CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown's attempt to woo the grey voters is more likely to get him a slap in the face, like the insulting 75p rise in the state pension of a few years ago!

He has created his own definition of a pensioner household which is quite different from that of ordinary people.

Does he, as a Scot, have difficulty with the English language?

In plain English, a pensioner household means a household in which one of the partners is in receipt of the state pension (i.e. over 60, at which pensioner benefits such as free prescriptions automatically kick in).

But no, Gordon Brown's definition insists that one of the partners has to be over 65, so instead of 8.5 million households benefiting only just above 6.5 million will do so.

How many of the two million disillusioned pensioners will want to vote Labour at the coming General Election?

Do we now have stealth benefits in addition to stealth taxes?

Seniors don't want the council tax "tinkered with", they want it abolished now and replaced with a fair tax, such as a local income tax, based on people's ability to pay.

Since the Labour victory of 1997 seniors have been lobbying for the restoration of the link between pensions and average earnings - abolished by the Conservatives in 1980 and vigorously opposed by the then Labour Party.

This would take most pensioners out of the means-tested benefits altogether which, apart from being demeaning, are administratively very expensive.

Seniors are not the only people to suffer from memory loss. The whole of the Labour Party would appear to be affected as well.

Christopher R Leeman,

Bouthwaite Drive,



Updated: 11:07 Friday, March 25, 2005