A very taxing life

Andrew Young. SWNS News Editor. 14 Feb 2014It’s said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes and the combination of the pair must surely be one of the least liked things possible. For years, those of us lucky enough to inherit the pensions of our recently departed have been forced to pay back more than half to the taxman – a whopping 55 per cent.

But from next April the tax will be scrapped if the person who has died was over 75, while for those below that age their beneficiaries will only have to pay tax at their marginal rate. Chancellor George Osborne may have broken the news as an eye-catching sweetener at the Tory Conference, but that doesn’t make it any the less tasty.

Fighting for your health

I was pleased to read a GP defending doctors’ practices this month, and show that they really are trying to get to grips with the changing demographic in this country. All too often we hear horror stories about a lack of care, time and money to help those most desperately in need. We are bombarded by a plethora of stories showing doctors to be callous, apathetic and seemingly willing to compromise our health because they simply do not have the time, or cannot be bothered.

But, thankfully, and refreshingly Dr Chaand Nagpaul, has shown that these stories are just scaremongering, and actually there is a growing force behind change and rallying the government into getting the best healthcare for our elderly population. He reveals that GPs are just as shocked as you and I when we read these articles. Good on you Dr Nagpaul, you can add my name to your campaign.

Fraudulent moves

Shocking research has been released which shows that elderly people in the UK are at most risk of falling victim to the most common types of fraud, with around three million over-65s believing they have already been a victim in some way. Despite this however only 44 per cent are actually worried they will be targets, compared to 53 per cent of those under 65.

The stats are worrying and with more and more people targeting the elderly we need to be on a constant watch for con men and people who think they can get an easy ride. In the past month alone I have read three separate stories where callous burglars and conmen have been jailed after they fleeced innocent, and vulnerable, pensioners out of well-earned money. Always check for ID if someone you don’t know turns up, and if in doubt, turn them away. Familiarise yourself with the different types of fraud, and, as much as it pains me to say it, always be on your guard.

Mowing you down with praise

Finally, a great story to end this month on. A hero postie was quick to act when he saw pensioner Ted Fussey trapped under his runaway lawnmower. The green-fingered 73-year-old was pinned to the ground by his ride-on mower and as soon as Nick Cockroft heard his cries for help he rushed to the rescue, saving him from the freak accident.

Ted, who suffers severe arthritis, got trapped when he made a sharp turn on the steering wheel and lost control, making it flip over as he landed directly underneath. His condition meant he couldn’t lift off the runaway grass-cutting tool and his wife May was inside the house unable to hear his cries. Nick removed the lawnmower helping Ted inside the house before an ambulance arrived to take him to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, where he received treatment for his leg. Thank goodness for postmen and their continued presence on our streets!

by Andrew Young, editor