Let's form a pensioners co-operative
Stabroek News
December 8, 2001

Dear Editor,

K Singh, in his letter [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] on the lack of pensioner discounts in Guyana is right only to some degree. At a well-run Internet cafe on Carmichael St (between Quamina and Middle Streets) I found that I, easily identifiable as a pensioner, was receiving a discount of almost 40% - and I didn't even have to ask for it.

Singh ends his letter by saying that he hopes the relevant authorities will give some relief ; but I would advise him that hope alone is not enough. In today's Guyana one must have leverage.

Now whilst individually a pensioner may not have much clout, collectively he/she can be a power to be reckoned with. Perhaps K Singh might consider inaugurating a pensioners' union or co-operative (remember that word?)?

Pensioners form a large percentage of the purchasing public and any trading company worth its salt would have to treat seriously any approach made on behalf of such a group.

Furthermore, although pensioners may not have the same purchasing power as those in employment, their vote is just as strong. Once organized (I believe today's buzz-word is 'empowered'), such a group would be in a position to lobby politicians - not for post-election promises but for pre-election actions . In fact, such a large body of voters would itself have the power easily to swing a general election. Thus instead of merely complaining to the Mayor and/or the President we could tell them (nicely) that if they do not do something to ease our plight right now then we will certainly do something to ease them out of office when the time comes to flex our newly found collective muscles at the next election.

How about it, K. Singh?

Yours faithfully,

Lawrence Paige