OAPs deserve their affluence : LETTERS

From Mr E. Paull Sir: Carolyn Whitehead is right to draw attention to the affluence of many pensioners. An OAP myself, I acknowledge that I could afford extra VAT on fuel. What I resent as a tax payer is the benefits that go to the young, (other than those unemployed, si ck and disabled). My generation lived through the lean years of the Thirties; the war, and post-war austerity. We have had, overwhelmingly, stable, lasting marriages, providing for our children, and saving for our retirements out of lowincomes in the ye ars following the war.

The post-war generations have sabotaged Beveridge by diverting benefits intended for the sick and poor to the "casualties" of broken marriages and other heterosexual liaisons: lone parents with families to rear; mistreated children taken into care or on the streets in need of accommodation. This distortion of Beveridge is seldom criticised or commented on because it has become part of our culture: the opinion formers in politics, the media and academe often involved in the irresponsibility

- hated word in the late 20th century - which has undermined Beveridge's intent.

Is it any wonder in this climate of selfishness and instant gratification that old people, mindful of their past sacrifices, take all they can get?

Yours faithfully, E. PAULL London, SW16