Monday's Letters: Coalition targets the poor but ignores the tax-dodgers

From: Richard Bridge, Market Place, Snaith, East Yorkshire.GEORGE Osborne's announcement of a further £4bn welfare cuts betray his true ideology. It is strange that we do not hear from him about the huge wastage in tax avoidance and evasion.

In my own experience as a paid CAB adviser, most people are very keen to find work and realise that apart from the financial benefit, work provides one with better health and self-esteem. It is a complete myth that there is a large sector of the population who choose not to work. In any case, there are sanctions and medicals to review entitlement of out-of -work benefits.

To suggest that there is a lifestyle choice available on benefits is not only misleading but demonstrates the huge misunderstanding of the problems and difficulties of living off benefits. To live off 102 as a couple leaves nothing that can remotely be described as a "lifestyle".

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If indeed there are (a very few) people who are "work-shy", this is the fault of our society in not preparing those individuals for life and giving them the necessary skills. For that reason, Sure Start is critical and must be protected from cuts – the true value of education and nurturing our children, especially the under-fives,

will not be truly seen for a generation.

When you are born, you do not make a "lifestyle" choice –

I would suggest that as a responsible society we must protect the children in our society who are born in to poverty and to do so, we must put in place even more measures to provide equal opportunities for those in the most need.

Sadly, the playing field seems to be sloping ever more steeply.

From: Malcolm Naylor, Grange View, Otley.

OUR undemocratic Tory coalition Cabinet of public school millionaires is not only cutting welfare spending but also increasing taxes, thus diverting attention away from the real damage caused to the economy by its wealthy tax-avoiding sponsors. The Establishment very cleverly gets the disadvantaged to fight each other rather than the real cause of their problems: The Establishment itself.

Tax avoidance goes right to the top of the British Establishment but gets nowhere near as much attention as benefit abuse. They set the example so its not surprising that others will follow. The difference is welfare users get punished, while the Establishment gets away free.

The greatest tax avoiders are capitalists and the Monarchy.

It is poverty pensions, regressive taxes and

inequality that make welfare necessary

Discriminatory taxes such as VAT and council tax bear no relation to income and obscure the true levels of taxation on those with low incomes and whose marginal tax is greater than that of millionaires.

My parking fines that just weren't fair

From: Pat Normington, Glenfield Avenue, Wetherby.

I AM appealing against three parking ticket fines which have been served to me.

On the first occasion, June 26 2010, I parked in Victoria Street, Wetherby. When I returned to my car, a traffic warden was already present, issuing a parking ticket even though my disabled badge was on display, but partially covered by a box of tissues.

The traffic warden claimed that he could not see my badge, but this was a ridiculous thing to say. Even when I removed the tissues and showed him the badge fully, he still continued to issue the ticket. I had just come out of hospital, having got pneumonia and was feeling very weak and had need of tissues. I could not believe the officiousness and of the traffic warden.

On the second occasion, I parked in Greenfold Lane, Wetherby, and my disabled badge was clearly on display. I was parked for no more than five minutes.

Unfortunately, I was not aware that it was a residents' only parking area. As I returned to my car a traffic warden was already present making out a ticket. A friend of mine spoke to him but it made no difference. I was reduced to tears.

On August 20, I parked in Cross Street, Wetherby to deliver some goods to the Cheshire Homes charity shop and was parked immediately outside the door. Again, I was no more than five minutes before returning to my car and a traffic warden was making out a ticket. My badge was on display but I had forgotten to open it. For this I apologised and opened it for him, but again it made no difference.

I believe the parking tickets were most unreasonable. Do others agree?

Disruption in classroom

From: P Marsden, Nethermoor View, Bingley.

I WRITE with regards to the comments made by Beverley MP Graham Stuart, the Education Select Committee chairman, that bad educators should be removed from the classroom (Yorkshire Post, September 8).

How about removing bad pupils from the classroom, to give bad, intimidated educators a chance to improve, and the rest of the class as well?

I've only been in education once, trying to train long-term unemployed to go into a particular field of employment. With very few exceptions, it was a thankless task.

They did not want to be there, and they showed it. I saw one of my students once, away from the training place, messing about with an old motorbike. That is what he wanted to do, nothing more, as long as the benefits came in.

All these disruptive pupils should be put in special schools, with specially trained staff. If they don't want to participate in the curriculum, all society owes them is to try and teach them the basic

three Rs.

The global greenhouse

From: David F Chambers, Sladeburn Drive, Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

DAVID Holland explains (Yorkshire Post, September 7) how high frequency

radiation from the sun, causing the Earth to warm, is only partially compensated by the loss of heat into space at night.

