Public sector is not to blame for economy, so why punish it

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From: Paul Cockroft, Shawcara Court, Tingley, Wakefield.

TEACHERS and health sector workers did not cause this recession. Yet the Government wants to punish them, for the mess which the investment bankers, rich people and MPs in Westminster have left our country in.

Honest and decent folk do not want to see teachers and health workers being forced to work until they are 68-years-old, while having to pay higher contributions and then receiving a smaller pension upon retirement.

These nasty proposals do not seem fair, to most honest and decent people.

If the Government wants to raise an extra £1.8bn while avoiding any disruptive strike action from the unions, then could I suggest two simple solutions:

Increase stamp duty to 10 per cent on all homes sold for more than £500,000.

Increase the National Insurance contributions and income taxes for those workers earning over £100,000.

We are suffering with a worldwide recession and this action would not cause a brain drain. The UK has an excess amount of university graduates and 80 of them are now fighting for every single job available.

None of our Leeds MPs have suggested any sensible solutions to resolving the present stand off between the trade unions and the Government and through the letters page of the Yorkshire Post, I ask them to consider debating my two simple solutions in Parliament.

From: Raymond Shaw, Hullen Edge Road, Elland, West Yorkshire.

I MUST take issue with the well constructed contribution from Paul Andrews (Yorkshire Post, November 30).

As an individual who has never been a member or affiliated to any particular political persuasion, I do think his severe criticism of Mrs Thatcher is a little too harsh. My own opinion of Parliamentarians is that more than 95 per cent are in it for a career, a nice well-paid club very few of who have ever had a creative career. All they want is your vote.

Going back to the Winter of Discontent, in the time of Jim Callaghan’s government, he inherited an impossible situation, follow the disaster of the Messrs. Wilson and Heath terms of office.

During 1978-79 winter, I operated a fleet of wagons making daily collections from Liverpool docks.

What a shambles it was with the dockers either threatening or being on strike. My drivers reported daily occurrences of their downing tools dead on noon even if a motor was almost 90 per cent loaded or unloaded, returning usually up to 15-30 minutes later than start time after a visit to the local pub or back-street bookie. They reported crates falling from cranes accidentally or otherwise, though dockers soon rushed to pocket spilled bottles of whisky.

Has Mr Andrews never heard of “Red Robbo” Robinson who ruled the West Midlands labour force with his slogan “One out, all out”?

Our problems go back further, we won the war, lost the peace, created a wonderful welfare system which we could not afford to the extent that its godfather, Aneurin Bevan, had to withdraw full dental benefit as unaffordable.

From: Natalie Ratcliffe, Area Organiser for Unison.

I WANT to point out what a fantastic success the rally was in Huddersfield. It shows that workers in the public sector can unite and stand together for what they believe in.

I want to highlight David Cameron’s broken NHS promises. He promised to protect the NHS and to give the NHS a real rise in funding and to stop top-down NHS reorganisations.

Under Mr Cameron’s government, more people are waiting longer for treatment, more NHS services will be run by private companies. A real-term cut in the NHS budget is a deadly threat to the National Health Service. This Government is pushing forward with the biggest reorganisation in the history of the NHS.

It’s costing billions of pounds, and is opposed by patient groups and health professionals alike. Their health bill will mean cuts to services, hospitals closing, plus more red tape making it harder for nurses, doctors and other health professionals to do their jobs.

This Christmas, join the fight for a gift that matters to each and every one of us – an NHS that puts patient care before profit. All I want for Christmas is the NHS.

From: John N Robinson, Woodside Close, Bakewell, Derbyshire.

I MUST correct the headline (Yorkshire Post, November 26) “Warning region faces eight-year haul to recover from recession”.

The definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. To date, in 2011, the UK has not experienced even a single quarter of negative growth.