ONE in six people in Britain is over 65 and because of advances in medicine and living generally, this “army” will grow.
There are 900,000 more pensioners than there were a decade ago and there are a quarter more over-90s than ten years ago.
This has concerned me for some time, especially with the Hampshire county budget being cut year on year.
Last week I set out to gather the views of more than 50 local pensioners. Of course a number of them were concerned about the cost of living and rising energy bills.
A few complained they had gone cold this winter but the majority were grateful for the relatively mild winter – so far.
The majority of comments were that our pensioners feel badly let down by Conservative and Labour governments of recent years.
Top of their list was uncontrollable immigration.
Many pensioners were greatly concerned about education in our country, bitter about the slipping standards, while youngsters have to pay staggering fees at university.
Several spoke of the deterioration of our armed services.
One, an ex-naval officer and veteran of the Falklands campaign, stated that if Argentina invaded again we would not be able to respond as in 1982, due to a lack of personnel and equipment.
Likewise they were concerned about the chronic state of the NHS. It is not untypical to wait two to three weeks for a doctors’ appointment and the service has significantly deteriorated.
Home visits are not available and visits to A & E are often non-productive because they would merely be passed onto another department at another date.
Many were totally disillusioned with the leadership of both parties, considering Cameron to be a weak and ineffective leader, unable to deliver policy through the coalition, while others weren’t too sure which Milliband brother was leading the party and whoever it was had no personality.
In short, they blamed both parties for the deterioration of this country.
Our pensioners are renowned for voting. They want politicians who will deliver a nation which is fit to bring children up in, fit to educate them and fit to provide the standard our pensioners deserve.
We must treat this group with the respect they deserve, to develop policies to rebuild our country so that everybody who is prepared to invest in the country can enjoy a decent standard of living.
Cllr Tony Hooke, Andover