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Let MPs try to live on state pension

Readers' letters | Published:

The General Election – the power that makes us weak

The election is upon us once again and MPs are seeking our votes. However, it has been suggested by observers, that as far back as 1831, that what passes for democracy both in this country and the USA, is a fallacy.

“It covers society in a network of complicated rules that even the most agile minds are unable to penetrate, and rise above the crowd. Such power compresses and extinguishes the people, till the nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.” Not my words, but those of the French sociologist, Alexis de Tocqueville who was born in 1805. A man with an enquiring mind.

This had you not noticed, also applies to the EU, who have successfully hoodwinked all, including our savvy political class.

Whichever way you vote, it matters little as the simple effect of placing your vote, gives the people the illusion that they are in control when, in fact, they have very little influence, particularly when election promises and mandates are so easily abandoned.

What voters need is an election manifesto that is a legally binding on the party elected and fixed for that parliament, or it is of no value?

An example, the triple lock on pensions, or 2.5 per cent lauded by Cameron. But now in contention which is the exact rate of inflation, surprise surprise, and has been completely swallowed up by the four per cent in council tax imposed recently. This is not a new thing, as it has been the case for more years than can be remembered and not an MP in sight?

Another example is the so-called living wage, twice that of the basic state pension, so why do successive governments expect retired folk to survive on half this, which is the lowest of any European nation and not a benefit, as it has been paid for by years of National Insurance contributions.

I have an idea! If you are thinking, oh, another retired freeloader, think again? You will retire soon and be expected to live on the pittance called the basic state pension, while others do not.

One very real way to reduce government expenditure is for the 650 MPs, 850 Peers and all the civil servants to retire on the basic state pension and make them pay for an additional private pension provision as they do in the private sector. Maybe then they would not be so swift at awarding themselves the 11 per cent pay rise, after all, it is only a part-time job at best.

Mr M Cooper, Wolverhampton

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