Manx Independent letters, October 31, 2013

Have your say

Sick and tired of hearing of OAPs being a burden

I am sickened at [Chief Minister] Allan Bell’s constant reference to the burden that old age pensioners are to the Isle of Man. How many of them are Manx?

You know them ‘yissers’ that have no rights to work or services in the EU. (See the European Communities Act Isle of Man 1973 and article 6 of the Protocol 3).

It causes not only Manx pensioners restrictions of free movement, but also their children and grandchildren. One-sided again when practised, as neither UK or EU citizens have the legal right to enter the Isle of Man to seek employment, but they do.

Five year visas without benefits perhaps. Through the above articles, no person is Manx because they are born here.

He wants to remember that until the middle 1970s our government actively encouraged UK pensioners to settle here, and, when they did, after 12 months all the monies they had contributed to the UK National Insurance Fund (as it was then) were forwarded by individual cheques, to our treasury, to defray any cost they would incur on our NI Fund.

Which we still keep separate from taxes. Only part of our pensions are paid via OUR fund, the rest from taxes.

By doing it this way, pensioners are actually being paid out of tax. So after 44 years of paying NI contributions, and tax, they are virtually still contributing to their own pensions, as the majority of pensioners are still liable to pay tax.

The NI fund would be double by now if the government had kept their promise to pay back into the monies they too k to build the new Noble’s Hospital. Then all, not a proportion, of pensions would be paid out the Manx NI Fund.

I wish he would try to remember that the Isle of Man, did not copy Mrs Thatcher in 1982 when she dissolved the UK National Insurance Fund, and put all that money into general revenue, and the Isle of Man did not follow suit, but rather retained their separate NI fund, Manx pensioners’ money in the main.

The UK has a National Health, we do not. Reciprocal health benefits only I believe. Benefits?

Government has moved the goal posts, not the pensioners. We paid in for the following only: free medical care, including dentists and opticians; money when out of work through no fault of our own; monies when unable to work due to mental or physical disability; and a pension when we had retired.

I do not remember the popular phrase ‘from cradle to grave’ I hear so often in the media.

However, neither can I find any reference to free food in hospital, so perhaps all patients should be charged £1 a day.

It would cost them that at home, and give Mr Bell and his merry men something else other than pensioners to concentrate on.

Sylvia Stembridge, Cushag Road, Douglas.


CM’s solution to swamp island with immigrants

The Chief Minister is concerned enough about the future of the island’s residents to issue a statement to the effect that the state pension will be unsustainable in the foreseeable future as there won’t be enough young people in employment to support the aged.

His solution is to swamp this beautiful, historic and unique island with ‘immigrants’ in the hope that each and every one of them can be found jobs in order to sustain the structure.

Would that mean, I wonder, that when these people retired then another ‘immigration’ would have to occur to sustain the previous? Mmmm.

Firstly, I, like many others in my age group am really tired of hearing how we are becoming a burden on the society we have been pillars of during our hard working, fully contributing lives.

If the state pension makes things a little easier for us now, in the last few years of our lives, then it is no more than we either deserve or should expect. Secondly, all who would have us apologise for surviving ‘the thousand natural shocks that life is heir to’ would do well to consider where this island would be now without our endeavours.

All who follow us do so because we cared enough about them to ensure it.

This is how society works, one generation laying the foundations of the future for the next, and so on.

My father never complained of giving his life to his country any more than thousands of others did, neither shall I or thousands more complain of having given all and more than was ever asked of us throughout our own lives.

The logistics of finance can never be guaranteed, it is a constantly changing medium that no one can ever guarantee. But if they are due to change to the extent the Chief Minister and his team predicts, then they would be better put to finding a way to deal with it rather than releasing pessimistic predictions based on current situations.

I can’t recall previous histories bemoaning the fact that the young and strong should support the old and weak. On the contrary, previous societies lavished respect and gratitude on the elderly in recognition of all they gave during the decades.

Finally, is the Chief Minister planning to defer his own pension in an effort to reduce the future burden?

If he does – so will I.

M K Chapman, Sunningdale Drive, Onchan.


Obviously, small island needs small buses

So Ian Longworth, director of public transport, finally admits that running minibuses on rural routes will increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Well done!

The long-suffering public have been telling the authorities that for years.

In fact, why stop at rural routes?

We see very expensive buses, far too long for some of our roads, travelling around the island almost empty, with the exception of school times, struggling to negotiate some of the corners and sometimes inconveniencing normal road users in the process.

Not content with spending long pounds on top-of-the-range Mercedes buses, they then decide in their infinite wisdom, to experiment with bendy buses, regardless of the fact that they have proved totally usuitable elsewhere and the Manx public did not want them.

As that subject has dropped off the radar lately, I can only assume that they have quietly dropped the idea in the hope that we will not remember the unnecessary waste of money the whole hair-brained scheme must have cost.

Please, Mr Longworth, be sensible. Small buses for a small island, running adequate services, is the way to go.

Mrs R Scott, Ballabeg, Arbory.


I’m disgusted at temps situation at the hospital

This is being sent to anyone who will listen and hopefully help me do something about this!

I have worked as a temp at Noble’s Hospital for almost a year.

During this time I have worked admin support in three different departments.

My current department has trained up, including myself, six people in less than a year! All costs to the taxpayer, of which I am one – this is supposed to have saved money when there has been a recruitment embargo on!

I am disgusted with this situation, especially as now I have to leave because I am not allowed to be kept on for more than a year.

I understand this part but after talking to various members of staff, I had believed that after either four or six weeks I would be returned to the post I have been trained for and resume my position!

Imagine my horror when I asked how long I needed to be off, and was told that I will not be asked back through the agency, as I would not be able to come back because of HR [Human Resources] rules!

Horrified is not strong enough a word – and this is happening, I believe, not just to me but to others throughout the hospital which is so unfair!

Also there are a number of retired people being employed as temps throughout the hospital, who are able to return after three weeks off when really these positions should be being filled by someone else that needs the job, not someone that has already worked through their career and should be retired!

Questions need to be asked!

Why are taxpayers having to pay for temporary staff to be trained up for positions that are obviously permanent?

I am a taxpayer and am thoroughly disgusted at the way the health service works.

It is without question a false economy to have such a high turnover of staff, requiring that they be in constant training rather than a permanent employee contributing a return in service.

Name and address supplied.


Family wants to find out what happend to Fred

The family of Frederick Arthur Edmondson is desperately trying to find out what has happened to him and we are hoping that your readers may be able to help.

Frederick Arthur Edmondson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on September 21, 1920, and worked as a carpenter.

He joined the RAMC in 1939, was captured in France in 1940 and spent the rest of the war as a PoW in Germany.

In the 1950s he was a member of British Military Intelligence based in Hannover, Germany, and this is when the family lost touch with him.

We have recently found a marriage for him in 1960 in Sussex but nothing since.

Family tradition says that he talked about moving to North West England and to the Isle of Man in particular.

If the move did take place it will have been after 1960 and he may have been involved in the transport industry.

We would like to appeal, via your newspapers, for any information regarding Frederick.

We know that it is a bit of a long shot based on a family tradition but we have been unable to trace him anywhere on the mainland or in Germany.

We think that his work for British Military Intelligence may be in some way connected to his ‘disappearance’ and there are some anomilies regarding his Second World War record, e.g. although he was a PoW for five years the records show him as being in a PoW camp for only two of those years – where was he?

Any information would be gratefully receieved and Colin Boyd can be contacted as follows:

Telephone : 0191 2511013

E mail :

Colin Boyd, 32 South Street, Shiremoor, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE27 0HS

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