Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Britain is a country which sends fragile and vulnerable old men from the safety of a post office to the danger of a pay point to cash their pensions

An article in 'The Daily Mail' this week was entitled :

Now elderly told to collect pension from local shops as Giro cheques are set to be scrapped

made the following points, that :

*  around 230,000 British old men and women, currently receive their state pension or benefits by cheque and usually cash it every week in the safety of their local post office office will soon be forced to collect it from a local shop or other pay point instead.

* instead of queuing to collect their pension  from a post office  they will  be given a plastic card which must be presented at a terminal at a local 'PayPoint,' typically found in shops such as 'Spar' and 'Costcutter' and 'garages' and they will then be given their money.

* Andy Burrows, of lobbyists 'Consumer Focus', has said: "The layout of some convenience stores doesn’t offer the same level of privacy and security as a post office." In other words the new system will leave older pensioners vulnerable to crime.

90 year old Elwyn Jenkins,  fears he will have to get his money from the Co-op under the new system and said:
"‘he Pensions Office has been badgering me for ages to have my pension paid into my bank account but I don’t hand out my bank details to anyone. Getting my money at the Co-op would make me feel very uncomfortable."

Don't worry Elwyn, when the Government decided to phase out paying you and the other old men by cheque, it gave the £20million-a year contract for payment to Citibank, which runs the PayPoint system, instead of the Post Office.
The Department for Work and Pensions has said: ‘We want to pay people their pension and benefits in the most secure way possible. We have designed the Simple Payment system to work in the same way as cheques.’
I'm sure that will put your mind at ease.

Let's hope Elwyn's local Co-op isn't in this village featured in a BBC news item from 2010 :

Police are hunting two men after a ram-raid on a second convenience store in Lanarkshire in the space of 24 hours.
The raiders smashed a stolen red Landrover Defender into the front of a Co-op store in the village of Forth at about 0300 GMT

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