There will be many losers

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This Government is bent on making sure that we all have a reduced standard of living.

On the heels of the tax credits fiasco, we now find out that future pensioners are the next target. The much vaunted Universal Credit will pay £155 per week but the downside is that anyone who has built up a bigger pension with their Second State Pension, SERPS and Graduated Benefit will lose this. As there is no provision for any supplementary scheme in the new pension your National Insurance payments will not entitle you to any extra pension as it does at present.

The main losers are the people in the middle of their working lives and the young who will find themselves with a much smaller pension than they would have had.

The safety net of Pension Credit will be removed. The Government has made no attempt to publicise this and the vast majority of people are unaware. The Government claims this will reduce the mind blowingly complicated present system. As someone who has worked in more than one pension centre, I can say that at least the old system was fair.

This brainchild of Ian Duncan Smith is a cynical attempt to reduce money available to the most vulnerable members of our society.

Not since Thatcher have we seen such a concerted attack on our society. With its austerity plan in tatters it is bent on increasing the gap between rich and poor to Victorian levels.

By reducing services it is hitting you and I. We have reduced police, fire, ambulance and National Health Services. By reducing the money paid to councils it is forcing cuts in valuable council services. The Government is also hitting low paid workers with its cuts to tax credits as well as the sick and unemployed.

The population of Sunderland is reducing because people are having to leave to find work. The Government is causing havoc in our area. The “Northern Powerhouse” should be renamed the “Northern Poorhouse” because that is what we are becoming.

This so-called devolution is a cynical attempt to cajole and blackmail our councils into assuming powers which will not be backed by the finance to make it work. This sets us up nicely in the eyes of the Government when the whole plan fails and it can blame the councils!

Richard Beck,

Seaburn