YEP Letters: June 17

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Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters.

There must be a fairer way to balance books

Nick Palin, Garforth, Leeds

There was much opposition to recent Conservative proposals to reduce the amount paid to people in receipt of disability benefits and it would seem that, in view of this, the cuts will not be implemented.

Another target of government spending cuts are, of course local councils where particularly Labour councils, it would seem, are receiving much reduced funding leading inevitably to cuts in council services.

One of the ways that Leeds Council is reducing spending is to impose considerably increased charges on those that need services provided by Adult Social Care in order for them to lead as fulfilled a life as possible; that is the most vulnerable and disabled people who live in Leeds. There will be many people in Leeds who are receiving a similar level of benefit who will not be affected in terms of their income as they do not need access to services provided by Adult Social Care.

By substantially increasing these charges for many people who do need these services the Council, are in effect reducing the income of the people affected by far more than the government was proposing.

And for what? According to the Council’s consultation document only 2600 people will be affected by these changes and taking an average increase of £50 this would mean the Council would only raise £6.7m over the year; peanuts in relation to the Council’s overall budget!

Surely there must be a fairer, more equitable way to raise this relatively small amount?

I need to disclose a personal interest in these changes, due to come into effect in October.

Firstly, I am the father of a 22 year old who has Downs Syndrome. She attends college three days a week but needs services funded by Adult Social Care for her other activities.

We would dearly love her to obtain paid employment, but because of the level of her learning difficulty do not anticipate that she will achieve this; it is therefore likely that she will require continued funding from Adult Social Care throughout her life.

Secondly, as a lifelong supporter of the Labour movement, I am deeply embarrassed that the (Labour) Council has chosen to target the most vulnerable in Leeds in an effort to balance their budget.

It’s a vote for democracy

Dave Asher, Sheffield

I HAVE rarely spoken to anyone who thinks local democracy a bad thing.

Yorkshire people and Cornish, as just two examples, are always talking about having greater local powers.

I am gobsmacked that 
often, these same people who think Westminster too remote, can possibly believe that voting to be governed by Brussels makes any sense of their desires for increased local democracy.

Young will make up their minds

Cat Spencer, Leeds

I HAVE read the letters for and against remaining within the EU with interest over the last few weeks, as the vast majority of missives have been well written and fair. However, I would like to respond to June Warner’s letter, ‘Why the young will vote to remain’, (YEP, June 10). I find her letter to be both insulting and condescending to ‘those under 59’, especially as she does not offer any facts to support her claims.

The idea that younger people would vote to remain within the EU thanks to some sinister governmental brainwashing throughout their secondary education is farcical. As is the idea that all young people are just blindly following what they are told or are unable to hold a serious conversation or Brussels painted as some kind of cool street gang enticing youngsters in.

I have spoken with various younger cousins about the upcoming referendum. They have shown themselves to be thoughtful, incisive and open-minded, regardless of their final view. They also have a sense of being European as well as British.

The arrogance with which she dismisses the views and opinions of all ‘young people’ is breathtaking. My cousins are but few of several young people I know who have thought seriously about the issue, rather than nursing a 40-year grudge against politicians who are mostly no longer alive.

The Common Market vote was almost half a century ago and I believe that despite the flaws, remaining is more progressive, more hopeful and far better for us as a society, creating connections between a disparate group of peoples stronger than a simple trade document.

Through the doom and gloom of the Remain and the Leave campaigns, this has been hard to see.

However, this is only my opinion after going through the ‘evidence’ and I am more than happy to respect the views of others if they come to different conclusions. I find it a shame that Ms Warner could not offer us younger folk the same courtesy.

Remember real reason for EU

MR T Crawford, by email

Which way should one vote in the referendum? There is only one basic question to consider: Do we want to rule ourselves or not? To be able to appoint or dismiss our political rulers by means of a democratic vote. To express our wishes on such topics as immigration, the economy and the things that make Britain and the British.

We are given many conflicting reasons to remain or go, but there is no reason to wonder just where the EU is headed. All you have to do is remember the words of one of the main architects of the EU, the French politician Jean Monnet, 1888-1979.

He said: “via money, Europe could become political in five years. The communities should be completed by a Finance Common Market which could lead us to European economic unity. Only then would the mutual commitments make it fairly easy to produce the political union which is the goal”. This is the long standing target of the Brussels zealots from which they will not deviate despite the spurious ‘concessions’ given to Cameron and his ilk.

They sold it to us as a mere common market, a free trade area, which I think most people would be happy with.

Over centuries we have lost millions of our people fighting many wars, a main objective being to maintain our independence. Our right to self rule. It is almost beyond belief that some of our citizens are now contemplating throwing away this hard-won right and handing political power to an undemocratic foreign body.

What’s more, a body that is now headed for disintegration under the pressure of its unrealistic aim of knitting together so many diverse countries, customs and cultures.

So. as your pencil hovers uncertainly over your ballot paper, just remember the words of Jean Monnet. You will then know where to place your cross whichever side you’re on.

Swearing is just not funny

F Ward, Leeds

Some people reading this will think “silly old fool” but I can assureyou that I am neither a prude nor narrow-minded.

Amongst today’s comedians the “F” and “S” words are part of their armoury to get a laugh. However, I have just read about one of our well-known female comedians who, at an award ceremony, resorted to the “C” word, just to get a cheap laugh.

On top of all that, the American stars at the show, though initially shocked, then resorted to using the word themselves.

It’s sad that comedians have to rely on using offensive words toentertain and also sad that people laugh at them.

Maybe I’ll be ridiculed for my views, but oops, perhaps I’m showing my age.

YEP Letters: March 23