However, when George Osborne introduced his Budget in June, it still projected that Government expenditure will continue to go up from 668bn this year to 737bn in five years' time.
Despite Mr Osborne's tax increases, the deficit will not reduce by very much. A major contributing factor to this is our relations with the EU and the failure of the three main parties to keep their manifesto promises on the EU Constitution. The British Government is entirely subservient to Brussels. Despite our own economic problems and falling standards of living, we are still the second largest net contributor to the EU after Germany.
The Government admits that Britain's direct contribution to the EU is 10bn a year, but research by the respected Bruges Group shows that the total price tag for belonging to the EU is well over 55bn a year.
It follows, therefore, that if we left the EU and transferred to the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), thereby maintaining our trade and cultural links with Europe but without the shackles of EU Law and financial demands, the coalition would wipe out the UK's budget deficit well before the next General Election.
"Why do we put up with this?" asks Dave Asher (Yorkshire Post, August 7). Because the mass of the British public are being deceived by our political masters and denied our democratic rights. Because, as yet, there is no manifestation of public anger as was expressed in the "Save the Pound" campaign when I took part in a two-mile long protest march in London. Perhaps, when the cuts begin to bite and ordinary people suffer, anger will mount, questions will be asked and the voice of the people will be heard.
From: Gerald Jarratt, Baghill Road, Tingley, Near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
From: June Warner, Kirk Deighton, North Yorkshire.
WE are now told by the EU Budget Commissioner that the "evil empire" is to push for the right to levy direct taxes on Britons and the citizens of other member countries.
UKIP warned us that this was going to happen and the mad Europhiles pooh-poohed the idea.
As one political party after another is proved wrong on topic after topic, clearly one party stands out from the rest as getting it right almost all of the time.
Shame they didn't form the government.
From: Derek Curson, Ennerdale Drive, Elland, West Yorkshire.
MAUREEN Hunt's letter "Stand up for our freedom" (Yorkshire Post, August 9) expresses eloquently how I and, no doubt many other people, regard our ruinous involvement in the European Union and acts such as the Convention on Human Rights.
Much of the billions of pounds which have been ploughed into these organisations could have been used over the decades to rebuild and renovate the long neglected infrastructure of these islands. Instead of
which many individuals and organisations have become enormously wealthy with their own worldwide organisations.
One particular growth area seldom mentioned and which to my mind has very little added value to the state is that of the lawyers and the plethora of legal experts and associations. Even now, they are beavering away in their offices throughout the EU devising and codifying a complete set of new rules to which we shall be obliged to defer. It is the re-birth of the Ottoman and Napoleonic empires with rule by modern-day priests cum revolutionaries dictating the pace.
There is no elephant in the room: it is a great woolly mammoth surrounded and enshrouded in a Dickensian fog up with which we are obliged to put (see Churchill) by our pusillanimous politicians, of whom many are of that ilk.
New round of union disruption
From: John Watson, Hutton Hull, Leyburn.
HERE we go again.The greed of the union barons and their lackeys knows no bounds.
In a situation where thousands of people are having to take cuts in their lifestyle, and some also losing their
jobs, we have airport staff putting the holiday plans of thousands of ordinary people in jeopardy (Yorkshire Post, August 13).
This country, among others, has serious financial problems and we are all going to have to take the medicine to try to get us back on track.
So, the inevitable happens, the anachronistic trade union bosses, all on high salaries, are trying to take advantage of the situation and persuade their members to withdraw their labour.
No account is taken of families, some of whom have never flown before and who can't wait for the experience. No account is taken of the children whose parents have probably been saving all year for a
I hope BAA stick their toes in and don't move an inch.
Farmers' milk misery
From: Edwin Bateman, Great Salkeld, Penrith, Cumbria.
LOOKING at the UK dairy farming situation, there is now no authority like the former Milk Marketing Board to balance supermarket pricing power.
They are enforcing prices down to the dairy companies which are doing the same to farmers.
With many farming families struggling to make a living and many giving up, it is an appalling waste of resources and loss of capital.
Milk is a product which cannot be stored and must be sold, that is why the MMB was set up in the 1930s. UK politicians (we cannot trust them) abolished the guaranteed prices system of the MMB and joined the EU without approval by the UK electorate.
They have given away power in the Lisbon Treaty to Continental competitors and former adversaries.
