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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April 2005, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
UK voters' panel: Georgina Grant

MEET THE PANEL
Georgina Grant
Name: Georgina Grant
Age: 62
Lives: Guildford
Works: Communications officer
Current voting intention: Conservative
In 10 words or less:
"A grandmother who values family life, employed, but approaching retirement"

Overall, the Conservative Party has gone some way towards addressing the issues which concern me - council tax, crime, health and pensions.

Council tax is such a difficult area. The local income tax proposed by the Liberal Democrats has its merits, because all wage earners would contribute.

However, given the problems with the introduction of the poll tax which raised money from individuals rather than "properties", I wonder if some of the same difficulties would arise.

For example, is it each individual's taxed income or household taxed income that would be calculated?

Also, this approach does nothing to keep spending down.

I agree that in the short-term the re-valuation should be scrapped - at least the administration costs would be saved.

Both Labour and the Conservatives offer a sop to pensioners but this does not address the fact that some families have a lower income than some pensioner households.

Many in retirement resent means testing and those of us putting money aside for old age find it a disincentive when handouts are given to those with the least savings.

VOTERS' PANEL

I would prefer stopping the winter fuel allowance, Christmas bonus, and free bus fares, and instead raising the basic state pension.

Pensioners would then be free to choose how to spend their income. After all, pensioners have to pay income tax, so money would be taken from the better off.

I am disappointed none of the parties will simplify the pension payment.

As one gets older, health becomes a big issue. Geriatric medicine often seems poorly served.

Labour penalises those with savings or their own home because the policy for charging for personal care is not clear.

The Conservative approach of a state-funded insurance for residential care after three years seems fairer. The Liberals' free long-term care is attractive but this could require a bottomless pit of money.

Also a tough stance is needed on crime. I think the Conservatives have a clear lead in this area. The Liberal Democrats come across as very soft and eight years of Labour has seen a rise in yob culture.

I find it appalling that professionals such as health workers and teachers are threatened with violence by those they are trying to help.

Apathy in reverse seems to apply in my constituency - the Labour candidate has not even bothered to send out any election literature.


Your comments:

Georgina is not the first to get the impression that the Tories are toughest on crime, followed by Labour, followed by the Lib Dems. Perhaps she might be interested to hear that only the Lib Dems and the Tories plan to introduce more police officers - not Labour.
Mandeep Singh, Blackburn, UK

I am a doctor working in the health service. The biggest threat to the NHS and health workers is not violence from patients, but the cuts the Conservatives will make if they get into power. I know - I have been there and experienced it before. Their policy about subsidising half the cost of private care will only benefit the better-off. When my mother needs her hip done, she would not be able to afford the thousands of pounds she would have to pay under the Tory proposals.
Dr E Saunders, Worthing

As someone older and wiser, keep the fuel allowance etc. It is not taxed. A raised pension would be taxed directly or indirectly. We are a compassionate society, and those of us who have saved are fortunate, and should not resort supporting those who could not.
John Pembery, Wisbech, Cambs

Typical Tory voter, what's in it for me rather than what does it do to benefit society as a whole. That sort of attitude, expressed right through the greed is the good Thatcher years that have landed our country in the mess it's in.
Richie Bisset, Edinburgh, UK

As I am nearing the pension age I am very worried that I will be penalised for working after bringing up my son while others who have never worked will get a full state pension. That is why I have to vote Conservative. Labour have proved they feather their own nests without a care for the future.
Jacqui, London





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