READING Bill Armer’s letter about pensions (Mailbag, June 28), I’m left wondering how anyone can seriously put forward such views.
It’s true that the incoming Labour Government of 1945 decreed that the pensions plan advocated by Beveridge would be brought in immediately.
Indeed they also brought in the National Health Service, and where would we be without it?
Were they putting ‘political popularity over financial probity,’ or were they perhaps doing what was right and indeed what should have been done years before?
And what about this phrase ‘our pension fund has never been properly funded.’? All that means is that the money taken in National Insurance contributions has been absorbed in the general government coffers and used for whatever purpose they saw it fit.
Not really a problem, since the state finances should be as safe as the Bank of England, as the saying goes. In other words we have been asked to trust them, but now we might have cause to doubt.
If we took out an insurance policy with a private company we would not expect the terms of that policy to be altered. We would certainly feel aggrieved if when we made a legitimate claim we were told that we couldn’t be paid because too many were making claims.
It is true that there has never been a national compulsory retirement age, but many employees have had one imposed upon them by their employers.
Now Mr Armer seems to think that people should be prepared to work much longer before becoming entitled to receive the pension they have bought with their contributions over a period of 40 years of payments whilst in employment (which is, I believe the required qualifying period for a full pension).
If there is a black hole which has to be filled through taxation, then so be it. As a pensioner and a taxpayer I would be quite happy.
I AM monitoring the possible Tesco development in the Honley area with great interest.
I am listening carefully to what little information we have at the moment.
Tesco seem to be determined to gain a foothold in the Holme Valley. The overwhelming feeling is to protect our local community and its businesses so we all need to remain vigilant to support our village for the future.
Councillor, Holme Valley North Ward
ONCE more, the very real issues under debate in the European Parliament have been misrepresented to serve the purposes of Euroscepticism.
So we see press reports that the EU is to ban the sale of eggs by the dozen, fuelled by a huge dose of outrage from Conservative politicians.
It is a re-run of Tory fury at an apparent recent EU proposal to rename the English Channel, ‘Le Pond’. Both are untrue.
The legislation in question is the draft EU regulation on food labelling which all mainstream British parties supported in a vote in Strasbourg two weeks ago.
The legislation will ensure that consumers have clear nutritional labelling on the front of packaging (salt, sugar, fats and calories) so that they can make an informed choice about the food they buy.
Crucially, the legislation tightens up country of origin labels to ensure British meat is truthfully labelled as such – a key issue for British farmers.
There is nothing in the draft regulation which would prevent food being labelled by number. We can all rest assured that eggs can still be sold by the dozen, both in the UK and indeed everywhere else in the European Union.
With deep cuts being made to our public services, our police forces, welfare budgets, capital projects and the scrapping of Yorkshire Forward, there are surely more pressing issues for the new government than fighting phoney wars in Europe.
Linda McAvan, MEP
Yorkshire and the Humber
Long live West Riding
RELUCTANT though I am to disagree with your columnist, I suspect that the West Riding is not nearly as dead as John Avison thinks.
The West Riding is a place; West Yorkshire is a Council. To say that the establishment of the latter eliminated the former is just like saying that when our local new Council stole the name of Kirklees from Sir John Armytage, it also killed off the name of Huddersfield.
Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Council are transitory; the West Riding remains.
Holme, West Riding of Yorkshire
Don’t close centre
THE BARTON Centre at St Luke’s Hospital should not be closed. My husband had a very bad stroke two years ago, and the people who worked there were wonderful with him.
He really looked forward to going every week. They helped him with his speech and got him on his feet and walking again.
The doctor said he wouldn’t walk again, but with their help he proved them wrong. I can’t praise them enough.
Praise for NHS
I HAVE nothing but praise for the NHS after having spent 10 days in their care.
I was picked up by ambulance transport and taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, to be operated on by Mr P J Holdsworth.
I was then moved to the Intensive Care Unit until I was able to be moved to Ward 10 (Room 8).
I was amazed with the facilities, in fact it was my own private suite, complete with adjoining toilet and bathroom suite.
I was continually surprised by the happy smiling faces around me and everyone being so friendly. In fact it has been like having a large family of sisters who have been absolutely wonderful.
It was no easy job for my wife, who travelled back and forth during my hospitalisation to keep me in touch with the outside world.
I returned home on Friday, June 11 by ambulance where the driver walked me down the drive and into the house together with all my baggage.
I am now slowly recovering but these things will take time.
I also have the services of district nurses where again I must thank them all for their kindness.
WHO will be today’s William Wilberforce for unborn children?
A report that unborn children at 24 weeks feel no pain means that the pro-abortion lobby will state that we should not change the law allowing termination up to 24 weeks.
At six to seven weeks after conception the baby’s heart has been beating for three weeks and all vital organs are present.
The hands and feet are formed. Fingers and toes are appearing. Arms and legs can move and brain waves can be detected.
Whatever the length of gestation abortion is the killing of an unborn child!
Family relationships are relationships which are grounded in spiritual law, not institutions that are created by man. They are based on biblical principles.
The family’s breakdown is our greatest moral and social problem today! The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitudes, the hopes, the ambitions and the values of the child.
When the family collapses, it is the children who are usually damaged. When that happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled.
Professor J D Unwin is a British anthropologist from the early 20th century. He was a student of Freud. He did a study of 88 civilisations.
His initial motive was more or less to prove that religious influence over the sexual relationship had created an undue and negative pressure on society.
What he found was the opposite – that whenever any civilisation that emphasised strong family marital fidelity and a pre-marital abstinence was a nation or civilisation that would be on the rise, would be a vibrant culture of art, science and creativity and would have the ability to endure over time.
Conversely any civilisation that embraces indiscriminate extra-marital sexual relationships resulted in men and women unable to commit to one another, family breakdown became prevalent, pre-marital sexual relationships became the norm.
Any civilisation that embraced that type of style then declined very rapidly within three generations. There were no exceptions in his study.
I believe Dr Unwin’s study is very instructive for our time today. A stable society is absolutely dependent upon the stable families within that society.