Letter: Hitting the poor

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The Independent Culture
Sir: So now I know. It's official. I am a scrounging, lazy, layabout, living a life of luxury on state handouts. A seeker after something for nothing.

At 62, my wife and I have a joint total of near 90 years contributing tax, insurance and other state dues and demands. I served Queen and country for five years in the RAF, my wife 20 years in the caring professions.

We raised two foster children with little financial help from the state and at considerable expense to ourselves, saving the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds. We helped care for two elderly relatives over some 15 years.

At 50, I found myself unemployed and unemployable due to age discrimination. Not deterred, we invested our capital and a large part of the value of our house in a business. Twelve months later I was hit by an incurable and disabling illness and we lost pounds 40,000 at least. I have not worked since.

My income? pounds 75 per week.



West Yorkshire