HAVING been born before 1951, I already consider myself a second-class pensioner due to the grossly unfair levels of the basic state pension.

Currently for my peers and myself the basic state pension amounts to £129.20 per week before any graduated benefits and requires a working life of a minimum of 30 qualifying years. For those pensioners fortunate enough to be born after 1951 the rate is currently £168.60 per week, a difference of £39.40 per week, supposedly justified by a working requirement of 35 years. Most pensioners falling into the former category worked in excess of 35 years anyway, so that obviates that justification. This begs the question, do pensioners unfortunate to fall under the old rules require less income to support and sustain them in their latter years than the current level and does heating, lighting, food and council tax and so on cost less for them? Of course not, and it remains a mystery to me that the Government escaped this unfair anomaly without much scrutiny or public outcry when it was introduced in 2016.

Now we have another kick in the teeth in respect of the ending of free television licenses for the over-75s, albeit means tested ("Charging elderly for TV licence is ‘outsourcing austerity’", The Herald, June 12). Already classed as amongst the worst-off pensioners in Europe, what’s next?

Christopher H Jones,


NOW I have seen it all. Hypocrisy. Two-faced. Snide. Call it what you will, it even has a smell.

Only days ago the BBC gave us wall-to-wall coverage of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. In super-duper high-definition colour and wide-screen television. We watched as the establishment – Royalty, Government ministers, politicians of all colours and TV presenters on football players wages – allegedly paid homage to those who swept the evil of fascism aside in 1944.

A few days later the BBC announces the cancellation of free TV licences for the over-75s . £154.50 annual payment is back.

Am I the only one who sees a connection here?

"Thank you", says our present day stand-in for Churchill, addressing the front row of veterans, most in wheelchairs, as she takes centre-stage dressed as though running late for a wedding– thanks for winning a world war, but I'm afraid the BBC will be after you next year for £154.50 and there's nothing we will do about it. This equals hypocrisy.

It is a fact that those pensioners on continental Europe receive much more than the senior citizens of these isles. Where is the justice?

Our pensioners should be receiving a pension in the region of £25,000 per annum. This would ensure that when their TV licence money was taken from their account, they wouldn't even notice.

They could then sleep the sleep of peace and then rise again to a secure morrow. Something we all deserve as we grow old.

Tom Gill,


GARY Lineker is being paid £1.75 million by the BBC; meanwhile women are sent to prison for not paying the TV licence. That thought sickens me. The fact that they have to send letters threatening non-payers at a cost of £6 million is ridiculous.

The only party to come out and say it would abolish it was Ukip, maybe because it knew it wouldn't be elected. People talk about democracy; if we have it, give us a vote on the TV licence.

John Connor,


W MACINTYRE (Letters, June 12) accurately regards himself as a cynic regarding the possibility that the First Minister may try to maintain free BBC licences for those who are over 75. Social justice and equality are issues worth defending in our country as evidenced by the Scottish Government's ameliorating actions over Westminster's changes to child tax credits (the “rape clause”) and the infamous bedroom tax.

In my opinion, the First Minister has worked to protect the people of Scotland from the iniquitous and unscrupulous excesses of Tory rule to date and will endeavour to continue to do so.

Some needs to learn the difference between their perception of political expediency and genuine social democracy. Or perhaps that is too egalitarian for some?

Owen Kelly,