Disgusted by proposal (Barbara Steven)

A few years ago, when I was writing letters to The Shetland Times in opposition to the proposed music venue and cinema, while the council were talking about closing schools, I made a remark that has apparently now come true.

I said that there would be no bonus for pensioners by the time I got to retirement age because of the way money was being wasted, and guess who gets their state pension next January? As for the bonus – forget it!

I am sure I will manage without the bonus, but I was disgusted by the proposal that any money should go to the working poor.

Not everyone in Shetland made money from Sullom Voe and it should be remembered that the people who still deserve to get the bonus were the “working poor” for many years before oil came to Shetland.

Native Shetlanders in their 70s, 80s and 90s, some of whom lived through a war, worked hard all their lives for very little and are now facing cuts in services in a bid to save money. They should continue to get the bonus for the remainder of their lives as a mark of respect.

If the administration of the scheme is a problem, I’m sure there are many council employees, who find their workload reduced with the closure of schools and cuts in other services, and would be glad of the chance to pass their working day doing something as rewarding as this.

I admire councillors Allison Duncan, Andrea Manson and Amanda Westlake for their attempts to preserve the bonus, but a few others have gone way down in my estimation and I certainly will not vote for them at the next election.

It’s funny how you always think when a new council is elected: “Oh, well they can’t been any worse than the last lot.” And quite sad how wrong you can be.

Barbara Steven

14 Chromate Lane,



Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • March 5th, 2014 18:22

    Quite right, Barbara. I would add that Mareel cost Shetlanders about £8 million taking account of the £6 million ‘fae Sooth’ and at least, there’s some visible benefit from that, however, they’ve handed £6 million to Viking Energy without being told what it was all needed for and the interest on that should be about £300,000 a year, nearly enough to pay the entire Christmas bonus amount before they quartered it.

    And what tangible benefit to Shetland do we see from that money?

    Will we ever see any return for that money?

    I will be amazed if that doesn’t turn out to be money down the drain.

  • fraser cluness

    • March 6th, 2014 12:13

    lots of Barbaras points about mareel back then has come true as well.

  • Robert Duncan

    • March 9th, 2014 20:37

    “I was disgusted by the proposal that any money should go to the working poor.”

    That the money was ring-fenced for pensioners seemed a little silly to me, and also seemed to be of dubious legality given many don’t need the support. That it will now be a means tested payment to people of any age group strikes me as a positive move.


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