The fairest way to shake up benefits

From: Geoffrey Thorpe, Lister Avenue, East Bowling, Bradford.

THE new benefits system is in play and there seems concern about the fairness of it.

The best way that the Government could make everybody equal would be to pay the person who is the householder, either male or female, the minimum wage.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

If the household has children of school age or younger, they would still receive child allowance. If they have children of working age, they will receive Jobseeker’s Allowance. Now the main point is that these people should have to pay all of their own household bills.

There must be thousands of households doing just this and paying their way.

Any organisation or person that says this is unfair should explain why to the families who are already doing this and have succeeded in doing so for many years.

From: Nigel F Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

THE Government say some people find they are better off on benefits than when they are working. The answer to this problem is simple. It is not solved by benefit cuts.

The answer is to be found in tax cuts. The personal allowance for income tax has fallen well behind the rate of inflation. This is responsible for all the unfairness.

Although the Government is raising the personal allowance for income tax to £10,000, it is nowhere near enough to keep pace with inflation. The Lib Dems were talking about a £10,000 personal allowance 16 years ago. We need now a personal allowance of £20,000 if the income tax personal allowance is to be worth as much as it was in 1975.

On an entirely different point, solving the problem of the long-term unemployed is also very simple. Allow people to work part time more and keep the money before it affects their benefits.

From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, Kellington, Goole.

NOTHING highlights the utter bankruptcy of ideas of the present Con Dem government than the raft of measures introduced on Monday.

Instead of focusing on measures to regenerate the UK’s dying economy, they concentrate their savage, immoral attacks on the nation’s poor and vulnerable.

At the same time as giving massive tax cuts to millionaires, they introduce both caps on welfare benefit increases and also introduce the so-called Bedroom Tax. Iain Duncan Smith claims this measure is fair as it will force people to move to more suitable accommodation and also find work. He is wrong on both counts, as there are not the numbers of smaller council properties for those seeking them to move into.

Also, with the economy dying, there are not sufficient jobs in many areas for people to apply for.

From: Patricia Pike, Nursery Close, Leeds.

I RECEIVED a notification from the Income Tax people the other day to say that my personal allowance will be increased on my 80th birthday by 25p. Twenty-five whole pence. Wow-ee! And at 80. Stand by Leeds! Lock up your sons! The big girl’s on her way!

Forever in medics’ debt

From: Catherine Corscadden, Filey, North Yorkshire.

AT a time when the heart unit at the Leeds General Infirmary is under fierce criticism, I would like to say that if the consultants and staff at the LGI had not acted promptly and professionally my grandson would not be alive today.

Their diagnosis of a serious virus culminated in his immediate transfer overnight with specialists and nurses in attendance in the ambulance to the heart and lung unit at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester where an ECMO machine kept him alive by oxygenating his blood for over two weeks.

He was transferred back to the LGI paediatric intensive care unit where nurses looked after him 24/7 – they were caring and compassionate and he owes his life to them. After several more weeks in hospital, he was discharged and in time will make a full recovery.

I cannot praise them enough, the LGI and Glenfield were simply wonderful.

I am now looking forward to him playing RU next season and cheering him on running with the ball; this would not have been possible without the LGI and the NHS. I can never ever thank them enough.

From: Stella Harrison, Ashfield, Wetherby.

I WONDER whether it is now time to spend money on developing the Seacroft Hospital site to cater for specialist areas of medicine and surgery such as cardiology and cardio-thoracic surgery.

With the loss of Killingbeck, 
St Mary’s and Leeds Chest 
Clinic, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust has lost 
property and land on which 
to expand.

An alternative might be for the trust to combine with Bradford, Harrogate and York for a specialist unit away from the confines of either city.