Pensioners deliver council tax petition

TENDRING pensioners who claim they are struggling to survive have made a stand against council tax rises Honorary secretary of the Tendring Pensioners' Action Group, Gordon Beare, handed over a petition to Harwich MP Ivan Henderson at Clacton Town Hall yesterdayin hope that he will raise the issue with the Prime Minister.

TENDRING pensioners who claim they are struggling to survive have made a stand against council tax rises

Honorary secretary of the Tendring Pensioners' Action Group, Gordon Beare, handed over a petition to Harwich MP Ivan Henderson at Clacton Town Hall yesterdayin hope that he will raise the issue with the Prime Minister.

Over the past three months the group have had more than 1,000 people sign against the 16% increase in council tax.

Mr Beare said: "We will not rest, we are seeking to improve the lot of all pensioners. We never thought retirement would mean being so miserably treated by the Labour Government."


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He complained that retirement pensions should be linked to average earnings and added that many pensioners had to dip into their savings just to maintain a decent standard of living.

He said: "Pensioners are finding it a struggle, particularly if they do not have savings. Organic food is supposed to be the best food for pensioners to eat, but it's just too expensive.

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"We receive £33 a week less than fellow pensioners in Ireland, who also receive free telephone and transport, which we do not get."

Mr Beare also believes money is wasted with administration costs on means testing. He argued: "Even if they put pensions up by £40 it still wouldn't be the same amount spent on administration costs."

Mr Henderson said: "I will be bringing this petition to the attention of relevant government departments on behalf of my constituents.

"I believe the government has achieved a lot for pensioners and is continuing to bring forward initiatives such as pensioners' credits, which is already benefiting many of my local pensioners.

"There is, however, a major issue in that however large the government settlement has been for Tendring District Council, they seem determined to inflict massive rises in council tax on local residents."

When the council tax was set earlier this year, leader of the Essex County Council, Lord Hanningfield told the EADT it was a "robust and sensible" budget to put the authority in a position to deal with "the squeeze to come".

He said: "A further £45million in grant will be lost in future years. Despite these difficulties, we have not lost sight of delivering our priorities in improving the lives of people in this county.

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