Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Another reply.....

arrived to my letters to the Party Leaders, this is from the Liberal Democrats.   Sounds promising but then they all do.

Liberal Democrats
4 Cowley Street

19 April 2010

Dear Mrs

Many thanks for your letter to Nick Clegg. I'm replying to letters and emails on his behalf.

We agree with you that pensioners have had an unfair deal for too long - and the advent of mass means-testing for pensioners has had a disastrous effect on incentives to put money aside for retirement. As such, we'd restore the link between pensions and earnings immediately, so that pensioners fall no further behind the wealth of the nation. In fact, we'd raise pensions by whichever is the highest of earnings, inflation or 2.5%, so pensions begin automatically to rise relative to average income as time goes by.

This would be a first step towards a universal Citizen's Pension, set at a considerably more generous level than the present pension, which would slash means-testing and help millions of pensioners. This would benefit a great many pensioners, reducing the proportion subject to means-testing from nearly 50% to under 10% and benefiting . people who have, for whatever reason, not been able to build up a full pension record under the current system. However, it's important to be honest about the state of Britain's finances - as such, we'd only be able to do this as resources allow.

In addition, Liberal Democrats are committed to the principle of scrapping the unfair Council Tax, introduced by the Conservatives and carried on by Labour. Currently Council Tax places an excessive burden on pensioners, who end up paying a far higher proportion of their income as council tax compared to high-earners. It hits the bottom 10% of the income spectrum hardest and is not even based on property ownership ¬simply on residence. We would replace Council Tax with a fair local tax, related to ability to pay - this would help millions of people in Britain, especially pensioners.

We also think that the benefits system needs significant reform. At the moment, not enough is being done to help people who can work into work and off benefits. We need to create a simpler, fairer system that encourages people who can work to find employment, which would allow more resources to be directed to those who can't. A one-size-fits-all policy cannot and will not meet the needs of unemployed people - so we want to tailor assistance to meet their individual needs and aspirations, so that they get the support they need to get back into sustainable employment.

We've argued for a Single Working Age Benefit to replace both Jobseeker's Allowance and Incapacity Benefit. With each claimant, there would be a 'labour market disadvantage assessment' to assess their specific barriers to work -like poor health, age and local labour market conditions - so they can have a personalised programme of support and responsibilities. We'd also aim to replace JobCentre Plus with a new First Steps Agency, using the voluntary and private sectors to deliver personalised support to help people into work. A DWP report found that private and voluntary providers had a 10% higher success rate in helping the long-term unemployed into sustainable employment.

Thank you once again for writing to us.

Yours sincerely

Bess Mayhew
General Election Response Team
Liberal Democrats

I have still not received a reply to my second letter to Gordon Brown.       Neither have I received a reply from my MP (Labour) to my letter asking him for his thoughts on the first letter I sent to Gordon Brown, his Party Leader, of which I sent him a copy.    Obviously he doesn't want my vote.  I have emailed our local paper informing them of the lackadaisical attitude of our town's MP and suggested they ask him for his opinion on my concerns.  I'll let you know if anything comes of it, though by Thursday it will be too late as all the votes will be cast.


Gledwood said...

I hope somebody does get rid of that ridiculous Council Tax ~ it's actually more unfair than the poll tax, with residents at any address being "jointly and severally liable" ~ this means it is quite possible to bill ONE person in theory for council tax owed by several others. Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if one of them - any of them - just stuck to their words!

Anonymous said...

I e mail my representatives regularly. All I get in return are form letters promoting themselves. they just don't listen, they just don't care.
All they do is go after money to get re elected.

I don't give up, though.

I glad you don't either.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

well honey if they are anything like the politicians here don't believe what they say anyhow. i swear they are all liars and cheats. i am so sick of them all, seriously. power and money, that's all they care about.

smiles, bee

Linda said...

Unfortunately I've got to agree with what Bee said. It seems that politicians these days don't care about their constituents these days - just themselves and their own positions.

Akelamalu said...

Oh no Gleds the poll tax was infinitely more unfair than the council tax. The old rates system was fairest but they won't go back to that.

