Politicians need to stop using pensioners as scapegoats for the country's problems

Please send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk 

Sunday 12 February 2017 15:31
Comments
The problems in the NHS have been blamed on Britain’s ageing population
The problems in the NHS have been blamed on Britain’s ageing population

I wonder if we can stop using Jeremy Hunt’s favourite phrase, “an ageing population”? In the past month I have heard it used by politicians to explain the crisis in the NHS (“too many old people needing care and blocking hospital beds”), the crisis in the economy (“pensions are too expensive”), the crisis in the prison service (“too many older prisoners is leading to overcrowding”), the housing crisis (“too many old people are living in houses too big for them and they ought to downsize”) and the crisis in the provision of social care (“too many older people need help at home”). The ageing population is also blamed for Brexit – older people voted for it and younger people did not, it seems.

As a general all round politician’s excuse, the “ageing population” certainly ticks all the boxes. Indeed, with a little imagination, a creative politician might be able to find some plausible way of blaming the ageing population for global warming and international terrorism.

Our masters have had plenty of notice that there would be, in 2017, a larger number of old people than hitherto. It was 1947 when the UK recorded its largest-ever annual total of life births. In that year nearly a million baby boomers joined the British population. I wonder why 70 years has not been long enough for our rulers to have designed and implemented a plan to manage the long-predicted surge in the numbers of old people alive today.

Chris Payne
Address supplied

We need to approach immigration carefully

Britain has an admirable history of welcoming peoples fleeing the ravages of brutal wars. They see Britain as their hope from the yoke of persecution with super-diverse neighbourhoods becoming the hallmark of our multicultural and tolerant society.

However, “superdiversity” is not without challenges. Uncontrolled immigration place enormous strains on public services. Many lack basic linguistic skills, placing additional burdens on clinics, hospitals, waiting times, GP appointments, schools, maternity units, housing, waste management and outstripping councils' resources and fuelling community tensions.

Britain isn’t racist, but if immigration continues on such a slippery slope, it might lead to serious repercussions on communities, resources and benefits as a whole.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

Threats from liberals are going unpunished

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has been forced to move house due to fears for his personal safety, the party has said.

Once again we see the violence from the liberal fascists who turn to threatening behaviour because someone does not adhere to their crippled beliefs. As with Trump in America, we see what they are really about. “Believe in what we believe or we will hurt you.”

Look at the promoters of the liberal view. Farron and Clegg have spit more poison at the democratic majority than any other party. But others will take up their liberal cry of antidemocratic lunacy and be very extreme in their actions.

JH Moffatt
​Bredbury

We need cross-party action on the NHS

Most well-informed observers would acknowledge that our health system requires a serious injection of cash, either to the NHS itself or to social care. A recent poll published in The Independent found that a majority of the population did not feel that taxes (at least not their own) should rise to pay for such additional spending. Traditionally, whatever people have said on the doorstep to political canvassers, at the polling station they have voted for the party promising lower taxes. It would follow that if Labour or the Lib Dems promised in their manifestos a 2p rise in income tax or 1 per cent on National Insurance to be spent on health, they would assure their own total annihilation.

If we are serious about extra funding for the NHS, there has to be a cross-party agreement over how the extra funding should be raised. If all the parties pledged to raise taxation by the same amount for hypothecated spending, health would no longer be a political issue and voters would make their decision on who to vote for in the next election based on other criteria.

Of course, this would require all parties to be prepared to put the future of the NHS above any short-term political gain. However, purely for reasons of party political expediency, the Tories called an unnecessary referendum on Europe and seem hell bent on pushing for a hard Brexit.

In addition, Jeremy Hunt’s handling of the NHS since 2012 seems to be aimed at providing an excuse for its privatisation, so I wouldn’t hold your breath.

MT Harris
Grimsby

Leave John Bercow alone

Those who attack Speaker Bercow’s right to speak weaken his office and Parliament itself. He was surely right to condemn apparent Islamophobia and sexism. Britain expects its Speaker to speak.

Andrew M Rosemarine
Salford

High tide at Norfolk

So £50m of cocaine washed up on Norfolk beaches, yet no report of an unusually high tide!

Tony Taylor
Nantwich

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in