This week 30 years ago: Hackney Council scraps free holidays for pensioners
PUBLISHED: 15:29 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:29 05 December 2017
Free holidays for pensioners were stopped by Hackney Council to save money, the Gazette reported.
OAPs who already had their bags packed for trips to a council-run holiday home in Hastings were told at the last minute, “sorry you can’t go”.
Labour councillors blamed PM Margaret Thatcher’s spending cuts which had been “forced on the borough”. The trips were cancelled because there were not enough staff to run the home, following an overtime ban introduced to help meet strict government spending targets. The council hoped to rearrange the holidays the following year.
Chair of the Hackney Pensioners’ Convention, Gerry Ross, said: “It’s very sad. Why do OAPs always have to suffer from cuts? Those holidays are a great boon to old people, many of whom can’t afford to pay for their own.
“OAPs can stand no more cuts - there is no fat left to go. Why don’t the council make the cuts where there is still some fat to be got rid of?”
Council chiefs feared being kicked out of office and replaced by government-appointed commissioners if they failed to balance the books.