YP Letters: Why hospitals have to pay business tax

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

Should NHS buildings be liable for business rates?

WHILE I agree that NHS hospitals should be exempt from paying business rates, that is a political decision.

The problem arises from the rather sloppy post-war legislation which created the Health Service.

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By making the majority of hospitals the responsibility of the Government, the politicians of the day overlooked the fact that this automatically excluded them from charitable status. The same is true of state schools.

Though politicians can exempt anyone from paying tax – and probably should in the case of hospitals – thankfully, charitable status itself is not something which can be granted or removed by any government.

It arises from centuries-old legislation and is a matter for the Courts – on behalf of the Crown – to decide. If, in their zeal to create the NHS, the then Labour Government had not overlooked the detailed consequences of the laws they were pushing through Parliament (a common failing of Labour governments) then perhaps the question of publicly-owned hospitals paying tax would not have arisen.

Less sniping, more walking

From: Jane Mitchell, Barkston Ash.

AM I the only one getting tired of the snide remarks being made about ‘pasty ugly Brits’?

Presumably the correspondents making these rude generalisations are quite happy with their own appearance (The Yorkshire Post, September 9).

I suggest it is they who should get out more, because there are plenty of folk, young and not so young to be seen out enjoying the wonderful Yorkshire scenery, who radiate good health and glowing complexions.

Maybe Mr Firth and his fellow critics should be putting their boots on and offering cheery greetings to all the fine human beings they’ll meet on the way.

Weather warning

From: Paul Morley, Long Preston, Skipton.

WHEN people choose to book holidays in Florida and the Caribbean, presuming they actually have an idea as to where they sits on the globe, they should be aware that the area is rather famous for extremes of weather.

If you holiday there, you have to take what comes. Why should it be incumbent on the British Government to drop everything and spend thousands of pounds getting you home again, especially as those thousands are from tax paid by others happy to holiday in more temperate climes? If you chose to holiday in the north of England in mid-September, you wouldn’t ignore the advice to take a thick coat now, would you?

Grand day out in Hull

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

A FRIEND and I went along to Hull, the UK City of Culture, on Monday armed with a copy of the back page of The Yorkshire Post and the lovely photograph of the city’s Minster and its mirror pools.

What a wonderful day out we both had! There were many volunteers, all of whom were very welcoming – helping us to make a tour of the many places of interest. We can thoroughly recommend a trip to this lovely city with its pedestrian streets and welcoming guides – a must for all Yorkshire folk, and the rest of the UK too!

Thanks to airport staff

From: Catherine Watson, Hatfield, Doncaster.

I RECENTLY recently travelled to Romania from Doncaster Airport with a friend with a walking disability. She was taking her mobility scooter with her.

We would like to pay tribute to the disability assistance we received from three members of the staff who were polite, thoughtful, exceedingly helpful and made our time travelling to and from the airport a pleasure.

We were treated with courtesy and consideration from arriving to departing.

Well done Doncaster Airport and thank you.

Weighing the evidence

From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham.

THE thorough piece on airlines by Father Neil McNicholas (The Yorkshire Post, September 8) prompted me to contribute this.

If airlines remain so concerned, even paranoid, about the weight of luggage, why do they not insist the passengers themselves are weighed prior to travel?

Loss to the high street

From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.

I RECKON I’ve been shopping at Greenwoods for over 40 years so am dismayed to see the business going into liquidation (The Yorkshire Post, September 9).

The family’s fortunes began in Bradford during the 1850s and became Britain’s largest privately owned chain of men’s outfitters. It is indeed a challenging time for the UK retail sector.

‘Bunny’ peculiar

From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

I AM bound to point out an error in Picture Past (The Yorkshire Post, September 12). Picture 5 may well show a Bunny Austin in 1969 but it is not Henry Wilfred “Bunny” Austin, the tennis player who reached Wimbledon finals in 1932 and 1938. Your picture shows Bernard J “Bunny” Austin, a well known tournament referee in Yorkshire. He is shown in the referee’s office, probably at Scarborough or Ilkley.