As I approach my 80th birthday I do not expect to receive love letters, yet recently I was sent such a missive by a subordinate of HM Secretary of State for Work and Pensions based in Motherwell, wherever that is.
One phrase of the letter caught my attention because it stated that on achieving octogenarian status my State Pension would rocket by a massive 25 pence per week (19 pence after tax).
I was so uplifted and delighted by those tidings that I cracked open a bottle of champagne (£30, Tesco, special offer) but then, after sober consideration I decided that this message was both demeaning and insulting because the award was utterly valueless.
Indeed, it would take me three weeks of hard saving of this pittance to accumulate sufficient funds to purchase a second class postage stamp.
The Government would be wise to abolish such meaningless gestures, which clearly cost the taxpayer far more in funds to administer than any benefit that might accrue to a recipient pensioner.
Our politicians are addicted to expressing everything in percentages, but perhaps I could point out to those Westminster worthies that three per cent of very little amounts to next to nothing.
This point highlights the fact that this increased State Pension is grossly inadequate to support life and those condemned to live on it can look forward to misery, malnutrition, cold and degradation.
Even those who made a supreme effort to provide for the evening of their lives find themselves undermined by the fiscal policies of the present Government.
People who reached the age of 75 were forced by Government to purchase annuities that for the most part are not inflation-proofed while a subsequent Government creates inflation by debauching the currency.
How can one have confidence in our present crop of politicians, when one considers that of the main political parties in this country, none of their leaders, even though festooned with Oxbridge degrees, has ever had a proper job, apart from Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP.
GEORGE W. TRIBE
The Coopers, Itchingfield