Letters, Monday, November 17, 2014

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Something for OAPs to think about ...

GRACE Cassidy gave some very wise advice to pensioners when she wrote that they should put on their thinking caps before voting next year. (Echo, October 17).

 Grace points to the winter fuel allowance as a reason to think before voting. It is a pity she did not refer to Labour’s shadow chancellor’s conference speech. In this keynote speech made at the Labour Party’s final conference before the general election, Ed Balls stated quite clearly he would stick to “fiscal responsibility in the national interest.”

 “We will have to make other decisions which I know will not be popular with everyone,” he said, highlighting plans to raise the state retirement age and scrap the winter fuel allowance for some pensioners. Is this the start of the end?

 Even Labour’s Peter Hain said “The attack on pensioners’ allowances leaves a big question hovering over the future of the welfare state: is it for everyone, or just for the poor?”. The welfare system is founded on universality, he said, “in the laudable hope of cementing social solidarity.”

 Yes Labour is looking to start scrapping the winter fuel allowance. Pensioners must indeed think carefully before voting Labour.

 Don’t forget, it was the Conservative-led Government that increased the cold weather payments for pensioners from Labour’s £8.50 per week to £25 per week. It should also be remembered that this Conservative-led Government has increased the state pension by £15 per week to date since 2010.

 It was also recently announced that it will increase by a further £2.85 per week in April 2015, bringing the total increase in the state pension under this Government to £17.85 per week. Remember the derogatory 75 pence a week increase under Labour?

 Grace will not like these points; they are, after all, an inconvenient truth for Labour.

Keith O’Brien,

Middle Herrington.

Which type of letter writer are you?

I HAD a good laugh at a radio discussion about the different kinds of people who write to newspapers.

 First there are those who write pointless letters. Then there are the pompous types who pontificate on any subject. The paranoid worry about anything and everything.

 Hobbyists want to tell us all about their favourite pastimes and interests. There are some who sign themselves Disgusted, and some who enjoy seeing their names in the newspaper (Look, mam! Me name’s in the Echo). Finally, there are the conspiracy theorists.

 Those of you who write regularly to the Echo should ask yourselves: Which group do I belong to.

 Personally, I would add three more group – the sad loners, social misfits and Conservative councillors (and I don’t want any comedians out there pointing out the link between them).

Paul Manning,

Washington.

Rock on at the SoL

I’M glad to see the Foo Fighters will be playing at the Stadium of Light next year. Hopefully it’s a sign that there will be more real rock music at the stadium rather than teeny pop and student music like Coldplay. How about Metallica or Iron Maiden next?

Graham Johnson,

Sunderland.