An Open Letter From Jim Sillars To Scotland’s Pensioners


imageI am 76 years of age. My State Pension is safe with independence, and so is yours. Who says so?

The UK Department for Work and Pensions in a statement made in January 2013:

“If Scotland does become independent this will have no effect on your State Pension, you will continue to receive it just as you do at present”

The Department explained that as we have paid our National Insurance Contributions, we have a legal entitlement to the State Pension.

The No campaign knew about that statement, yet through insinuation have made you think your pension was not safe; a despicable tactic to sow fear among the elderly when there are no grounds for fear.

There is, of course, more to the referendum than our pensions – there are our children and grandchildren. I want mine and yours to have a prosperous and secure life in Scotland; and not be among the 30,000 who leave our shores each year for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

In every age group, except us Pensioners, polls show Yes is ahead. Our young people have great confidence in their ability to make Scotland better for all, with independence. Are we going to hold them back?

They are not self-centred. They show concern for their grandparents by determination to abolish the bedroom tax, which they know has caused anxiety and misery for Pensioners. They care about you.

They know what they owe you for all the love, affection and support they have received during their journey from birth to adulthood.

We grandparents can be proud of the good job we have done in helping to bring them up. They are a credit to themselves and to us.

But what about their future? With a No vote, nothing will change. Scotland will remain a low wage economy dominated by unemployment, with many families driven to food banks to feed their children, some of whom could be your grandchildren.

It will be a tragedy for them if we, in the final years of our lives, deny them the opportunity they want to rebuild a Scotland that gives their children, our grandchildren a better future. If I cannot persuade you to vote Yes, perhaps these words from Margo MacDonald will:

“This is our time of reckoning, we’ve got to take it, and if we don’t take it we are consigning our children to much less than we’ve had – to narrow horizons, lower aspirations ,we are consigning our children to being small when we should be giving them a much bigger world”.

Vote Yes.: give our children and grandchildren the chance they are asking for.

Jim Sillars



  1. Jim well said
    We need to get this message out repeatedly together with the Scot Gov triple lock , continuation of PensionCredit,Savings Credit & SERPS , plus Housing Benefit & Co Tax relief over the next 10 days ; as I have said from the start by my calculations the number of State Pensioners vote is essential to success of Yes . The State pensioner is completely tuned in to the many elements which
    Comprise their Total income & need reassurance and guarantee that their Indy income will at least equal their current payments from Gov.
    Would welcome a discussion of this with you. Can be contacted initially via Twitter @ Indyreiver
    I’ll be spending the next 10 days manning the Gala Yes Shop being opened tomorrow by Christine Grahame, attending to my twitter account & attending a couple of meetings plus of course the count on the 18/19th .At 73 it doesn’t get any easier! Keep up the good work as time & tide waits for no man& at our respective ages I fear this will be our last hurrah & chance of getting WMg out of our lives in Scotland .

  2. I have children who actually think they are better off just now ,I also have families, who think they are better off just now ,and i have Friends who think they are better off just now . and indeed they are better off than a whole lot of people round about them , but again they in my opinion are only looking at themselves , and by the will of God ,could by the flick of an eyelid be in a completely different situation , this independent Referendum is not just about individuals this referendum is about fairness ,and working to make a larger majority of people to take a pride in their life ,with a population in work ,taking responsibility of their own families, and all enjoying a higher standard of life ,which in my opinion we will never achieve by being controlled , yes controlled from Westminster ,I, am of your age group Jim, i did the best i could with the hand i was dealt , i have seen firsthand the standard of life the elite in London and the South have , i have also seen the unfairness and downright greed of some people , as you say we will not be around to reap the benefits of self rule but i will vote yes anyway just in case any of the above mentioned suffer that flick of an eyelid .

  3. I think you will find that what Jim Sillars says is correct but only for those who have fully paid their contributions to the UK. Future pensions after an independence vote will need to be funded by a Scottish Government and that the Better Together campaign are asking the question will your future pension be secure under a Scottish Government

    1. Is it secure under the UK government? When I started paying National Insurnce in 1970, my pension was supposed to start this year at 60, then in the 80s it was pushed back to 64, now it’s 66, with a promise to keep reviewing it in line with life expectancy rates that are skewed by S E England. So I’m paying contributions for an extra six years to get it later, double whammy!

  4. I need to know that my grand children are not left at the mercy of the self-serving parasites at Westminster. “The gravy train mob” I understand trying to get us to vote no, the others who have expressed this opinion? I just don’t know how to take them. What part of “Scotland’s people will do better for Scotland” do they not get. Please vote yes, future generations of Scots need you.

      1. You know what Lynne!? Let’s write up a constitution that makes it very difficult for a parasite to operate within a public office in an independent Scotland.

        I know that there are a LOT of good people ready to make a VERY swift move on the SNP when the Yes vote comes in.

        It’ll be very difficult to find a No voter in 5 years… I’m positive about that and the future of an independent Scotland. Why can’t you be?

  5. I do not understand why employment will improve. Where will the jobs come from as many large companies will leave Scotland in the event of a Yes vote.

    1. Do you really think companies who are making profit currently will move to England and have to pay out redundancy to all their staff , relocation costs , hiring new staff and training them all – I don’t think the share holders will be very happy with that – most large companies work within the global market so it doesn’t matter what the location is it’s all about profit and loss. In fact if you want an example Burgerking just moved their head office from USA to Canada for tax reasons – hope this gives you something to think about

  6. Can the yes campaign tell me what will happen to the thousands of people who will lose jobs if they get through especially when they want to bring in 24,000 immigrants .

    1. No one is talking about bringing in 24,000 immigrants. The figure at the moment is around 22,500 a year… and thousands of Scots leave every year too.

      They were talking about raising it from 22,500 to 24,000, which would be enough to balance out some payments. Only 5 more people a day, which provides no problems whatsoever for the country.

    2. Anonymous . Sorry your migrant figures are incorrect . Scotland over the last 10 years has averaged a yearly net migration figure of 22,330. UK Gov figures suggest Scot requires net migration of 24,000 per year.
      This is not an additional 24,000 but only a yearly increase of 1,670 on current figures .This of course would includes migrants from rUK and is on average fewer than 5 per day. Don’t think this is too much of a problem.

  7. do you really trust Alex to keep his word? Remember when he asked the people of Scotland about marriage between same sex, the vast majority voted against it. Did Alex listen to the people, oh no Alex went ahead and over ruled them. Can you trust the man to keep his , no.

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