then to put said lumps on the fire in the grate.

My goodness how times have changed.

Jean Harris


‘Shed a tear for austerity’

SIR, I watched May’s interview in which she said a ‘tear’ emerged when she learnt of the exit polls. I thought this is the same person that bubbled the worst thing she had done was run through a cornfield. Wow! What?

This is the woman that has voted for austerity which has lead to foodbanks, pay cuts, massive inequality and a country in crisis. Yet in her mind the worst thing she’s done is run through a field.

Crying, when her own hubris brought about the election, yet no tears for the raft of regulation cuts her kind introduced that resulted in Grenfell!

Back in the real world, the May’s of this society simply can’t function among honest normal people – hence the election result as she did it to herself.

Dave Griffiths


‘This tower block is safe’

SIR, Re: L Presley’s letter Fire Safety Concerns I would like to inform those who are interested that the residents of the high rise complex have been given assurance concerning their safety by a series of meetings with Fire Safety Officers w ho answered questions and explained the construction of the flats and the composition of the cladding.

It is NOT the same as that used at Grenfell House. St John’s councillors have visited and offered their support and help. We already have excellent smoke and fire alarms and Richard Udall is currently gathering tenants views about a sprinkler system.

Information leaflets have been distributed by Fortis. They have reiterated rules designed to keep us safe within the flats and the community areas. They have also set up a weekly surgery for anyone who has further queries.

The annual fire inspection was carried out in April but as soon as news about Grenfell House broke, Fire Officers returned. Minor work which tenants suggested might improve safety has been, or, is in the process of being done.

I wonder why Mr Presley’s nine “Highrise friends” are not aware of the above facts? Perhaps they haven’t attended the meetings or read the letters sent out by Fortis.

M Pearce

Henwick House, Worcester

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