Letters to the Editor

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SNP are out of touch

Cllr Jim Bryant (SNP) completely misses the point in his recent letter defending his party’s decision to tax older people £156 per year for vital care alarms.

He waxes lyrical about the benefits of this scheme. There is absolutely no need to convince Labour – we know that these alarms are vital lifelines that give older people safety and peace of mind. It’s a tremendous service. But the point is that this should be provided free of charge, just as it was when Labour ran Midlothian Council.

This increased Alarm Tax is one of a number of extra charges and service cuts that the SNP forced through Midlothian Council, despite Labour’s best efforts to stop them.

Jim Bryant goes on to write: “Relatives of elderly residents [...] consider the cost to be fair.”

How out of touch is this SNP Council? I’m not sure who Jim has been talking to, but many residents in my ward are outraged by these unfair charges. Some have – worryingly – spoken of handing the alarms back because of the SNP’s charges, which I have always urged them not to do.

But the point remains that people who have worked or raised families their whole lives shouldn’t be hit with extra charges in their retirement – especially when many older people live on a fixed income. Where do the SNP expect pensioners to find this extra money from?

With their passion for pushing through cuts and unfair charges, maybe the SNP aren’t really that different to George Osborne and his Tory pals.

Councillor Kenny Young

Midlothian East Ward


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