IN the speech by Vince Cable (Yorkshire Post, March 26) he compared Ed Balls with the captain of the Costa Concordia, then goes on to say that the squeezed middle class has been squeezed less than the top.
It does not take much imagination to see that a 10 per cent reduction in the top rate of 50 pence results in a significant downward adjustment, while the continued rise in road fuel prices, to be augmented by a further three pence increase in fuel duty, bear down disproportionately on the less well off. Rather than the Costa Concordia, this is more like the Titanic, steaming headlong into an ice field in the dogmatic pursuit of the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing, then when disaster struck, while first class passengers were being shepherded to the lifeboats, those from lower decks found their exits locked and barred.
To say those on £150,000-plus will actually pay more as a result of the Budget is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. Does anyone really believe they will stop evading/avoiding paying normal tax dues after what they have become accustomed to doing?
Mr Cable also boasts about the pensions triple lock which has brought a £10 increase in the last two years, but this is not as good as it would have been under the arrangement it replaced, which was based on the higher Retail Prices Index figure. In any case, these increases are largely brought about through Government-induced inflation.
Shortly after David Cameron announced he was to switch to five-year fixed term parliaments without any public consultation, you published a letter from me forecasting almost precisely what has happened. I said that Budgets and actions between then (2010) and 2014 would be to squeeze us and bear down on public services, but then to embark on a programme of giveaways to further the Tory dogmatic approach to procreation of the species.
Returning to the nautical comparison, I feel that the HMS Coalition under the leadership of Captain Cameron and First Officer Osborne is steaming headlong to oblivion, although with those at the top being looked after while the rest of us suffer. I hope people have not forgotten when the next election time comes round.
From: Trev Bromby, Sculcoates Lane, Hull.
THE warm pie issue is not new. I can remember umpteen years ago asking for a pie to be warmed up and was told they couldn’t do it for free any more and it could cost a shilling/five pence to warm it up with the words: “Don’t blame us, blame the Government”.
The resulting hostility to shop assistants, usually in the form of a two word response, ie no thanks, was rife. The silly phase soon died out, so why is it being revived now? No doubt the same hostility will resurface.
With so many glass fronted buildings emerging, along with swelling ranks of the unshaven, bring back window and beard tax. Let the downtrodden British worker have a tax free, warm pie for his lunch while working for the minimum wage.
Planet Earth to Government – come in please.
From: Andrew Mercer, Oxford Road, Guiseley.
SO David Cameron can’t remember whether he bought a pasty last year from the Leeds Station shop that closed about four years ago.
He wouldn’t have been better keeping quiet rather than making a fool of himself – remember the furore when Tony Blair got in a mess about the dates he watched Newcastle United as a child.
An explanation for the pasty tax would have been preferable to half-truths.
From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.
WE’VE had “Pasty” George Osborne telling us how terrible the Unite union is for daring to protect their members jobs and conditions, also “Jerry-Can” Francis Maude advising us to fill our garages with these five gallon “petrol bombs” and “Posh” Dave bleating that we should ensure our fuel tanks are at least always almost full.
No wonder we have a Tory-led government when the people that put them in power believe all this nonsense about a tanker strike. When is this strike supposed to begin? Does anyone know ?
The only thing these panic buyers are doing is helping this nasty Tory government “union” to fill its coffers with millions of extra fuel tax and help Cameron’s mates, the oil barons, to make billions more obscene profits.
Children need role models
From: JW Slack, Swinston Hill Road, Dinnington, Sheffield.
THE conclusion of the inquiry into the summer riots that was rooted in the neglect of 500,000 families makes grim reading (Yorkshire Post, March 28).
Add to their recent concerns that many adults employed in pre-school establishments have not the basic literacy and numeracy skills, nor understanding of children, to give the pupils proper learning experiences – plus the new chief of Ofsted expressing his concern over the quality of teacher training in primary schools – and it appears that not only is the economy in difficulties but the education system.
The news that the NUT may boycott administering a reading text to six-year-olds which is based purely on phonics does not surprise me.
Phonics are important, but unless the sounds you make involve understanding and interpretation of information and ideas to test sounds, they are a waste of time.
Mr Gove has made a name for himself as an innovator, but he needs to ensure that from the cradle onwards all adults involved in caring for the child provide good role models.
It would appear that much pre-school work is sub- standard, teacher training suspect and therefore many children neglected and denied the pleasure of learning alongside caring adults.
This is the Government’s responsibility and the failure is due in great part to meaningless competition, an unsuitable and complex curriculum, and a failure to understand the real physical and intellectual needs of primary children.