Travails of the baby-boom generation

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From: David McKenna, Hall Gardens, Rawcliffe, Goole.

READING Stephanie Smith’s article (Yorkshire Post, December 18), I really felt that she was beginning her first work of fiction.

It’s all been “easy come, easy go for our parents” (that is, people like me) has it? Well, I must have missed something along life’s way, rather like the sex, drugs and rock and roll which didn’t quite get to my neck of the woods when I was young back in leafy Lancashire.

I appreciate things are going to be tougher for some as the Institute for Fiscal Studies says, but at least I haven’t heard my sons bleating on about how much will be left to them when I depart this stage. Instead they studied, earned their qualifications and now have good jobs.

Stephanie’s article conveniently forgets what we, the “baby boomers” had to shell out.

Things like 16 per cent mortgage interest rates; family allowance which paid for the dinner money; 30 per cent deposit for new cars that didn’t even boast a heater or a radio as standard.

We saved as best we could which wasn’t always easy, but then we didn’t feel compelled to buy the latest designer clothing or go out clubbing; we didn’t need the latest smartphone (there weren’t any), nor did we have satellite dishes, smart TVs or digital equipment.

My children will certainly not be expecting me to help them in the way your writer states. My father once said to me that if I ever needed money I must always ask him first. “You might not get it, but you must always ask me first,” he said.

Yes, Stephanie, perhaps you think that it was “easy come, easy go” but most of it went, even then, and even your bleating on does not make me feel guilty!

From: David Collins, Scissett, West Yorkshire.

APPARENTLY my generation, the “baby boomers”, have stolen all the money for extravagant lifestyles, housing and pensions according to Stephanie Smith (Yorkshire Post, December 18).

I dispute this.

However we have made one major error. We have sired the me, me, me, now generation.

When we were young we couldn’t afford cars, we lived in two-up, two-down houses and gradually moved up the property ladder. We started saving for Christmas presents in September after the summer holidays, etc.

This younger generation are also the “it’s not my fault” generation. Someone must be to blame. Let’s sue somebody.

I’m very pleased that some of this generation will eventually get something from us. We got nothing from our parents and we didn’t expect it.

You might ask successive governments what happened to the pension pots? The answer is taxation and the threat of taxation. Final salary pension funds were killed off by Gordon Brown when he taxed pension fund incomes in 1997. They continued to live on after this but the death knell had sounded everywhere except in the Civil Service and Government departments who don’t care as we pick up the tab. Quite why it took 14 years for the Government to twig – ask them, not me.

You might also ask them about student loans.

You might also ask them about selling our national assets to subsidise artificially low tax rates and why those funds aren’t ring fenced to provide future pensions.

Good grief, I sound like my grandad!

Spare thought for 999 staff

From: David Whiting, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

AS a vital emergency service that provides life-saving care and treatment to members of the public all year round, Christmas Day will be like any other normal day for many of our staff.

Staff working as part of our emergency ambulance service, including those taking 999 calls in our Emergency Operations Centre, know the commitment required to work as part of a 24/7 emergency service which means working over the Christmas period when many will be enjoying the festivities at home with family and friends.

Our teams will also be manning the 24/7 NHS 111 service, offering advice and help for those who have an urgent healthcare need.

Across the Trust, our staff will be kept extremely busy responding to everything from heart attacks and strokes to alcohol-related illnesses and injuries, and providing advice on common ailments such as indigestion and headaches.

With this holiday period being a traditionally busy time for us, I encourage people to ease the pressure on our busy staff by helping themselves, looking after each other and staying safe to avoid the need to call an ambulance.

Stock up on medication to manage common health conditions, make sure you pack your medication if you’re going away, take care when out and about, keep warm and drink responsibly.

Do spare a thought for our dedicated staff who will be working instead of celebrating only dial 999 in a genuine medical emergency.

The Trust is urging people to “Choose Well” and select the most appropriate service for their healthcare needs. This includes self-care, pharmacists, GP surgeries and urgent care centres.

A dedicated page on our website contains details of local walk-in centres and minor injury units across the Yorkshire and the Humber region in addition to the NHS 111 service provided by the Trust. You can find the page here http://www.yas.nhs.uk/Calling999/Choose_Well.html or by clicking on the Choose Well link on our homepage at www.yas.nhs.uk

I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff working over the festive period for their continued dedication, commitment and professionalism.

It is, as always, very much appreciated by the Trust 
and, more importantly, our patients.

I would also like to wish you and your readers a very merry Christmas and a safe and enjoyable New Year.

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