Observer Comment: Taxing the worse off a recipe for disaster

ON WEDNESDAY hundreds of civil servants and hospital staff in the region look set to down tools and join their comrades in a day of action across the country.

They are quite rightly concerned about their future pensions and having to work longer for less pay.

Across the country two million workers are expected to take industrial action.

Unions say their members will be left worse off by proposals which will require them to work longer before collecting their pension.

The government says change is needed to keep the cost to the taxpayer down as people are living longer.

But where was the government’s contingency plan?

Why were the experts not predicting years ago that we were all living way past retirement?

Why do succesive governments keep on taking more and more from the people and giving less and less back?

Every year we seem to pay more income tax, national insurance and council tax.

The cost of duty and VAT continues to rocket as does fuel bills.

And we continue to work longer and harder than anywhere else in Europe.

From all angles we continue to be squeezed.

So when greedy governments who won’t even reduce duty on fuel ask us to cough up more for our pensions frontline workers say “enough is enough.”

Teachers, nurses and civil servants are the backbone of this country.

They helped give us what was once the best and most respected education and health service in the world.

When will any Government learn that taxing the worse off in our society is always a recipe for disaster.


THIRTY years ago John Fieldus was paralysed in a tragic accident while swimming with his children.

It was a moment which redefined John and everyone who knew him at the time.

Despite being confined wheelchair, the former wine merchant thrust himself into the forefront of charity work and set about raising the profile of his carers.

And what a job he did.

Raising £1m for charity by yourself is no mean feat. But £10m can take even major national charities many years to achieve.

John admitted himself it was a “significant moment” when he attended Buckingham Palace earlier this month.

He rubbed shoulders with the likes of legendary horse trainer Henry Cecil and the governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King.

And he also enjoyed a chat with Her Majesty The Queen at The Palace where they talked about horses.

But he took it all in his stride and was quick to point out that despite his retirement he would still be doing the odd fundraiser for The Conquest Hospital.

A true inspiration.