March 18 Letters: Sir Bernard needs to reflect on the realities of life for most

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From: Coun Paul Andrews, Malton Ward, Ryedale District Council.

From: Coun Paul Andrews, Malton Ward, Ryedale District Council.

WITH reference to Sir Bernard Ingham’s article (The Yorkshire Post, March 11), comments on pensions and pensioner benefits from people with influence like Margaret Thatcher’s former spokesman do not help retired people to feel secure.

Most people who take out an occupational pension take into account the state pension they are likely to receive when working out and planning their contributions and the value of the pension or annuity they want to achieve.

It is therefore right that the state pension should rise with inflation – for people who can afford occupational pensions as well as for everybody else.

Free bus passes have done much to keep local buses running which might otherwise have had to be cut.

There is no need to impose a means test for these, as the very rich are unlikely to use them anyway.

Sir Bernard might like to reflect on matters such as these before writing yet another article supporting his right-wing political views.

The sad thing is that the Conservative Party has ceased to be a one-nation political party or the party of the countryside or of common sense. They only understand big business and the South East.

Sir Bernard would do well to recognise this.

From: Allan Davies, Grimsby.

YOUR recent contributor Dan Holden refers to the UK’s productivity problems and wage growth as systemic.

His article makes disturbing reading for both are deep-rooted.

The present recovery 
offers no comfort, for when UK output returned to the pre-crisis level, we had more people in work than ever before.

In other words, productivity was less than it had been in 2008.

Worse, given the long-term productivity trend of around 2.9 per cent per annum, we have lost up to 15 per cent of output in those six or seven years. This leaves a further question.

Of the increased output since the nadir in 2010, how much can be regarded as real growth stemming from investment in additional productive capacity, how much has come from better use of existing measures, and how much 
from the uptake of spare capacity?

We know that the UK languishes in the international investment league table, hence it is unlikely that there has been much real growth.