Can we believe all the false promises in election run-up?

Sandra Chapman

Sandra Chapman

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Tension reigns in this household. It’s always the same days before an election.

I value, highly, my right to vote. I couldn’t say the same for Himself who thinks local politics stink, with national politics not much better.

Having spent his life in newspapers, he has seen and heard it all and no longer wants to listen to those false promises of the type Jeremy Corbyn is currently promising to all and sundry.

Both of us lived and worked through the 70s when, not only were the troubles well underway, and politicians were promising the sun and moon, but unions ruled the workplace.

We the workers lost income during strikes just as we were all trying to save for deposits to buy our first homes with mortgage rates in double figures. Today the young generation believe we, the baby boomer generation, had it far too good. How little they know.

I recall being on strike once for six weeks during the depths of winter. Those were the bad days when unions had tremendous power to control workers. In fairness to them, employers weren’t always playing fair with their employees. Yet employers, almost always, were able to stay one step ahead of the unions. I know of one employer in the newspaper business at that time who was stripping the company pension fund, a practice which appears to exist to this day throughout industry.

I fear we have a young generation now who believe everything Jeremy Corbyn says because they probably believe money grows on trees and that they have a right to a lifestyle they shouldn’t have to work too hard for.

They don’t realise either that here in Northern Ireland, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, we consume, £5,437 more per head in public spending than we generate in tax revenue. That’s the highest figure of all the UK regions and, of course, it has a lot to do with those decades of Troubles.

The price of this peace of a kind we have just now has been high and has resulted in politicians more disliked than respected. The present impasse may lead to an election sometime at the end of this month but it may not. The next option of Direct Rule could see even more angst in this household. It could be a long, hot summer in more ways than one.

I had such high hopes for a large victory for Theresa May but all the signs are that Corbyn’s idiotic promises have been swallowed by the electorate and we could face a hung Parliament at Westminister or the Tories with a tiny majority. And much of this is down to my generation who didn’t like what Mrs May said about social and health care for the elderly.

Perhaps I’m reading it all wrongly but under her new proposals homeowners would not lose everything should they go into care. Rather, their family could still inherit £100,000 of the estate after care is paid for.

Currently the figure is £23,000. The winter fuel allowance would go to those on low incomes only, which seems fair considering how much anger there has been at it going to everyone of pension age irrespective of income.

As for reducing the benefits from the triple lock relating to the State pension, any diminution in these will hit older pensioners the hardest as there is, already, a pension apartheid where younger pensioners get a much higher state pension.

The grey vote is vital to the Tories. I fear they may have lost a good bit of it if these changes aren’t looked at again before next week’s election.

Mrs May has just days to up her game. She needs a big majority if peace of a kind is to be restored to my household.