Yes, Eternally Distracted that would be nice and a miracle!

I'll never give up writing my letters gregj even though I know they don't listen. :)

Politicians are the same the world over Bee, unfortunately. :(

I agree Linda. :(

Ron said...

Good for you for emailing your local paper informing them of the lackadaisical attitude of your town's MP!!!!

You GO, m'dear!

Please keep us posted.

Have a great day!


Susan at Stony River said...

We have great local politicians here, but it never seems to get to the top at all. Good luck with the letters - it's an important issue!

Daryl said...

Nevertheless, you stood up for what you believe and that's what really matters .. letting the buggers know you do not rubber stamp your vote

Anonymous said...

I'm so dang proud of you for wanting answers and doing something about it. Good luck Thursday :)

Quilly said...

I applaud you for speaking up and insisting on answers. Even so, this answer sounds a lot like "one hand clapping". There are a lot of things mentioned that "we'd like to do" but no timelines for implementation were listed and no definite plans were outlined.

buffalodick said...

America took it upon themselves to police the world- for free. Those are my tax dollars, and I now pay $10,000 dollars a year for health care, with 5 more years before I can apply for Social Security- at a reduced pay out, and 8 more years for health care (unless the head wind bag does something about it!)...If politicians spent my money like it was their money- maybe something would be left...

Fiona said...

I got a reply from Nick Clegg too, yet nothing from labour or conservatives... I reckon the lib dems are definitely making the right noises......

Spiky Zora Jones said...

akelamalu: Oh sweetie I love how you rock the boat and shake the, you just don't shake the shake the whole tree.

I want someone like you running for office...I'd vote for you.

I would love it if the newpapers asked him. :)

later honey. xxx

Cloudia said...

Proud of you for your efforts!

Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

Fletch said...

Glad to hear you've taken the 'local rag' route, too!

Others in our 'predicament' ought to start banding together now to start bombarding our various politicians, because it surely looks like it's going to be a hung parliament, followed by another general election in about six months ...

Congrats on what you've managed so far!

Akelamalu said...

I'm not sure it's made any impact Ron as I haven't heard back from the newspaper but I sure feel better for doing it!

We have some great local councillors Susan but the Parliamentary candidates are nothing to write home about!

That's my take on it exactly Daryl :)

I'm just praying the country votes Labour out on Thursday Thom, it's way past time for a change.

Exactly Quilly - they're all talk!

Ah that's the crux of the matter isn't it Buff - it's not their money they're spending. :(

The Lib Dems are making some good promises but I don't agree with their views on Trident and an amnesty for illegal immigrants Fiona - that's put me off voting for them. Glad you got a reply.

If I was younger I would definitely stand for council or MP Spiky. Too many of them toe the party line instead of doing what's best for their constituents!

Thanks Cloudia x

In my view a hung parliament would be a disaster Fletch but only because I don't think they're capable of working together for the good of the country. We need a decisive government.

Mama Zen said...

Kudos to you for taking the time to make your voice heard!

Gledwood said...

Hi, I'd be interested in your comment on this ~ it compares mysterious Germanic languages to Lancashire dialect!

Do people really talk dialect like that nowadays? I heard about 100 years ago, before the advent of radio, the local accents up and down the British isles were almost incomprehensible one from another.

The boy stroked the girl on the chin and kissed her on the cheeks.

Lancashire dialect and accent
Th' lad strorkt 'lass on 'jib an busst er on th' cheaks.

Lancashire dialect and accent
Th' lad strorkt 'lass on 'jib an gev er a smeawch on th' cheaks.

The laddie straikit the lassie oan the chin an gied hir a smouch oan the chouks.

West Frisian
De jonge streake it famke om it kin en tute har op 'e wangen.

East Frisian Low Saxon
De Jung straktde dat Wicht um't Kinn to un tuutjede hör up de Wangen.


Travis said...

Thanks for sharing the responses to your letters.

Akelamalu said...

I've never heard anyone in Lancashire speak like that Gleds LOL

I thought folk might be interested Trav :)

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