April 20: British not as keen to leave EU as you say

From: David Longfield, Morley.

YOU have recently printed several letters with an anti-EU stance. The one from Allan Davies (The Yorkshire Post, April 16) typically asserts that “if, as is likely, a referendum found the majority in favour of leaving the EU”.

A little research reveals a rather different possibility. I have not seen any independent poll that indicates any such outcome to be likely, but rather the opposite.

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No poll over the past year has ever indicated a negative outcome. In particular, the recent separate and independent polls by Ipsos MORI and YouGov both indicate the highest preference for an ‘In’ outcome they have recorded for the past three years.

This is in spite of the high volume of negative rhetoric pumped out by the more reactionary political media.

Specifically, these polls recorded in favour of staying in have a lead of 20 and 15 percentage points respectively. The figures are even higher if the “don’t knows” are ignored.

Wasting money, time and effort involved in organising a referendum is one thing, but throwing the economic confidence of the country into turmoil over the outcome for two years is a far more serious matter.

Nobody ever said the EU would be perfect. Few things in life ever are. Better to influence for reform from the inside than to be languishing alone on the edge of Europe, as we did for so long before joining.

From: Nigel Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

I WAS very sad to watch Nick Clegg’s performance on Channel 4 News the other day because I once worked for the Lib Dems.

We hear from him that he has to be part of any new coalition. Well does he? Clegg fails to see what the public really think about tuition fees.

His party members have, since their Nottingham Spring Conference of 1996, consistently voted for a policy of free university education.

Clegg is one of a small group of Lib Dem MPs who have never wanted free university education since the Dearing Committee recommendations arguing for charges were first published.

Voters of Sheffield Hallam, you know what to do. Vote for somebody else. Free us all from Nick Clegg.

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

HAVING just read Ukip’s manifesto, all 70 odd pages, how anyone can fail to vote for them is beyond belief.

Nothing at all racist or bigoted, just plain common sense. Of course we have all been promised ‘Utopia’ by the three main parties at this and many past elections only to find once they’ve been voted in we then find they were lying to us, yet again.

At least Ukip have not had that opportunity yet and therefore, if their manifesto is to be believed, at least they are saying what the majority of this land are thinking.

From: Dave Asher, Pickard Crescent, Sheffield.

THE LibLabCon do not seem to grasp why they are haemorrhaging so many votes to Ukip.

I think that I may be able to help them. It took Ukip a while before the euro – sorry, I mean penny – dropped but at least Ukip got it whilst the other ‘players’ didn’t.

The LibLabCon tellus us what we should want whereas Ukip asks us what we would like. That’s the winner! Direct Democracy to replace Representative Democracy? Wonderful.

Taxing matters

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

IN his recent letter referring to VAT, Barrie Frost claims that “purchase tax ... was only ever applied to a very few items and did not affect most of us”. That is not my recollection.

In the early 1970s I worked at a large mail order business and was involved in helping to arrange the company’s transition from Purchase Tax to VAT. The company’s operation involved an entire warehousing wholesale company where bulk purchases were taken in to ensure that Purchase Tax was only paid on items actually sold and not on the large amounts of stock. Such a huge holding and transferring operation between warehouses would hardly have been undertaken if Purchase Tax ‘only ever applied to a very few items’. And that was just one such company. There were others similar, just in Bradford.

Living wage
just fantasy

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

EVEN in the Alice in Wonderland world of today’s metro-socialists the concept of “the living wage” is the stuff of fantasy – nonsense dreamed up by politicians who really believe that they can fool all the people, all of the time.

My “living wage” would not be your “living wage”. A single man would require less than a married man with three children and a non-working wife. No employer should be forced to pay wages which are not sustainable from profits. That way lies economic ruin.

Levels of pay should be determined not by politicians or civil servants, but by employers and employees acting together in their own interest and that of the company. In a free market economy, there is no other way.