All should be in our society

Whilst I can understand John David Fearn’s disappointment with the unexpected low pay out of his private pension scheme (No sympathy for strikers, 1 December), I think that the conclusion he draws is erroneous.

If the private sector has failed to deliver a suitable pension I do not see the wisdom in imposing the same system upon those working in the public sector.

That would only condemn thousands of pensioners from the public sector to live a retirement of poverty. None of us would want that.

Successive governments, of all political allegiances, have ducked this issue. They have encouraged the public to believe that high quality provision, be it pensions, health, education, social care etc, can be delivered for a knock-down price. An inevitable consequence of this approach will be a decline in the services that we all need and have come to expect as a matter of course.

The private sector should be required to adopt a system that would provide its workforce with an appropriate pension.

As those working in the private sector often earn much more than those working in the public sector there should be scope to achieve this.

This will obviously come at a price. I am sure that those in work would be prepared to pay a fair contribution for a pension that would enable them to spend their retirement in comfort.

I want to belong to a society in which all are valued – be they young or old, healthy or infirm – and where we all recognise our collective responsibility in ensuring its achievement.

That must surely be the message we take from the recent demonstrations.

Ed Runham

Two Dales