The nation’s 11 million pensioners are bruised battered and bewildered by the attack on them in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget.

The proposed gradual withdrawal of our age-related tax allowances will affect nearly five million of us with incomes of between £10,000 and £29,000.

This raid by the Treasury will bring the Government £3.5bn by 2015, paying both for cutting the top income tax rate to 45p and for raising income tax thresholds at the bottom end.

The Government is mounting a propaganda campaign trying to justify what they have done.

On the other hand there is talk of a ‘grey’ party being created to fight by-elections. Not a good idea, as doctors also intend to do this and it will split votes.

A universally-accepted Big Society candidate would be more likely to unite all factions in a common cause.

People like us have already saved for our old age without relying on the state. Our reward, because of mega-low interest rates, is to see our savings bring in a paltry return while inflation lowers the value of our nest egg.

The Chancellor’s pledge to cut welfare payments by £10bn over the next few years could also mean bus passes and heating allowances are next for the axe.

To argue that pensioners have remained unscathed previously from the austerity drive is nonsense, as already we have seen a reduction in fuel allowance, loss of half-price coach travel, the change in inflation index linking from RPI to CPI, a state pension that has for decades been one of the least adequate in Europe, changes in benefits that lower the quality of life for those affected, a 20 per cent cut in the bus operators’ grant, which has led to a decline in services – I could go on.

JOHN MACKIE, Chairman, Oxfordshire Pensioners’Action Group, Hendred House, Cowley