I read the banner headline in The Shetland Times: “Sustainable budget” achieved by Shetland Islands Council.
The following day Ways to Save, a glossy, coloured booklet from the council, arrived at my house by post. Imagine the cost of that.
So much for the pensioners’ Christmas bonus, calculated more than 30 years ago. The sum was related to the cost of a ton of coal for your Rayburn cooker.
Now, I find myself too rich for the Christmas bonus, but poor enough to receive housing benefit. So it seems that I am to save a bonus for myself, from my little. Save for what, I ask you?
Having started my nursing career on £120 a year, my present old age pension is more than that each week. I have been skrimping all my life, more especially during the 22 years after my marriage, when I had no professional employment.
I did enjoy watching the Channel 4 programme Super Skrimpers, but the older ladies on this programme, all about my own age, taught me nothing that I didn’t already do, about saving money.
My money goes to pay for essentials and to allow for pleasures, as I am able to afford them. None of this was helped by being made redundant last year, from my little SIC cleaning job, in an effort to save the council money!
I require no help of this sort from Shetland Islands Council, least of all at this special time of year, which is supposed to be full of goodwill to the old and the poor.
It would do no harm for the senders of this booklet to remember that, if you don’t die young, old age will surely arrive. Then you, too, will receive How to Save from Shetland Islands Council.
16 Nikkavord Lea,