THE revelation about BBC salaries has overshadowed the previous announcement on increasing the pension age (In your 40s? Get ready to work for another year, The National, Jul 20).

We live in a country where the BBC’s top entertainer earns £2.2 million in one year (Gender pay gap rocks Beeb as top salaries revealed, The National, July 20). Meanwhile, an apprentice starting work on the Government’s national living wage will take 150 years of working a 40-hour week to earn that amount.

It is highly likely that when that apprentice was born their mother could have looked forward to retiring at 60 and the father at 65. Now both will have to wait until they are 68 before retiring on one of the poorest pensions in any developed country. There’s a high chance today’s apprentices will see more major changes in pension and retiral age during their working lives. The taper-off in life expectancy and stress of longer working lives means they may be hard-pressed to survive long enough to draw their pensions. A very high cost for the people to fund the UK’s high profile presence on the international stage.
John Jamieson
South Queensferry

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The UK owes a serious apology to womenkind 

THE story: M8 billboards to become canvases for artist’s equality message drive (The National, July 19) is a typical diversionary tactic. A defocussing of present pressing crises, which are abundant.

While not forgetting the wrongs of the past, our total focus should be on the wrongs of today and there are just so many.

The BBC pay list demonstrates clearly that although we have granted societal and legal equality to homosexuals in our society, and rightly so, we have done no such thing for women (Gender pay gap rocks Beeb as top salaries revealed, The National, July 20).

People who tell us that free movement of people has nothing to do with freedom of trade forget, conveniently, that traders, when short of workers, simply kidnapped them and moved them to where they were forced to work for the rest of their lives and even went to war over the rights to continue to do so!

The people that became filthy rich by these means are still highly respected and even revered today, Tate and Lyle for example. Fortunes made on the back of slaves but although slavery in that form was abolished eventually, it continued in other forms right here in the United Kingdom.

Governments of the 1960s and 1970s held public pay down and the services became untenable with its insufficient workforce and so the Westminster Government paid people to come here from countries who already had a lower standard of living. The flooding of labour markets with West Indians and then from the Asian Indians led directly to racial tensions that exist today.

Yesterday’s xenophobe found it easy to focus on skin colour but today it is harder. They can’t tell a Pole or an Australian by looking, but those immigrants are taking their jobs just the same. How easy it is then for the xenophobic mainstream media to blame the EU for all these problems. How stupid are those that accept their lies without question.

Alternate the M8 hoardings of the nation’s apologies for the way it treated homosexuals with some demanding that Chagos islanders, kidnapped just a few years ago by order of that same Westminster Government and prevented from returning, be allowed to be both compensated and allowed to return.

Alternate them with demands for removal of glass ceilings by law. Today! Now!

Scotland must have embedded in its constitution equality of opportunity for all. The United Kingdom is a long way away from that. It owes a serious apology to womenkind.
Christopher Bruce

THE BBC announce the salaries of various high-ranking celebs and there is a media outcry, predictably, that there is a gender pay gap and women are losing out.

The director general announces he will do better in addressing this inequality in pay.

Why are the media not questioning the amount of these salaries such as: Chris Evans £2.2 million, Gary Lineker £1.75m, etc? We’ve got nurses and firefighters going to food banks in this country. We’ve got campaigns for people to sponsor a new school uniform for kids from poorer families and for sanitary products to be provided free to secondary-aged girls.

The UK Government has announced the bringing forward of raising the retirement age.We are continually being told this is a modernised, forward-looking, developed country and polity. My question is: why are the media not saying that these things are outrageous?
John McArthur

I’M appalled by the pay disparity between people who act the part of nurses and those who actually are nurses. Nothing tells us more about a dystopian society than this.
George Wilson

I WOULD be as cheesy as Chris Evans and Jeremy Vine, not to mention John Humphrys despite his early rise, if I was pocketing their annual salaries and had all the kudos of working for the world’s leading public broadcaster.

The male/female pay gap is obviously a concern in 21st-century Britain but what is seriously more worrying is, as a result of these staggering salaries paid from the public purse, presenters as Laura Kuenssberg and Nick Robinson, Andrew Marr and Andrew Neil will kowtow to the British establishment. Who among them would stop tugging their forelock and walk away to another broadcaster?
Catriona Whitton

CONSIDERING the very precarious position the Prime Minister has put herself in, this week’s last PMQs of the parliamentary session may also be Mrs May’s final PMQs with early retirement on the horizon.

Bearing that in mind, it was rather timely of SNP MP Ian Blackford to bring forward the topic of state pensions for women born in the 1950s (of which Mr May is one). Those women are disproportionately suffering the consequences of a rise in their state pension age.

Pensions were certainly on the agenda at Westminster as the Government announced the state pension age will rise to 68, seven years earlier than planned (In your 40s? Get ready to work for another year, The National, July 20).

Continued increases to the state pension age must be thought through and cannot be blanket rises; people’s employment careers must be taken into consideration, something MPs sitting in dry, heated offices, pushing pens have given no consideration too.
Catriona C Clark
Banknock, Falkirk