Earn high – but don’t forget to pay your taxes
Valerie Smith, Addingham
WITH regard to the letter from Malcolm Nicholson “No one can stop ‘high earners’” (Your Feedback, April 21) he has got it wrong (and not for the first time).
Most right-thinking people are of the opinion there is nothing wrong with wanting to be, or indeed being “a high earner”.
Most right-thinking people believe that the opportunity to be a high earner should be extended to a greater percentage of the population.
Undoubtedly, not an easy thing to achieve but I would suggest a way forward:
1. Ensure each job pays a living wage, not just a minimum wage.
2. Ensure taxes are levied equitably. This might be done by scrutinising what percentage of a person’s income is left after tax, not what they earn.
To illustrate what this means: compare what’s left when you deduct 30 per cent tax from a wage of £400 a week, with what’s left when you deduct 30 per cent tax from a salary of £1,923 a week. Who do you think will have the most disposable income left to cover basic living expenses?
3. Create jobs (it was done in the past: think Leeds Ring Roads).
4. Clamp down on tax evasion; prevent tax avoidance; raise taxes for the incredibly rich.
Notice I am not suggesting people shouldn’t be allowed to earn exorbitant amounts of money. I am suggesting they have more money than they need, whilst others haven’t enough to live.
You might recognise echoes of Marx, Bevan and that other champion of the less fortunate, Jesus the carpenter, in what I am saying, for which I make no apology.
I feel there is a greater need of apologies from any who fail to temper the self-seeking, go-getting, self-satisfied ethos of many in our society today.
I’m with The Archbishop of York, who recently wrote that what this country needs is “a moral vision”, and that we should bear in mind the kind of country in which we want to live when we cast our votes.
Great place to neck a drink
Paul Croft, Whitkirk
May I join in the discussion between Simon Jenkins and Jack Banner about the name of the pub which stood on Raglan Road in Woodhouse (Your Feedback, April 22)?
I was a pupil higher up the road at St Mark’s School and my staunchly teetotal mother was horrified that the headmaster spent his lunchtimes in this pub.
I vaguely remember a terracotta panel built into the wall which showed a swan with two necks, which was the actual name of the pub. Jack Banner is correct in saying that this was a corruption of “Swan With Two Nicks” which showed that a bird belonged to the Vintners Livery Company in London rather than the Dyers Company or the Monarch, but the marks were on the beak not the plumage.
Presumably the connection with the Vintners explains the choice of the pub name.
St Mark’s was a nice little school which I attended for three years under the successive care of Misses Nicholson, Morley and Whiteley, leaving at the age of seven in 1943.
On my first day, a slightly older girl called Doreen Sharpe took me under her wing and I became friendly with her younger brother Derek.
Even though we lived at the top of Woodhouse Ridge, my mother bought her groceries at Mrs Taylor’s little shop which stood opposite the pub.
This Swan could run and run ...
Alan Freeman, Bramley
Jack Banner takes issue with Simon Jenkins regarding the Swan With Two Necks public house in Woodhouse.
I was born and raised in Woodhouse to age 15 (1947-62) and I certainly recall the pub name including the word ‘necks’ not ‘nicks’.
I even remember with some certainty a sign outside the pub displaying a swan with – guess what – two necks.
There is a reference to it in item 7 under ‘Raglan Road’ on the Leeds City Council Leodis website.
Thinking local is a vote-winner
Trevor Bavage, West Park
It was good to see a big turnout at the Heart Centre in Headingley for the General Election hustings on Wednesday, April 22.
It was a pity the UKIP and Conservative candidates failed to turn up. The Headingley residents are a good-natured lot and would have politely listened to them. Their absence speaks volumes.
The rest of the six other candidates spoke very well giving good speeches on many issues. One interesting point was raised by the Yorkshire Putting People First candidate, Bob Buxton.
He stated that central government ignored the views of local regions and gave an example. He asked for all those in the packed hall who supported the NGT trolleybus scheme to raise their hand.
In the crowded hall not a single hand was raised. The trolleybus is very, very unpopular.
Mansion poser for the two Eds
John Martin, Leeds
May I ask a question of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls ?
If Labour forms the next government and introduces its Mansion Tax, will MPs who are charged it be able to claim it back from the public purse as ‘expenses’?
Post-election flight of fancy
Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet
If Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister on May 7, I thought it might be helpful for some people to know that the first plane out of the UK to America the following morning is a United Airlines flight UA 123.
It leaves Heathrow’s Terminal 2 at 7.30am, arriving at 11.10am.If you fancy a lie-in there’s a BA flight 117 to JFK from Terminal 5 leaving at 8.25 and arriving at 11.05.
See you by the Pret a Manger.
Clock repair did not come cheap
A Hague, Harehills
I AGREE that the restoration of Oakwood clock (YEP, April 15) is brilliant.
Credit to those who raised the funds for it, but really at over £300,000 it does seem a lot – you can buy a detached house (or two semis) in a leafy area for that kind of money.