Letters October 22: Hard times and poverty all around us

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Have your say

From: Carol Stevens, Bracken Hill, Sheffield.

THIS Government thinks people on minimum wage can afford a £450,000 house, is this really a reality gap or are they having a laugh? Families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. I walked the length of High Street in Sheffield just yesterday and passed three homeless people.

Every time I go into the city centre there are more homeless. I give what I can but being on a very low income myself (below the so-called poverty level) it’s not always a lot.

Tax cuts will have no effect on me whatsoever as I have been well below the tax threshold for years and am not entitled to any benefits or tax credit, but I know a lot of people who will really struggle to cope.

Rents in the private sector are too high for a lot of people and social housing just isn’t available to most unless they have special circumstances. It doesn’t matter what the Tories say; there are more unemployed people around now than there were five years ago. When will people wake up and stop believing this Government? If it’s not you this time, it will be next!

Hours of fun on motorway

From: Mike Smith, Birkby, Huddersfield.

I WAS interested in Geoff North’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, October 15) about an 11mph speed limit on the maintenance lane alongside motorways.I think it could be part of a game being developed by the Highways Agency to stop children getting bored on long journeys. I can only guess but it might be called “Spot the Worker”.

I travelled the length of the M1 from Huddersfield to London as a passenger two weeks ago and marvelled at the lengthy stretches of 50mph speed limits.

I think the game will go something like this. Mum or Dad sets the trip and the children count the number of cones per mile. They also have to spot any workers or working vehicles for which they get points. If they spot a total of more than 10 per 50 miles, the Highways Agency will give prizes because if there are any more than that, they will want to know what has gone wrong with the system.

At just one point there was a lot of activity with lots of vehicles and workers. That will be just to keep the game interesting and I suspect could be one that will get an 11mph or similar odd speed limit. Some boffin will have worked out that is the optimum speed to enable children up to ten years old to count the total. The Agency then gives a star prize for correct answers.

There are still one or two gaps to be filled before the entire M1 is covered with 50mph cones so I can’t see the game coming out for this Christmas.

From: Michael J Robinson, Park Lane, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.

GEOFF North wonders why traffic in the maintenance lane alongside the motorway is shown as being restricted to 11mph.

I understand that this curiously specific speed is designed to register in drivers’ minds. The psychology is that 10mph would be routine and not be particularly noticeable, whereas 11mph does register.

Misleading over pensions

From: Colin Jackson, Sandal, Wakefield.

I THINK that Nigel Boddy should check his facts about police pensions before rushing into print (The Yorkshire Post, October 13). Throughout most of the 20th century, many policemen joined “the job” because at the end of 25 years service they could expect to receive a pension equal to half their salary or at the end of 30 years that pension would be two thirds of salary.

“Final salary pension” however is a slight misnomer. Police pensions were averages of salary over the final three years of service, so for Mr Boddy to suggest that someone could get promoted and immediately retire on a pension commensurate with their new rank is misleading.

Secondly, it has not been Parliament’s way in the past to backdate legislation in this way, so his suggestion that a review body be set up is unlikely. After all, time will see them die out.

Most would try to help

From: Bob Crowther, High Street, Crigglestone, Wakefield.

I READ with great interest, the comments made by the British Heart Foundation (The Yorkshire Post, October 16) regarding the failure of the passing public to attend to people who suffer heart attacks in public places.

I am sure that there are many caring and sympathetic people, although totally unqualified in the method of CPR, who would no doubt give all the help that they could. Unfortunately there are a minority who would not render assistance at any cost,

Do the British Heart Foundation take to task the police officers and ambulance crews who have refused to assist drowning victims in the past as they were not trained in the task and were acting within health and safety rules and regulations?

Life on low pay

From: Lucy Reid, Montague Street, York.

MANY low income families work so hard for very long hours (no different to higher income families). Cutting tax credits will dramatically affect their lives for the worse. Imagine how undervalued people must feel, as though it is their fault that the income they receive is low.