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Red letters

• I am writing regarding the munificent benevolence of our so-called civil servants and their actions in sending letters to 150,000 old-age pensioners informing them that they are likely to be receiving bills going back years for unpaid tax on their state pensions.

I called to my father by chance and found him sitting with the letter in his hand confused, bewildered and frightened. As any ordinary person can affirm, the language used in civil servant "speak" is obscure at the best of times, but to send such drivel to an 83-year-old, and then advise him to log on to www.revenue.ie if he needs more information, goes beyond heartlessness; it's a callous and inhumane way to treat elderly people.

As a state pensioner he was under the impression that the State knew all about his income. Having left school at 12, he is not familiar with financial issues, and, to be honest, the tax system in this country confuses me as well. I couldn't make head nor tail of what the letter was saying, but it said enough to frighten an old man.

What is obvious is that people working for the Revenue weren't doing their jobs properly, there was a lack of communication as usual, and now the attitude is to cast the net as wide as possible, and who is easiest to ensnare? Of course, the weakest sectors of society.

All I can say is the people behind this heartlessness have no moral conscience. My father is lucky in that he has family to support and re-assure him, but what about the poor misfortunates sitting at home alone and isolated, and worrying about a letter they can't understand? Of course, all they have to do is get on the internet and google it!

It's just an unspeakable way to treat vulnerable people. The authorities in this country have shamed us as a nation.

Name and address with editor

Irish Independent