Outrageous ‘assault’ on the over 60s

I would like to voice an opinion on an article that was recently published in a national paper.

Lord Bichard, former head of the Benefits Agency, suggested that the retired should be encouraged to undertake community service - or have their pensions docked!

Is it not enough that benefits are being chopped right across the board, it doesn’t matter if you are severely disabled or partly disabled. I thought this was a way to get the ones who have never worked living off the state, back to work not to penalise everyone.

Four years ago, the pension arrangements of people like Lord Bichard were analysed. It was found that their average pension pot was worth just under £850,000. It’s a bit rich for him to be thinking that someone on a state pension of around £5,300 a year is a “negative burden” and should be sent back to work. Most of my retired friends are already helping our community as volunteer helpers or in charity organisations raising money or looking after others.

Lord Bichard does not live in the same world as we do, it’s time he opened his eyes and looked at the real world. Retired people who have worked since they left school deserve to relax after a life time of work and enjoy their retirement years without being constantly told they are a burden on society and being means tested on their income in case they can find a way to chop a benefit here or there.

Dot Gibson of the National Pensioners Convention said: “It amounts to little more than National Service for the over-60s and is absolutely outrageous,” I couldn’t agree more.

Alan Hargreaves