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Letters / Pensioners deserve better

Gordon Harmer (Who will pay our pension? SN, 19/06/14) may be content that the UK pays the 4th poorest pension in Europe, but if you believe the Daily Mail[1] the UK pension is actually the lowest.

Pensioners in the UK are entitled to a maximum of £110.15 per week, which according to the Daily Mail is almost £70 below what is described as a ‘living state pension’ with countries such as Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia offering more generous deals for their old folk.

The Express[2] said British workers on average wages were heading for a 67 per cent income drop in their old age, only Mexico of all OECD countries is poorer.

Steve Webb, the UK pensions minister[3], said older people would be entitled to current levels of state pension in an independent Scotland, for those who had “accumulated rights”.

After 18 September and a Yes vote there will be a period of transition and a period of negotiation, followed by an election to the independent parliament when voters can vote for whoever they wish.

The tactic from the other side of continually attacking Alec Salmond and the SNP is a blatant attempt to divert attention from the referendum and is unworthy of Gordon et al.

The biggest issue for pensioners in the UK is that there is simply not the political will in Westminster to do anything worthwhile about pension levels.

But be aware that worse is to come with £25 billion of austerity cuts planned for after the 2016 election; and that UK future is agreed to by all the UK parties.

Gordon, our pensioners deserve better.

Brian Nugent
Chair Yes Shetland