Outrage over MPs’ winter fuel payments

Have your say

From: Coun Nader Fekri JP, (Labour & Co-op, Calder Ward), Cheetham Street, Hebden Bridge.

AT a time when home heating costs are rising across the land, I’m delighted to read that some members of our community are getting help with paying their bills (Yorkshire Post, November 4).

I am not referring to those entitled to winter fuel payments to help them out of fuel poverty, I am, of course, referring to 340 MPs, who have claimed more than £200,000 to heat their “second homes”.

These people are already amongst the top one per cent of earners in the country, but more than 40 have claimed over £1,000 and nearly twice that number more than £500. One poor multi-millionaire, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, had the gall to claim the most – with a bill of £5,822.27.

What I find most astonishing is the defence that, this is all “within the rules”. While that may be true, it doesn’t make it right.

We’re forever being lectured to and moralised on almost every aspect of our lives by 
our legislators, it’d be nice if now and again they took their own advice.

So, well done to the 310 MPs who did not claim a penny. Could you please have a word with your colleagues?

In the meantime, I’m off to find two jumpers, one for myself and one to send to my Tory MP, Craig Whittaker, who “only” claimed £705 – enough for three-and-a-half winter fuel payments.

From: Colin Cawthray, Stowe Garth, Bridlington.

MPs are claiming expenses for energy bills for their second homes.

They are claiming thousands of pounds from taxpayers and taxpaying pensioners. When approached about these exorbitant claims, they have the cheek to not comment.

Then we have the shysters wanting more money for working late. Are they the same people who when you turn on the politics channel do not seem to be anywhere to be seen?

Is it not time we put this bunch into hostels or empty high-rise flats, and then they can repay every penny, or should it be pounds, they have squeezed out of us?Instead of calling themselves Right Honourables, they can now be classed as the new benefit scroungers!

Choices for single mothers

From: Mrs Penny Ebden, Harefield Close, Eastburn.

LOTTIE Dexter’s article (Yorkshire Post, November 2) made me feel rather ruffled. The title suggests that they are up against a wall through no fault of their own. The name “single mum” covers a multitude of circumstances, some avoidable and some not.

Part of the article says “...this must be combined with top quality careers advice so that single mums can make the best decision for themselves and their families”.

Was the best decision for themselves and their families taken when they decided to try for a child nine months earlier?

I’m not taking the moral high ground here: I was, what used to be called, an “unmarried mother” in the 1960s when a certain ‘shame’ was attached to it.

Because of family pressure, my baby was adopted but his father stood by me and we were later married; also we now have contact with our son. If contraception had been easier to obtain, many unwanted pregnancies wouldn’t have happened.

Clegg has failed to help the many

From: Harold Laycock. SunnyBank Avenue, Mirfield.

GRANT Woodward claimed that Nick Clegg has, at crucial times, provided a much-needed voice of reason and moderation (Yorkshire Post, October 23).

The fact is, that Nick Clegg has been party to the policy decisions made by David Cameron, George Osborne and Michael Gove. Decisions driven by political dogma and to the benefit of the wealthy at the expense of the majority.

Bankers and senior executives of major companies are still receiving their large bonuses even when their results are unfavourable.

Thousands of job losses are taking place as the public sector is sacrificed in favour of who in many cases need the spare room – the private sector.

Undermining workers’ rights

From: Peter Asquith-Cowen, First Lane, Anlaby.

RE your editorial ‘Is Labour in land of living?’ (Yorkshire Post, November 4). It is not often 
that I take “issue” with you. In this case I feel duty bound 
and impelled to criticise your findings.

Your initial premise regarding Goverment interference with the salary structures of private companies is an interesting one.

Had there not been “Government interference” in history, and direct action by Government legislation over time, children would still be sweeping chimneys, workers would still be operating dangerous machinery; there would be no compensation for industrial injuries.

Had there not been trade unions there would not have been agreed, proper conditions of service and company pensions.

I believe the “economic crisis” has been deliberately engendered to destroy workers’ power. It has been accompanied by Government attempts to tip the balance further towards employers, such as the assault on industrial tribunals to deal with “unfair” dismissals.

The “land of the living” should be for everyone, not just the top 1,000 wealthiest Britons since Lehman Brothers came crashing down.

Crime that must not be tolerated

From: Chris Beverley, Common Lane, East Ardsley, Wakefield.

I WAS truly shocked to learn of the number of girls who have been treated at Yorkshire hospitals following the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), with 450 victims recorded at St James’s Hospital in Leeds in the last three years and 120 at Bradford Royal Infirmary last year (Yorkshire Post, November 4).

As campaigners against FGM have found out, political correctness has metastasised throughout our society to such an extent that this practice is tolerated due to people’s fear of being accused of ‘racism’ should they be seen to oppose it.

Your article quoted the outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Stammer QC, as stating that FGM “is a crime that will not be tolerated in a modern multi-cultural society”. Considering the fact that there has not been a single prosecution for FGM since it was banned in 1985, despite so many young victims having been treated in hospitals, the statistics do not appear to support Mr Stammer’s claim. It is high time that we eradicated this barbaric practice – along with the political correctness which encourages it.