Star Letter: Nothing to fear from Labour plans to ‘close wealth gap’

Star Letter
Star Letter
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Your correspondent Derick Bullivant is reviving the Tory scare tactics of the run-up to the 1992 General Election.

He claimed in a letter from The Star of November 11 that a future Labour Government would axe benefits to pensioners, such as the free bus-pass, winter fuel allowance and free TV licences for over 75s.

The Labour Party introduced and improved these benefits to ensure that elderly people are able to live comfortably after their working days are over.

This was particularly to help those who have not had the opportunity to pay into generous pension schemes.

However, there are some pensioners who are sufficiently well off in retirement to be higher rate tax payers, ie better off than the majority of people in work.

It is not unreasonable to say that they do not need extra money for fuel bills or travel, and to look at how these payments could be added to their tax-bills.

This is at a time when many working people on much lower incomes have seen their living standards cut drastically over the last four years.

I am one of those fortunate people, and would willingly pay extra tax to help those who really struggle to pay their winter fuel bills, such as the chronic sick, rather than donate the allowance to charity.

The Labour Party stands for fairness and social justice, which in current hard times means that those of us who care that our society is becoming increasingly polarised between the very wealthy and the rest, and are able to contribute more, should do so.

95 per cent of pensioners have absolutely nothing to fear, but everything to gain from Labour’s plans to “close the gap”.

Veronica Hardstaff

Northfield Court, S10