AN OPEN LETTER FROM JIM SILLARS TO SCOTLAND’S PENSIONERS
I am 76 years of age. My State Pension is safe with independence, and so is yours. Who says so? The UK Department for Work and Pensions in a statement made in January 2013:
“If Scotland does become independent this will have no effect on your State Pension, you will continue to receive it just as you do at present”
The Department explained that as we have paid our National Insurance Contributions, we have a legal entitlement to the State Pension.
The No campaign knew about that statement, yet through insinuation have made you think your pension was not safe; a despicable tactic to sow fear among the elderly when there are no grounds for fear.
There is, of course, more to the referendum than our pensions – there are our children and grandchildren. I want mine and yours to have a prosperous and secure life in Scotland; and not be among the 30,000 who leave our shores each year for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
In every age group, except us Pensioners, polls show Yes is ahead. Our young people have great confidence in their ability to make Scotland better for all, with independence. Are we going to hold them back?
They are not self-centred. They show concern for their grandparents by determination to abolish the bedroom tax, which they know has caused anxiety and misery for Pensioners. They care about you.
They know what they owe you for all the love, affection and support they have received during their journey from birth to adulthood.
We grandparents can be proud of the good job we have done in helping to bring them up. They are a credit to themselves and to us.
But what about their future? With a No vote, nothing will change. Scotland will remain a low wage economy dominated by unemployment, with many families driven to food banks to feed their children, some of whom could be your grandchildren.
It will be a tragedy for them if we, in the final years of our lives, deny them the opportunity they want to rebuild a Scotland that gives their children, our grandchildren a better future.
If I cannot persuade you to vote Yes, perhaps these words from Margo MacDonald will:
“This is our time of reckoning, we’ve got to take it, and if we don’t take it
we are consigning our children to much less than we’ve had – to narrow horizons, lower
aspirations ,we are consigning our children to being small when we should be giving
them a much bigger world”
Vote Yes.: give our children and grandchildren the chance they are asking for.