I’m no moaner, I can still pay my own way

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AFTER living through lean and worrying times before and during the War, my husband and I both left school at 14.

He worked for 45 years (apart from two years National Service) and paid National Insurance, stamps, income tax and pension dues.

I worked firstly for 16 years, then after five years caring for our three sons, did a further 24 years in employment.

Sadly, six months after I finished work, my husband died. Receiving my old age pension, together with part of my husband’s works pension, moved me back into the tax bracket and at 85 I am still paying income tax.

Classed as single, I pay around three-quarters of my council tax bill.

I do not complain, as I can manage, and many others are in the same situation, including seven of my siblings aged between 78 and 92, all of whom are still paying all their own bills and taxes.

I am pleased that I can pay my own way, and do not begrudge anyone who is in genuine need of help.

But we are all helping to keep families who, for whatever reason, have not worked for two or three generations.

Do not class all elderly as moaners and a burden on society. Who doesn’t have the occasional moan?

Laughing it off and concerning oneself with trying to help those less fortunate, makes you less likely to grumble! VJ, via email.

Sick of these rent increases

Once again a Labour Council, apparently looking after the vulnerable in our society, is taking away all my state pension increase of £5.48 per week by increasing my weekly rent to £5.84. This will have an effect on my standard of living.

The Leader of the Council stated that we’re all in this together, then accepts the recommendation of the Wigan & Leigh Housing Board, chaired by the former MP Neil Turner, to increase the rent from April by 8.7%.

I am sick of the Labour Council blaming the Tory Government and their housing minister for this action. The Labour Government introduced convergence of rents with a formula up to 2015.

It is wrong of the Wigan MP, councillors, Wigan and Leigh Housing, and Cabinet members to blame the present Government, when Labour introduced rent convergence when in office.

The projection for rents up to 2015 is £109-plus. I hope I am wrong, or the demand for social housing at affordable prices will be astronomical.

G Barlow,

Rose Hill Avenue,


Will it be just as nuts in May?

A mild January, a bitter February, a heatwave March and the wettest April in memory.

Say what you like about the British weather, at least it’s interesting!

Weatherbeaten, via email