Cyprus Mail

The widowed should not have pensions halved

I was horrified, not to use too strong a word, to read your editorial in last Thursday’s issue (No quick fix as protesting pensioners battle government indifference, Cyprus Mail October 7), in which you ask why the partner of a public employee should not have his/her pension halved after the employee has died. This is a shameful suggestion.

You cannot have thought this through. Suppose the couple are living together in a modest house. The expenses of running the house are no less if there is only one person living there instead of two. The electricity bill will be very much the same, the telephone also, and the water; the taxes and municipal charges will not change. In fact, the only item that may become slightly less is whatever is spent on food and personal items. But the widow/widower will (if your suggestion were to be followed up) be relying on a smaller income than before, regardless of the fact that living expenses will be much the same.

I am a British citizen; my husband and I, both over 70, received a fairly small state pension from the UK – reduced because of our various travels and work history for some 50 years. When he died two years ago, I informed the Department for Work and Pensions; the next quarterly payment that I received had not been halved, it had been increased, by the “widow’s allowance”, for which I was most thankful.

For every widowed public employee pensioner in Cyprus, I devoutly hope that your atrocious suggestion does not become law.

Hilary Ives, Nicosia

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