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Dispatches – Heat or Eat.


Channel 4’s Dispatches TV Programme Heat or Eat – The Pensioners’ Dilemma aired last night in regard to the poverty of the elderley was another superb production. It is clear that many senior citizens are suffering from poverty unable to lead anything like a decent life. Faced with increasing fuel costs, rising prices for food many are deep in despair.

Many are finding life difficult, can hardly cope with daily life. Power companies send threatening and bullying letters due to pensioners being unable to pay. There is a grave injustice here. We should do more to assist our senior citizens, it is a national disgrace that we fail to ensure senior citizens in their retirement of anything resembling a decent retirement. Pensions are totally inadequate.

Now that Shell has declared a £13.9 billions in profits, some of this money could be used to finance higher pensions for senior citizens, we subsidize Northern Rock with over £245 billions and how much of that money could have been used to provide decent pensions for our senior citizens.

Why is it when we observe senior citizens living in abject poverty our local and national govenrment politicians fail to address their needs.

Something must be done urgently to improve the lives of our senior citizens.

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  1. Jane
    February 5, 2008 at 17:02

    I think I may be a senior citizen. I am not sure though. I do accept a state retired pension – is this what you mean? Whilst your argument is laudable I do not think it is affordable. If the state pension is insufficent and the number of retired persons continue to rise (forecasted) then a greater burden will be placed on the working taxpayer. These are the ones who often have mortgages and children and are often hard up. Pensioners are able to receive additional income on top of state entitlement to ensure a minimum standard of living and those over 75 are entitled to greater state assistance. Rightly so as often they did not have enough pension protection which has been available to everyone from my generation either through company or state top up pension facilities.

    However, I have friends who elected not to contribute to a pension scheme , lived it up to the hilt and always believed the state would provide. It is awful for them now as their standard of life has been hit. The majority of my friends have prepared for retirement and are having a wonderful life. Downsizing homes, lots of travel, varied leisure pursuits etc etc. They like me, would not wish to have the younger generation pay more tax to fund their retired pension. They like me feel sympathetic to younger people because of the pressures they are under.

    Better, I think to land a windfall tax on prosperous oil companies and this money (regrettably means tested) to those who are infirm. Further, decentralise power to local communities so that we can hold accountable the expenditure that really does infuriate those on fixed income. I refer to community charge and the precept to fund the county police service. We have little influence on world oil markets (other than penalise companies registered in the UK – who will of course move their operations to another business friendly country) but I and fellow “senior citizens” would certainly have some input into local expenditure in a meaningful way. Iwould go the whole hog and elect Chief Constables.

    Off – bridge evening and meal out. I also have to get my gym stuff ready for my 7am session in the morning. The trials of us oldies!!!

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