We should buy only what
we can afford

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From: Dennis Cairns, Pen-y-Ghent Way, Barnoldswick, Lancashire.

SINCE turning to the Yorkshire Post some six months ago I have always derived great interest in the contributors of the opinion page, especially what Bill Carmichael has to say each week in his down to earth manner.

His contribution (Yorkshire Post, December 28) “We should earn what we spend” is most relevant, I believe, to what has been happening to our finances, nationally, locally and personally over the last decade.

In spite of the promises made by politicians of all shades to control the spending in order to reduce expenditure and the enormous national deficit, all that we see is more Government borrowing of billions of pounds in order to fund schemes that are often half-baked and of little or no benefit to the country.

Add to this the broken promises by the coalition to abolish or reduce many of the petty restrictions, politically correct edits etc, imposed on businesses and the general public alike, is it any wonder that many, many families adopt the policy of spending now and paying later?

As one of my age who has probably become a grumpy old man, I make no apologies for what I have written.

Married in 1950, still in the midst of post- Second World War austerity, we bought just what we could afford to furnish our home; much of the furniture being second hand or of the austerity variety.

With the exception of the mortgage for a house, wherever we lived, my wife and I never purchased anything throughout our 52 years of married life unless we could afford it.

I have no doubt that our lives and that of our family benefited from this policy.

Turning to another of Bill Carmichael’s articles of some three weeks ago, he argued that on the vexed question of large car parking charges in many of Yorkshire’s towns and cities, the local authorities should scrap these in order that shoppers might be encouraged to visit the local shops rather than the large out of town supermarkets where there are no parking fees.

The response to this was negative – it just would not work!

Then, for me, came the icing on that cake when he quoted one Lancashire authority where no parking fees do work, namely Pendle Borough Council of which Barnoldswick, where I live, is part of that authority.

Here, for the size of this small town are two quite large car parks and a number of smaller ones, all free, while some street parking has a limit of two or two hours 30 minutes.

So, citizens of Yorkshire, visit us and see what this ex-West Riding community has to offer; you won’t be disappointed!

From: Brian Lewis, Linden Terrace, Pontefract.

THIS New Year, the family has invented a new board game called “We Are All In This Together”. Times are hard so it seems appropriate to use an old board game because it doesn’t cost anything extra. In the original game individuals throw dice and race around a board picking up parcels of property and building hotels.

We have a big family so we started by dividing the players into two groups according to their age. The “one dice” group consisted of the grandchildren, people who are ill and a sprinkling of young adults. The “two dice” group are the more established family members. Pensioners could chose their group.

In our game the object is not only to buy property but to purchase some aspect of financial services or bastions of the economy such as banks, future commodities, hospitals and outmoded nationalised industries. Chance cards related to the economy of India, the unity of Europe and the possibility of a profitable war being initiated by Iran or the USA. Community Chest are not worth having for their rewards came in “old money” as £50 or £150 a time. When a one-dice person “passed go”, she/he still got £200. A two-dice person got £200,000 and a “get out of goal free” card.

The banker spent some time explaining that it was fair because everyone knows that the rich work best when they are well paid and the poor best when they are not. Any one dice person landing on Mayfair or Park Lane, under the anti-squatting laws, automatically went to gaol. You cannot be too careful.

What was interesting was however hard they tried the younger end and the sick could never own much at all and after trying they came to the conclusion that “we are not all in this together”. The two-dice people thought that they just might if the game went on a little longer. Things came to a head when one of the girls pulled hard on the table cloth and the board and its contents went all over kitchen floor.

From: Mrs Wendy Abbott, Boulsworth Avenue, Kingston upon Hull.

DR David Hill has a point when he refers to the debt crisis and flagrant misuse of public money this Government is responsible for (Yorkshire Post, January 1).

Little is being done to control inflation and unemployment.

Will David Cameron win a second term in office? Since Mr Cameron didn’t succeed in obtaining an overall majority the first time round, he will have to work exceptionally hard to convince the voters to put their faith and trust in him for a second term.