YEP Letters: May 6

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

I want an MP in Leeds, not in Westminster

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

CAn anyone tell the difference between the three main parties?

The leaders all seem to have the same manifesto and do a 
lot of fast-talking like a door-to-door salesman.

How many of us really understand any of it?

Not to mention that, with the best will in the world, all the parties can ever tell you is what they’d like to do.

A lot of it is actually unobtainable when they finally get the key to the Westminster door and see the numbers involved.

Personally I vote for a person, someone to represent me in Parliament.

I ask for someone who spends a lot of their time in the area they’re standing for, someone who actually lives in the community, or else how do they know what we need?

As far as I understand it, this is how the original system was supposed to work, wasn’t it?

I need someone who I can contact without having to get a train to London, someone who will answer my letters or emails.

In Parliament, we all know that although the MPs make decisions, it’s the civil servants who actually run the day to day things.

As we seem to have lost the statesmen at the top of the pile, perhaps we should go back to the grass roots system of electioneering.

Big earners can afford payback

Valerie Smith, Addingham

I CONCEDE that John Wainwright is good at arithmetic (Your Feedback, 
May 2), but he missed the point I was making about tax and earnings.

So let me put it another way, using John’s figures.

Earner A on an annual salary of £20,800 pays £2,701 in tax and National Insurance, 
leaving a disposable income 
of £18,099.

Earner B on £99,996 a year pays £34,856 tax and National Insurance, leaving a disposable income of £65,140.

Which of the earners will struggle to achieve a basic standard of living?

Who will never be able to buy their own house?

Who will struggle to pay NHS prescription and dental charges?

Whose children will be disenfranchised because they haven’t got the obligatory tablet for school and can’t download their homework because they have no broadband at home?

I emphasise both are workers. And there are other workers with wages lower than £20,000.

For example, Earner C on a basic wage £15,000 pays £1,845 in tax and National Insurance leaving £13,154.72 in disposable income.

Earner D on a zero hours contract? Income uncertain. Tax and National Insurance, who knows?

Then there is Earner E – illegally paid below minimum wage but also below the radar and unable to complain.

The crux of my argument about high earnings and levels of taxation is that the rich should be taxed at an appropriately high level taking into account how high their disposable income is.

Let’s be honest, there is a great deal of luck involved in becoming a high earner. It’s not just a matter of working hard.

Nature, nurture, health, talent, aptitude, environment, education (a lottery in itself), origins and era all play a part.

High earners should be grateful things worked out for them and then consider how lucky they are to fall into a higher tax bracket and be able to “give something back”.

Park and Ride queue chaos

M Meeson, Leeds

After attending Leeds United’s midday kick-off game with Rotherham United on Saturday we left the stadium at 2.05pm to return to our car which was parked in the Park and Ride car park.

We then had to endure the chaotic melee of vehicles leaving the car park from every direction imaginable.

We eventually gained access to the main highway out of the Park and Ride approximately one and three-quarter hours later.

Only then did we see ONE steward vainly directing traffic.

The new police headquarters overlook this area but not one police officer was in attendance at any time whatsoever.

The price for parking was £6. They take your money then it’s “every many for himself”.

It’s an absolute disgrace.

Savings plans are off the rails

Nigel Bywater, Morley

The Conservative manifesto says that they want a “£30bn fiscal consolidation” in the first two years of the next parliament.

That means more welfare savings, because they have ruled out tax rises.

Yet both main parties support HS2 and HS3, which a study by the Institute of Economic Affairs suggested would cost a total of more than £80bn.

I am a great supporter of the railways, but surely upgrading the existing lines and rolling stock would be more cost effective.

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that there may be recruitment and retention problems in parts of the public sector if the Conservative plans for public sector pay go ahead in the next Parliament.

Nick Clegg has been speaking about the importance of giving the public sector a pay rise.

After five years of pay restraint, teachers, nurses, police officers and all those who work in the public sector should no longer face pay 
cuts.

This would mean a minimum pay increase in line with inflation for two years, and a guaranteed real terms increase in pay once the books have been balanced.

Recent polls have shown a slight increase in support for the Liberal Democrats.

Let’s just hope that it is Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power.

Fans’ thoughts with tragic Rio

Jack Banner, Meanwood

Such sad news regarding the death of Rio Ferdinand’s beautiful young wife. What an absolute tragedy.

I feel sure that thousands of Leeds United fans are thinking of Rio, his children and all of the family .

I am aware that tributes have been paid by fans of all the clubs that he played for and do so hope that he can gain some strength from the sincere thoughts of many thousands who feel touched by his very personal tragedy.

YEP Letters: March 23