Widening income gap at root of unrest

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From: Colin Woods, Tynlon, Llynfaes, Holyhead, Anglesey.

the growing disparity between the incomes of the well-to-do in Britain and those employed in less prestigious jobs is highlighted, in countless reports, and is signalled as a focus of increasing unrest within our society.

It would seem that while the wages and pensions of working folk have remained fairly stable, the salaries and bonuses of an executive elite have escalated into the ether. Footballers, and other highly-paid sportsmen, celebrities and media presenters, fall into this same category.

A recent report showed that countries with a narrow gap between the rich and the poor demonstrated greater productivity and a more democratic spirit – maybe even a higher degree of Cameron’s “happiness principle”.

From: Allen Davies, Heathfield Court, Grimsby.

Raymond Shaw (Yorkshire Post, December 7) might well have looked more closely at the 1950 Budget proposals before he wrote of the imposition of dental charges (and for prescriptions and spectacles, too).

With the onset of the war in Korea, the Government proposed defence spending of £3,600m over three years (Mr Churchill wanted to spend £4,700m).

To help pay the cost, the NHS budget was reduced from £403m to £390m. That £13m saved was a mere one per cent of the annual defence spending.

It was not the NHS which was unaffordable, it was the defence bill.

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

I READ with alarm of this recent phenomenon where people short of ready cash can borrow funds initially to repay when they are paid, as I understand without charge – but go beyond that date and the interest rate quickly becomes astronomical.

I spent a large portion of my working life as a building society branch manager and soon became aware that there was a section of the public who, where finance was concerned, were their own worst enemy. Nothing has happened to cause me to change that view and, unless action is taken to regulate this practice there will quickly be a sizable populace in massive debt.

Put your own house in order

From: Harold Laycock, Sunnybank Avenue, Mirfield.

ACCORDING to a recent report, seven council officials checked “grot spots” last week as part of their efforts to improve Dewsbury town centre. It was the latest of several walk-rounds by clipboard-toting officials that have seen some landlords getting expensive repair notices.

The inspection team included Dewsbury Regeneration Board Chairman Coun Paul Kane who revealed that the system is to be formalised.

As I have stated previously, Kirklees Council need to put their own house in order and start with their own premises.

They should take time out to visit the empty Kirklees council offices in Mirfield which are in a disgraceful untidy state. They would see one window boarded up and with old dirty notices displayed in other windows. The external paintwork is also unsightly and in need repainting.

The whole external appearance is unsightly, dirty and uncared for. It detracts from the newly refurbished Ings Grove Park and the splendid work carried out by workmen on behalf of Kirklees council and of which Mirfield residents can be rightly proud.

Clarity on town’s past

From: Eric Houlder, Past Chairman, Pontefract & District Archaeological Society, Fairview, Pontefract.

MAY I correct three misapprehensions in the otherwise excellent feature (Yorkshire Post, December 10) on Pontefract in the Yorkshire Post magazine?

Pontefract does, of course, appear in Domesday Book, but under its original name of Tateshale.

It may not be on the present A1, but it was on the Great North Road until about 1320.

The name “Pontefract”, in its various forms and spellings, is first mentioned between 1100 and 1139.

Sadly, history dealt Pontefract a duff hand, and what was once the county town of the West Riding is now a smallish market town.

However, its previous importance is emphasised by its frequent appearance in medieval history.

My forthcoming public lecture on January 20 will detail the location and history of the eponymous Broken Bridge, while a projected book will give more detail on the ancient routes of the Great North Road from AD71 to AD 1320.