from The Midweek Hearld
DEVON Pensioners' Action Forum chairman Albert Venison has slammed Gordon Brown's budget and promised "militant action" to counter poverty amongst pensioners.
The budget saw the expected removal of the £200 allowance for pensioners, which the DPAF argue will tip many people over the edge financially.
Mr Venison slated the muddle over free bus passes, claiming East Devon pensioners will be the worst off in the country.
Mr Brown also claimed extra money for councils will go some way to alleviating the burden on taxpayers. However, Devon County Council has experienced a £36 million deficit compared to the average funding for councils in 2005.
A DPAF initiative currently being spread across the country will see activists refuse to pay council taxes after January 1, 2007, unless their financial burden is eased by the end of the year.
Mr Venison said: "The opt-out from a Devon-wide bus scheme will be very inconvenient.
"The government should have said that they will pay for bus passes for all over-60s.
"Many people in the Honiton area visiting the hospital will have to pay a full fare at the county border.
"We were expecting the £200 allowance to go; it was just an election bribe. This means that pensioners' council tax won't just be a 4.9% rise, it will be 4.9% with £200 extra.
"It is time for militant action, so we are suggesting no-one pays council tax after January 1 next year unless something is done.
"We have to do this so people recognise that we have to stop problems now, not after another two-year inquiry.
"Otherwise, the way things are going, pensioners will not be able to afford to eat and stay warm.
"We are being cut further and further adrift in Devon.
"The council, to be fair, has tried to cut costs, but it hasn't gone far enough.
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