Readers' letters - December 12

Cold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years says a reader
Cold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years says a reader

As winter weather starts to worsen stand by your gran

Cold has been systematically killing our elderly people for more than 30 years from cold-related illnesses against a background of soaring energy bills.
The State pension paid out in this country has been meagre since the 80s, when Margaret Thatcher’s right wing Tory Government broke the link that kept it rising as male average earnings increased – a pension to which our elderly people had paid decades of National Insurance contributions.
Consequently, Britain’s State pension has been reduced to a pittance compared to Western European levels, particularly that of Germany, where the State pension is £26, 366 per year, and the French State pension is £15,811 per year.
Age UK says every winter, 25,000 older people in England and Wales do not survive the bitter weather. This represents 206 deaths a day.
None of this is necessary if Britain’s State pension was on a par with Western European levels which, as stated, are far higher than the UK’s State pension.
Britain’s low State pension has nothing to do with costs, because there is a “surplus” in the National Insurance fund in excess of £30bn.
And the National Insurance system was set up to pay State pensions and benefits. Britain is a very wealthy country.
Please sign my online petition, and share it, to show your disgust at this disgraceful treatment of our oldest citizens, and to force Parliament to discuss this issue,
Michael Thompson
via email

Tough times call for greater faith

That we live in a sad sick world is patent for all to see, we hear many say “what is the world coming to?” we are shocked at the behaviour and immorality of our young people these days.
Immorality in schools, government, television and politics, nations spend millions on weapons and armaments while in many places people starve.
Evil and wickedness in our world is not an anomaly; it’s the norm. It’s bad now but it’s only going to get worse, with the nuclear atomic weaponry we have today it would take half an hour to destroy the world. As we survey the world’s escalating anxiety, we conclude that it is a world of tragedy and threatening disaster. Things have been on a downward spiral since Adam and Eve. Godlessness and lawlessness are going to increase, so how does this give us any hope?
Hang on, I’m getting there, the good news is that, in spite of wickedness which fills our world, Jesus Christ will continue saving sinners and building His church that will never be overcome – even the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.
We easily seem to forget that the helpless babe in the manger later said: “I will come again”. We don’t know when but our current world crisis points to its near approach. This truth should challenge the believer in Christ to face his responsibilities in work and in witness, while at the same time it should confront the unbeliever with the urgent need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
John Ashton

Good to see a tough minister

It is very refreshing to hear new Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested that British who have fought for IS should be killed before they can return to the UK, where they could at any time resume their terrorist tendencies. It is also great to know that at last we have someone who believes in the roll of our Armed Services, and, unlike his predecessors, is prepared for a fight with the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Treasury for an increase in funding for them. And it is even more encouraging to have a senior politician with guts instead of the usual spineless variety that we have become used to.
Phil Griffiths
commentator and broadcaster