My concern is with the farmers. Only an exit from the EU, now costing UK taxpayers over 15bn a year, can restore the security of the UK food supply.
We should trade, co-operate and be friendly with our European neighbours, not as an EU member, but as an independent sovereign nation.
Matters of opinion
From: William Snowden, Farnley Ring Road, Leeds.
BERNARD Ingham's critique (Yorkshire Post, August 11) of the Leeds University professorial paper which adjudged Clement Attlee to be Britain's best post-war premier, elicited a wry smile and evoked a distant memory.
As a fresh undergraduate, I was romantically distracted and consequently late in submitting an important essay on post-war Britain.
So, I plagiarised two set books. The essay I produced was well-constructed, but it wasn't my work. My squalid efforts gained an undeserved beta-plus, but it was the lecturer's critical comment that poleaxed me: "Perhaps a little biased towards socialism."
I re-read the essay. The judgment was correct: the essay was biased towards socialism; but the bias wasn't mine but that of the two authors – both of whom were distinguished, political historians.
The moral of this story is: academics are as prone to political bias as anyone else.
Clergy who may not swear allegiance to Charles
From: Rev PN Hayward, Allonby, Maryport, Cumbria.
AS a converted republican, I have been interested in the letters you have published about the Monarchy (Yorkshire Post, August 6). Since Alfred the Great's grandfather Egbert became the first king, some extraordinary people have sat on the throne of England, including some monsters.
From: Dennis Johnson, Bramham.
REGARDING the letter from David H Rhodes of York, I too have the same television reception problem (Yorkshire Post, August 12). At first, my TV supplier assured me my set is not to blame and that the Emley Moor transmitter will be fixed in about six weeks – later extended to a promise to be fixed in time for the World Cup.
The BBC complaints department, when I first contacted them, claimed no knowledge of the problem. In a later conversation, I persuaded them to take my postcode and note the poor reception in this area, but was given no promises as to when the work will be complete.
The problem is confined to the digital channel but unfortunately the quality of both picture and sound on the analogue channel is very poor indeed. I agree with Mr Rhodes that the BBC should be more open in giving an explanation as to what is going on.
Help for jobless
From: Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby.
A RECENT correspondent opined (Yorkshire Post, August 13) that if we must have government schemes, the best one was the Community Programme in the 1980s. Well, that was voluntary, but still didn't offer anything for the jobless in the long run.
By contrast, those going on the equally-voluntary Work Based Learning for Adults (WBLA) got a payment on top of benefit, along with studying for a qualification. I underwent a spell on WBLA, and received a CLAIT 1 in computing, something which I'm sure helped me get a temporary job with the council the following year. There is no point in making the jobless do placements that don't increase their future employability.
In recent centuries, the house of Hanover initially produced George I, who could speak no English. George III was mentally incapable for much of his long reign. George IV was a hedonistic spendthrift. His niece Victoria, although supported by a big family, lapsed into a maudlin introspection, setting a poor example of handling tragedy to millions of her subjects who lost loved ones at a much younger age than that of her husband. Edward VII was another hedonist. George V displayed a gruff and outdated exhibition of his paternal duties, and so drove three of his five sons in the direction of wine, women or both.
The reign of George VI healthily contrasted with previous centuries and destroyed my republican affinities. His 15 years contained six years of war, and the last five years two serious illnesses, which contributed to his early death. With a superb Queen at his side, he stayed in London to face the air raids and took the trouble to visit blitzed cities. Buckingham Palace itself was bombed. I happened to see him myself standing in the middle of Coventry on Saturday November 16, 1940 only 36 hours after the city's worst blitz ended. Our present Queen could have had no better example of hard work and devotion to duty.
It is regrettable that assessors have stupidly concentrated on an impediment in his speech, which had disappeared early in his reign, frequently forgetting that he fought at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, and played in the Wimbledon tennis championships.
A Church of England parson is sometimes required to take an oath of allegiance to the crown. I felt able to do this at my ordination in 1950 and afterwards. But there may be future problems. Clergy have told me that they could not swear allegiance to the present Prince of Wales if and when the need arises. He will in any case be about 80 if the Queen lives for another 18 years.
It is unsatisfactory to try to defend the oath by referring it to the state and not a particular individual because the legal phraseology specifically mentions someone by name. It is worth noting that, under the Saxons, the monarch was chosen by the Witenagemot. He was not necessarily the next in line of succession.