Free bus passes, a cut in VAT on fuel, winter fuel payments, the introduction of pension credit, free dental and eye checks...yes, the last Labour Government certainly looked after our pensioners with hardship and poverty among that group sharply reducing between 1997 and 2010.

One of the best, fairest and simple measures Gordon Brown brought in though was free TV licences for the over 75s.

My dad will be 93 this year and I know how much he loves watching his favourite telly programmes and the same applies to many of my older constituents in Greenstead ward.

The TV, for them, is a companion providing them with entertainment and stimulation throughout the day and evening.

The universality of the approach made the policy straightforward and easy to apply.

Many are pointing the finger at the BBC for the proposal to scrap free TV licences for most over 75s and, indeed, they may not be totally blameless.

But let’s place the responsibility for this cruel and callous act and attack on our pensioners where it truly lies.

Yes, with the heartless Tory government who knew exactly what would happen when they changed the policy.

Loneliness among pensioners will increase and support services are so stretched they won’t be able to cover the rise in demand.

In support of the thousands of older pensioners in Colchester who will suffer because of this Tory attack, let us send out a message loud and clear that "up with this we will not put!".

Tim Young

Labour borough councillor for Greenstead ward

Hawkins Road, Colchester