Readcers' letters: Scottish pensioners need more support

"A rise would also end the morally repugnant fact that older people are often unable to heat their homes adequately”

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 8:00 am

Scottish pensioners need more support

The UK state pension is the lowest in the developed world. We are 34th in the OECD putting us behind Poland, Mexico and Chile.

While the average EU pension is 63.5 per cent of annual pay, our rate is a pathetic 29 per cent. It could be doubled and would still be below that of Ireland’s payment. This is a political choice.

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Bizarrely in 2014 when pensioners were being told by Better Together they would lose their full pension if they voted ‘Yes’, the UK government looked at our unfunded scheme and decided it was unaffordable

Consequently people now pay more for longer for less - a triple lockout. Of 41 European countries, only five make their citizens wait as long as the UK for their entitlement.

On Saturday 18 September, over 100 Yes groups will be in High Streets throughout Scotland to draw attention to this injustice. An independent Scotland would want to raise pensions as a priority, for the money would circulate within the Scottish economy.

Such a rise would also end the morally repugnant fact that older people are often unable to heat their homes adequately. Given Scottish winters and our vast energy wealth, this inequality, like poverty pensions, is another reason independence cannot come quickly enough.

For more information readers should search Believe in Scotland.

Fraser McAllister, Musselburgh.

Some choices should not be left to children

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recently recommended against Covid vaccines for 12-15 year olds. The government sought a second opinion and subsequently went against JCVI advice.

It is noteworthy that when JCVI earlier recommended that vaccines be given to 16-17 year olds the government didn't seek a second opinion.

Government departments then announced that parental consent wouldn't be needed for 12-15 year olds if the child were deemed to be competent to make the decision by themselves.

This is arguably unlawful when you consider the so-called Bell v Tavistock High Court case of 2020, which found that it was highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers.

It was also doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blocking drugs.

Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland.

Wear pink to help fight breast cancer

As we near Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, I’m calling on your readers to wear it pink, on 22 October.

By taking part in the UK’s biggest and brightest fundraiser, readers can raise vital funds and help make life-changing breast cancer research and care happen at a time when it’s never been more needed.

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted how Breast Cancer Now has been able to support people affected by breast cancer – we had to postpone in-person meetings and our research was stalled when our labs were closed during the first lockdown.

However, breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women in the UK, with one in seven women developing this devastating disease in their lifetime.

You can play your part in helping us to do this by joining people across the UK to wear it pink on 22 October, to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now.

Join us and sign up today at wearitpink.org.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive, Breast Cancer Now