It follows that in a spell of warm weather the greenhouse, often taken as an example, heats up during the day and cools to a lesser extent during the night. Thus it commences each day at a higher temperature than the previous day. How long must the warm spell continue before the greenhouse bursts into flame?

In practice, fortunately, there is no progressive build-up of temperature, so the subject is more complex. We, and our tomatoes, survive.

The concept of the Greenhouse Effect has been with us since the 19th century. If it were proved to be immaterial, or effectively neutralised by other forces, the fundamental plank of the global warming argument would be removed and we could stop wasting preposterous sums

of money.

How Blitz came north

From: Margaret Claxton, Arden Court, Northallerton.

YOUR correspondent Mac Staveley (Yorkshire Post, September 7) is so correct about the bombing of Hull. We were in the same air raid warning area (near Doncaster) and we were getting warnings every night, long before the Blitz in the South.

Of course, we weren't told which place was getting the bombs, sometimes it would be Sheffield or Rotherham steel works or the railways.

It wasn't until after the war, when we were allowed near the coast again, that I saw what they'd done to Hull. I walked out of Paragon station, expecting to see the buildings I was used to, to be met by a blank. There was nothing there, just cleared acreage. I also remember the night they firebombed Sheffield, standing at my mother's bedroom window watching the red glow of the flames in the distance. History should remember that the Blitz was not always "down South".

A space odyssey with the power of prophesy

From: Douglas Hartley, Irving Terrace, Clayton, Bradford, West Yorkshire.

ACCORDING to an article by Chris Bond (Yorkshire Post, August 12), there is an increasing interest in space exploration. Professor Stephen Hawking, the renowned astrophysicist, has warned that the human race must colonise space within the next two centuries, or it will become extinct.

I remember a science fiction novel I read as a teenager in the late 1930s. Written by Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men was published by Pelican Books in 1937. The true author of the book, we are told, an individual living in the far distant future. By some form of mental communication across the ages, he is said to inspire Mr Stapledon to set out prophetically the course of human history.

A chapter entitled: "Europe's Downfall" describes remarkably the effect of an experimental weapon – the atomic bomb: the blinding light, the intolerable heat, the total destruction. The weapon is deemed too terrible to use, even in defence.

Early in the second millennium AD, war breaks out between Europe and America. Europe is laid waste with a deadly gas. A Sino-American war follows and then an Americanised world state.

During the course of an invasion by Martians, both Earth and Mars are ruined, and a dark age ensues. There are long periods of recovery, advancement and decay.

Threatened by cosmic accidents, mankind migrates, first to Venus, and, five hundred million years later, to Neptune. Here, during a period of high cultural, social and scientific development, final calamity approaches in the disintegration of the sun. Power to control the orbit of Neptune, and thus to escape, has been acquired too late. Faint hope lies in "seeds" of humanity which are to be dispersed at the outer edge of the galaxy, where they may germinate. Increasing radiation is affecting the race's higher faculties. Mankind is sinking into irrational ways. A few brave spirits, among them the communicator, keep their integrity, awaiting the end.

The standpoint is humanist. There is no designing, overseeing creator. All faiths and aspirations are products of the human mind, and when that mind is stilled, only barren worlds will remain, monuments to a story without meaning or purpose. The greatest music will have been merely a whistling in the dark, a futile rattling of atoms.

I wonder what Professor Hawking would think if he were to read my tattered copy of the book?

No democracy over store plan

From: BJ Cussons, Curly Hill, Ilkley.

I HAVE seen details of the appeal decision in respect of two applications from Tesco for developments in Ilkley and am appalled.

It would be hard to find a more biased interpretation of the submissions to the inquiry.

According to the report, the more than doubling of size of Tesco would bring absolutely no additional traffic.The projected needs for food by 2012 bore no relationship to the fact that this Tesco Superstore is to provide virtually no extra food but is solely being developed to provide "comparison" (ie non-food) sales for Tesco. Not Ilkley's need – just Tesco's. Hundreds of Ilkley residents are angry and upset that submissions were not representative of many people.

They all feel that democracy has flown out of the window.

How to look employable

From: Rita Brook, Green Lane, Lofthouse, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

I STILL find a photograph of a "hoodie", as used to accompany Danny Dorling's column, both sad and intimidating (Yorkshire Post, September 8). I believe at interview, an employer can usually make their mind up about a person in less than a minute.Make yourself employable – what does this mean? The basics: 1 Dress code. 2 Ability to converse. 3 Interest in the job/company.

It's about conforming – a hard option for some young people.

Nation in need

From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham, East Yorkshire.

LET us hope, and pray, that the alleged dishonesty displayed by some members of the Pakistan cricket squad will not deter us from contributing towards that country's appeal for help. Their disastrous floods have affected so many millions of poor, innocent, law-abiding citizens.