By Jason Moore
ANOTHER Christmas on this beautiful island. But while we sit here and enjoy these idyllic surroundings we mustn't forget that scratching under the surface there are problems in paradise. There are a growing number of people on the island who will be alone this Christmas surviving on a meagre state pension and relying on hand-outs from the hard-working charities to make tomorrow just that bit special. This is not some sad Christmas tale that I have dug out because it's that time of the year. Unfortunately, it is the truth. For the new year, I would like to make a wish and appeal to the British government to end its awful pension system which sees British OAPs on the island living on a meagre sum just because they have chosen to live somewhere else in Europe. Yes, that Europe of nations which we are all happy to fund but which discriminates heavily against old people who want to enjoy the pleasures of European Union. Perhaps, before Tony Blair throws away yet more of Britain's rebate he should spare a thought for the small army of British pensioners living abroad who have to survive on a pension which is far below the poverty level. Let's hope that in this space next Christmas I will have something happy to report on this state of affairs and then I will agree that a united Europe has some real advantages for all. l Happy Christmas to all Bulletin readers and thank you for your continuing support which has helped once again to make the Bulletin in 2005 bigger, and can I dare say, better.

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