Time to lay off the pensioners

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DAVID Cameron’s commitment to maintain universal pensioner benefits if he remains Prime Minister after May 7 has again sparked a debate about a phoney war between the generations.

A number of think-tanks and media commentators were quick to argue older people were being cushioned from austerity, whilst younger people were struggling.

The group Policy Exchange also argued people should have to opt-in to receive the winter fuel allowance and the state pension should be subject to the welfare cap imposed by the government.

Yet the facts don’t support the claim that the generations are divided. Both young and old have a poverty rate of one in five and they share concerns about housing and public transport.

What really lies behind these attacks is a desire to take the attention away from bankers, financial markets and the City for their role in the economic crisis.

It wasn’t pensioners who caused the crisis, yet we seem to be taking the blame. We’re fed up with being told we’re getting something for nothing, when every year our generation puts back £40bn into society more than we receive in pensions, benefits and care through our taxes, volunteering and unpaid caring.

We have paid in all our lives for a decent pension and what do we get one of the lowest pensions in Europe.

Derek Barton

West Lancashire Pensioners