IT would appear from Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton’s proposal that Remain voters (The Yorkshire Post, February 25) are dreaming up any idiotic scheme to delay, with a view to reversing, the democratic vote at the referendum which was in favour of leaving the EU.
MPs from all sides were committed to honouring that result. At this point, it was incumbent on all MPs from Leave constituencies to forget party allegiances and come together as a group to work with the Government to formulate a withdrawal deal which was acceptable to the UK.
Sir Steve’s suggestion is that we accept this poor deal which will leave us far from free of EU dominance for five years before we could vote to crawl back into the EU. On what terms?
We need to keep the ‘no-deal’ option to help the chances of a better deal being offered.
From: Ken Cooke, Ilkley.
DOES JA King (The Yorkshire Post, February 26) not realise that we already have free trade with the EU? It is an excellent deal which comes with our membership of the EU. It makes transport from here to all parts of Europe as easy as between Sheffield and Darlington.
It is only the Brexiteers who want to tear up that deal and start again. At the same time they want a free hand in dealing with other countries which would lead, in effect, to using the UK as a back door for smuggling into Europe.
This is why there is such a commotion over the Irish backstop, if JA King had not noticed.
Typically, a large trade deal takes six years or more to arrange – as did the new Japan/EU deal. Are Brexiteers ready for the long haul? There is no better deal than the one we already have as a member of the EU. Stop Brexit!
Taxing times for the NHS
From: Andrew Shaw, Netherton, Wakefield.
DR Rajeev Gupta in his letter on ‘UK tax and pension rules hitting the NHS’ (The Yorkshire Post, February 22) was very reasoned in outlining the effect of the retroactive pension tax changes on consultants and the NHS.
His reasoned approach is typical of consultants within the NHS, and therein lies part of the problem – they are all far too fair and reasonable people. A bit more worldliness would not come amiss, and benefit patients.
The NHS relies heavily on the goodwill of consultants to enable it to function. There are not enough consultants, most of whom have always worked extra sessions for little or no reward anyway to keep the NHS afloat, but who are now being hit by retrospective tax demands on top of their PAYE contributions, due to the changes in the pension tax regulations covering annual and lifetime allowances.
This double and retroactive taxation does not only affect hospital consultants, but a wide range of public sector workers, but do not apply to MPs or Government ministers!
There is a ‘drip, drip’ effect on morale and goodwill within the NHS. Demand is increasing, but the pool of experienced staff is not keeping pace.
Some may say that consultants are fortunate to be in this position, but waiting lists are increasing as a result.
The consultants, and others, have my sympathy. In the meantime, others who are able to be more ‘creative’ in their remuneration, or are not affected by the insidious tax changes, will carry on as before, oblivious or intentionally blind.
Crying foul on Horace
From: Brian Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.
I LOVE Horace and Doris. The timeless humour transcends the frequent dated features of the illustrations such as the indoor TV aerial and the old-fashioned telephone.
However, the recent cartoon (The Yorkshire Post, February 25) is an anachronism too many for this football fan.
Doris pours scorn on the people they have just visited by saying she would rather have watched a football match on TV (anathema to her). The cliché of the football widow will soon be outdated. Female football reporters, presenters and “experts” now arguably outnumber their male counterparts on TV.
I dare say the latest Horace and Doris football joke will strike a chord with older women, though I am fortunate that my octogenarian wife loves the sport almost as much as I do.
Car park or taxi rank?
From: Bryan Smith, Leeds.
HAVE I missed something or has the short-stay car park at Leeds Station had a change of use?
We eventually got into the car park, having woven in and out of the rows of private hire cabs, claiming to be ‘dropping-off’ but then not moving, to find many more cabs, particularly from one line, in the parking bays. None were displaying valid parking tickets on the windscreens: one driver was obviously dozing.
Stick to rules
From: Sue Cuthbert, Newton on Rawcliffe.
I WOULD like to say how much I agree with the letter from Dr Peter Williams “Be firm on fracking rules” (The Yorkshire Post, February 25). I, too, wish to be reassured by my MP Kevin Hollinrake that the protection from the results of fracking will not be compromised.
From: Eddie Peart, Rotherham.
GEORGE Osborne is criticising the Government for “ignoring” the Northern Powerhouse (The Yorkshire Post, February 26). Obviously his voice was not loud enough when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in David Cameron’s government.