Looking after the elderly is more than balancing the books

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From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

in reply to TW Coxon (Yorkshire Post, July 23), I would point out that though older people may well have paid National Insurance all their lives, it is today’s taxpayers who have to pay for the costs of the welfare state. And, given that we have an ageing population at a time of a high budget deficit, difficult decisions have to be made as to the nation’s priorities.

Yet looking after our elderly is about more than simply balancing the books. We need to ensure that those of a certain age get the care and help they deserve and aren’t discriminated against because they were born before a certain year.

At the same time however, I don’t see why we shouldn’t expect those with private resources to contribute towards their upkeep, rather than have nest eggs put aside to pass on to the next generation. For they are fortunate to have this extra money, which many pensioners employed in low-paid jobs with no private pensions before the minimum wage didn’t have the opportunity to amass. Remember that the welfare state was meant to provide a safety net for the needy, not perks for all.

I would point out that the Dilnot Report wondered about means-testing the likes of winter fuel allowances in order to increase the cap on state help with care.

That isn’t my view, but I would incorporate such money into the basic pension, which would mean it was taxable. I would also withdraw extra help from those still in full-time employment. My priority though would be to ensure all got the best care available, with the poorest still getting it free of charge.

From: Ken Hartford, Durham Mews, Butt Lane, Beverley.

how many of your readers can say they are still positive about the future of this country?

Possibly it is only people like the Queen who still work every day, who remain optimistic about what the people of this country can do and have done over the last 86 years or more and see that it is done!

“Old fogeys” we may be (I am 86) in the opinion of a good proportion of this country, but we did contribute to winning the Second World War, provided a new population and have done the odd useful thing since. The Queen is a good example! I think we deserve a bit more respect.

Criminal intent

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

Apparently City of York Council are very concerned 
about the large increase in race hate crimes in and around 
York.

For over four years, the council have been bothering themselves about race, ethnic minorities 
and the ever-increasing 
numbers of non-English 
people settling in the York 
area.

There is nothing that they 
can do to stem the hate crimes nor the population increase, because the laws of the land prohibit any action that would alleviate the causes and protect the indigenous folk.

Like almost everything else 
in “modern” England, things 
will only get much worse!