YP Letters: Cut foreign aid and look after our own

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From: Rodney Mills, Kirky Road, Ripon.

WITH reference to letters praising foreign aid, this is one department that the Government has not cut. I have spoken to politicians of all parties and members of the public, and I have yet to find anyone who disagrees with me.

We spend £13bn which is 0.7 per cent of our GDP. Only America (0.2 per cent) and Germany contribute more in financial terms. If we reduced to 0.2 per cent, we could save £10bn to spend on our priorities.

Let’s look after our own people first, especially the young who will be the future generation, and not forgetting our elders who made many sacrifices during the Second World War. They deserve dignity in their remaining years – there is an old Yorkshire saying that charity begins at home.

EU finances are threat to us all

From: Nick Martinek, Briarlyn Road, Huddersfield.

IT is perhaps not surprising that Lib Dems and Labour Remainers avoid talking about the EU itself. Things like the massive youth unemployment throughout southern Europe, reaching 40 per cent in Italy, 48 per cent in Spain and nearly 50 per cent in Greece (EU figures, 2015). Nor do they mention that the EU overturned democracy by forcing out the elected leaders of Italy and Greece to install EU technocrats.

But the financial position of much of the EU is equally rotten. Eurozone banks have non-performing loans (NPL) of 5.4 per cent, estimated to be over €1 trillion. By comparison the UK’s NPL is just one per cent. Italy’s bad loans are estimated to be €350bn alone (16.6 alone NPL), whilst half of all Greek loans are bad. Someone will have to bail out these toxic loans to avoid widespread Eurozone bank collapses and sovereign debt crises. That someone is the EU taxpayer. As long as the UK remains a member of the EU, we are exposed to these enormous financial liabilities too. We need to get out – fast.

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington.

SURELY the country is facing a General Election, not just a Brexit issue? The country wants to know which political party will do the best to improve the welfare state, the NHS, education, immigration, employment, industry, family affairs, police, crime and national wealth. We do not want to just listen to Theresa May preaching on about her Brexit aims!

From: Bernard Coleman, Hawksworth Road, Horsforth, Leeds.

COULD I firstly congratulate the members of Pudsey/Horsforth Labour party for safely delivering to me two pieces of election “literature”, certainly two more than the other parties standing?

However, I note Mr Ian McCargo, the said Labour candidate, fails to highlight two rather important political points; there is no mention whatsoever of a certain Jeremy Corbyn, said to be leader of his party, and no mention either of “Brexit”.

Is Mr McCargo a new breed of politician that wants to avoid controversy or is he simply too intelligent not to recognise the stupidity of flogging a dead horse?

From: Susan Thomas, Magdalen Road, Oxford.

THE Labour manifesto has been costed at around £48bn. The promises will change the lives of many for the better. Compare this to the £56bn that the Tories wish to spend on a high-speed train project.

HS2 is a vanity project that is unpopular even with Tory voters. What would you prefer? One astronomically expensive fast train or money for police, the NHS, schools, pensioners and the younger generation?

City paying for neglecting rail

From: A Oldfield, Secretary, Huddersfield, Penistone & Sheffield Rail Users’ Association.

HOW ironic is it that Sheffield Station has been identified as the most polluted place in the city in respect of air quality, registering a figure that is more than 2.5 times above the permitted level?

Is this not apt given the city’s negative attitude towards rail? Is there any other city in the UK that values rail as lowly as Sheffield does? This could and should have been avoided by securing electrification of the Midland Main Line, not only to the city, but on to South Kirkby Junction, just outside South Yorkshire, to fill an electrification gap to Leeds, and thus creating an electrified diversionary route for the East Coast main line.

But how determined was Sheffield with its campaigning? How hungry was the city for a scheme that represents the biggest rail investment project in the city since the electrification of the Woodhead line over 60 years ago?

Was it beyond the grasp of Sheffield to recognise that this project would act as a catalyst for the development of the neglected South Yorkshire network through creating opportunities for recovery and regeneration?

With 500 people estimated to die prematurely each year in Sheffield through illnesses linked to air pollution, calculated at a cost of £160m a year in lost working days, this is surely at a level that the city can ill-afford.

The present Sheffield Station despair must be replaced by the arrival of Midland Main Line electrification. Sheffield must wire-up instead of coughing-up.

Idiots on bikes are the menace

From: A Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Harehills, Leeds.

I DON’T agree with a recent letter saying police must go for motorists instead of cyclists. After 70 years of cycling, I find idiots on bikes ignoring laws and no lights on at night far more of a menace, although cars do kill more people.

Motorists have a lot to pay to run their cars so don’t need harassment by the police as well. Sitting in warm offices watching large screens means the police have no staff to chase idiots on bikes breaking laws.