Debate challenge still stands

SIR - Philip Milton’s response to my letter of November 17 does not answer any of the points I made. All the figures and statements I used were from official sources.

He states that I suggested the National Fund had a surplus. It wasn’t a suggestion, it is a fact and that surplus has risen year on year. This money is for Retirement Pensions, benefits for the sick and unemployed etc. It is a huge sum which governments have no business holding onto.

However Mr Milton states that there is a public sector pensions deficit of �800 billion. Assuming for the sake of argument that there are 10 million public service pensioners in this country that would mean that retired nurses, fire officers, civil servants and teachers have an average pension of at least �80,000. I don’t believe it. My civil service pension is under �67 a week.

I Googled to find out where he got this sum from. Nowhere could I find �800 billion. I did find Lord Hutton’s figure of �4 billion with a warning that it could rise to �10 billion by 2015.

Perhaps it is just as well that Mr Milton has declined to debate with the Communist Party. If his arguments were to be the same as in his letters he would be a pushover. My offer to debate the following motion is still on the table: This meeting believes that the cuts in public expenditure being enacted by Her Majesty’s Government are both unnecessary and irresponsible and should be reversed.

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Given that all three major political parties, the media and most pundits argue in favour of cuts, will nobody pick up the gauntlet?

Gerrard Sables,

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