Readers' letters - December 2

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Friday, 2nd December 2016, 5:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:41 pm
Setting the youth against pensioners is a nasty political device says a reader. See letter

The tenor of the media today is suggesting that the pensioners are to blame for the plight of the young unemployed.

Pensioners do not get ‘free’ bus passes or ‘free’ winter fuel allowances.

Over their working years they have earned these so-called perks through taxation.

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Britain is the most highly taxed country in Europe.

Even to suggest an end to the ‘triple lock’ on state pensions in 2020 is an insult to a large majority of people who have paid their taxes during their long working lives, not to have them stolen by Government to plug a hole in the meagre earnings of the young. This could cost the Conservatives an election victory in 2020. More pensioners tend to vote, apparently, than the young.

You cannot “rob Peter to pay Paul”. The Government has a legal obligation to respect the contribution pensioners have made during their working lives. They have paid their taxes and now expect their just deserts.

It would be flagrant robbery. I suggest it would be illegal. I could well imagine a case being brought against the Government by such bodies as Age Concern to defeat any planned raid on pensions or pensioner benefits.

Even former Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “If you’ve worked hard during your life, saved, paid your taxes, done the right thing, you deserve dignity when you retire.” He promised to protect pensioner benefits.

What this Government wants to do is an old trick... make the poor look after the poor. That won’t do in today’s world. Those with the most should contribute the most. Setting the youth against the pensioners is a nasty political device. Pay young people proper wages in the first place and end student loans. There is a way forward, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, but the rich one per cent are getting away with it scot-free and they should be made to pay more towards the running of the country.

People like Sir Philip Green and others are living the good life while the rest of us suffer. It isn’t right and it isn’t fair. And nor is it just.

Peter Asquith-Cowen

via email


Tensions at
Trump Towers

On a recent visit to New York, we tried to walk down 5th Avenue past Tiffany’s which is situated in Trump Tower to look at the Christmas windows.

Police had erected barriers around the whole block and were searching any bags carried by persons wanting to enter the zone.

There were police and bomb disposal vans everywhere in the district and protesters still saying “Not our President”. It was quite intimidating.

Hopefully it will settle down after January 2017 and tourists can once again enjoy the thrill of New York’ s most famous shopping street.

Hilary Andrews

Address supplied


Cross at the Maltese PM

When threatening the British economy, the Prime Minister of Malta should remember that his country hosts thousands of British tourists every year, and that we are the largest source of his country’s tourism income by a long way.

If the Maltese premier, who is about to take over the EU presidency next year, wants

to play hardball, he should expect a backlash from the British public, and could lose the goodwill that many in this country have felt towards Malta for many years.

Threats, as President Obama discovered, merely harden our resolve.

Paul Rouse

via email