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Letters / A further decade of austerity

Local elections are over and the UK General Election 2017 goes into full swing, as do the political detractors and scaremongers.

During the 2014 Independence Referendum pensioners were harried into voting NO by unscrupulous scaremongers who spread the lie that Scottish pensioners would lose their state pension if Scotland became independent. This lie was scotched by the government minister who confirmed that the state pension, earned under them, is guaranteed payable for life whether you live in Shetland or Shanghai.

However, this does not mean that the state pension is safe in the hands of a Conservative government.

To quote SNP MP Mhairi Black in The National of 13 May 2017: “And don’t even get me started on pensions. The Tories are intent on reducing the costs of the pensions bill and will remove the triple lock which means that the value of the state pension is not any longer maintained.”

Do you think your state pension is safe in their hands?

Further quoting Mhairi from The National of 13 May: “We’ve also seen how this Tory government has treated women born in the 1950s by making them work longer before they can receive their state pension.

“The WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign will continue until a resolution is found and I will continue to back it as much as I can.”

Some of these women, who were expecting to retire at age 60, have now to wait until they are 67 before receiving their state pension. Will you get your state pension when you expect to retire or will you have to wait until some extended date in the future?

Despicable sanctions on other welfare benefits are also affecting pensioners.
Many political analysts consider that the worst of Tory austerity is yet to come.

In their bid to reduce the national deficit by cutting benefits to an ageing and less able population they are, in fact, making the poor pay for the errors of bailed-out bankers and City of London speculators.

Irrespective of how you vote in the coming General Election the result is inevitably, barring a revival in Labour fortunes, going to be a Conservative government and even more severe austerity for, possibly, the next decade.

Sixteen and 17 year olds are not allowed to vote in this UK General Election. Nevertheless, the future of the country is theirs – please don’t let them down again.

Vote Miriam Brett, MP for Orkney and Shetland.

Geordie Pottinger