Pensioners raise concerns at rally

HUNDREDS of pensioners from all over the region have voiced their concerns over their plight over pensions and council tax at a special spring convention.

HUNDREDS of pensioners from all over the region have voiced their concerns over their plight over pensions and council tax at a special spring convention.

The all-day event was held at the Waveney Sports Centre in Water Lane, Lowestoft, and was organised by the Suffolk Pensioners' Association.

Pensioners' groups from Suffolk were joined by those from Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk for a day that covered a wide range of issues.

Many pensioners were still angry at the large increases in council tax payments in East Anglia that far outstripped any rise in pension payments.


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Jack Thain, chairman of the Suffolk Pensioners' Association and one of the guest speakers, said he was pleased that representatives of all the main political parties were at the assembly to see for themselves how elderly people felt about the "horrendous" increases they are facing.

Other guest speakers included Deborah Beale, a regional representative of Help the Aged, Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, Kathy Pollard, Liberal Democrat leader on Suffolk County Council, Jeremy Pembroke, Conservative leader on Suffolk County Council, and president of the National Pensioners' Association Rodney Bickerstaff.

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Mr Bickerstaff attacked the mountain of red tape faced by pensioners that were putting off people claiming benefits they were entitled to.

He was supported in his attack on Government bureaucracy by Conservative Front Bench spokesman on Pensions, Julian Brazier. The Kent MP had travelled to Lowestoft to attend the meeting and praised the work being done by groups like the Suffolk Pensioners' Association.

"Groups like this are vital as they give a voice to one of the most important sections of our society, our pensioners. We all owe a great debt to this generation and that is something that must never be forgotten," he said.

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