YEP Letters: April 9

Check out today's YEP letters

Saturday, 9th April 2016, 6:00 am
6 April 2016 ....... Junior Doctors on the picket line striking outside the Leeds General Infirmary. Picture Tony Johnson

Supporting the junior doctors

Vee O’Brien, Whitkirk

I absolutely support junior doctors.

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The Department of Health say the strike is irresponsible. What is more irresponsible is the arrogant attitude of Jeremy Hunt which I suspect is more about political point scoring than any real concern for patients.

Yes, patients are being inconvenienced but people should not delude themselves. The reality is that patients are already being put at risk because of insufficient numbers of doctors who are often having to work under intolerable pressures to try and provide an adequate service.

Inequality is causing hardship

Alison White, by email

I want to inform you about the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.

These are women born in the 1950s who had no or two years notice that they could not get their State Pension at 60 but would have to wait until they are 66.

This is part of equalising men’s and women’s pensions which we have no problem with, rather the speed that it was introduced as confirmed by the DWP.

Women have been paid less than men from when they started their working lives then left work to have families and returned, usually to even less wage.

Older women have taken redundancy, given up work to care for grandchildren and elderly relatives expecting to receive their SP at 60.

Many are now struggling extreme financial hardship through no fault of their own with neighbours cooking meals for them or being made homeless.

I could not afford to retire at 60 - the wonderful flat rate pension that we are being told was £155.85 per week in my case is £117.41 after 44 years full stamp!

The next problem is that we were not told we were contracted out of the SP (page 2 of the DWP latest leaflet ‘explaining’ pensions admits this as well).

We thought contracted out was for your own personal private pension NOT teachers, nurses, civil servants etc! So we paid 10.6% into our state pension and another % to our work pension.

As I will not be able to afford my rent if I retire I phoned up the housing department and asked if I could go on their housing list.

I was told there are 191 people in front of me where I want to live locally (two miles away) and only one property comes up every nine months! So I asked what would happen if I needed urgent housing and was told I’d be put into a bed and breakfast or hostel and could not take my dog so he would have to be put down!

This is after working and paying full stamp for 44 years. Appalling.

Lots of women born in the 1950s are unaware that they won’t get SP at 60 and we need these women informing and also signatures for the WASPI petition that has to reach 200,000 by April 20.

We have 180,185 so far but with the full 200,000 the government will have to have a full debate. There have been two debates already but not full ones so all parties now need to take part.

I joined WASPI to publicise the depravity and unfairness and, as part of the nationwide publicity we have recorded an anthem and interviews with women who are affected. This is now on YouTube.

Women will only be able to get six months Jobseeker’s Allowance before they are 66 so please and help support these women get their SP before it’s too late!

There are already supporters in all regions across Yorkshire and one of the five ‘founders’ herself lives in Leeds. To sign the petition go to

Political decision on steel

Derek Barker, Moortown

In response to the comments by Olga Twist (YEP Feedback April 7). I greatly admire Olga Twist’s sense of community spirit, sadly there is far too little of around these days.

During the days of WW2 the people of this country paid comparatively a lot less in taxes than we do today, therefore the government of the day did not have the financial resources provided by the people to construct such large naval ships as the Ark Royal without voluntary donations from the public.

These days, those of us who can’t avoid paying tax, pay tax on absolutely everything not just alcohol, tobacco, clothing, income tax and petrol duty.

The reason why the government has decided not to use our money to save the steel industry in this country is a political decision, nothing to do with whether or not the government can afford it.

After all it didn’t take any discussion or consultation to use hundreds of billions of our money to bail out the rich bankers whose collective greed and incompetence contributed to the financial collapse of this country, and who have not only got away with their gross mismanagement but are continually being allowed to reward themselves with huge annual bonuses.

On another matter regarding the revelation of the government spending £9.5 million of our money on an EU stay in campaign. Given that this is not a party political issue and that a large number of the government’s own MPs, including members of the cabinet, are against our continued membership of the EU, it is clearly not the stance of the government but that of prime minister David Cameron and his stay in the EU supporters.

Therefore by what mandate did David Cameron spend our money on to promote the personal preference of his EU gravy train cronies?

Cyclists are a menace

Walter Weatherill, Leeds 10

in response to a recent letter, I totally agree that cyclists are a menace.

They speed around, with no thought of other road users, causing congestion, terrible pollution and noise.

Sometimes racing each other with horrific consequences for families and the emergency services.

They should be banned completely.

NHS taxi costs

Martyn Pickard, by email

I note with interest the article in the Yorkshire Evening Post Thursday April 7 with regard to cost of taxi transport for patients.

The amounts quoted for the Yorkshire trust are well understated and I would suggest the figures should be tripled. The abuse of services comes from patients who have relatives that have transport, but feel it is not their duty to help and it is the right of the patient to be picked up at their convenience by the NHS and to be returned home. I think that NHS patient transport services should start to make a charge for the service they give and should be based on financial assessment. The NHS spend far more on interpreters. Look into that spending, you will find that taxi costs are the tip of an iceberg. alarmed or what! Publish that figure in the paper.

Autism campaign

Jon Snow, broadcaster

Every parent is ambitious for their child’s future.

But the reality for many parents of children and young people with autism is they are fighting to make the ordinary possible. This is where Ambitious about Autism comes in. I have supported and worked closely with the charity for over ten years and I, like many of you, have personal connections to autism.

When you ask a young person with autism what they want for the future, their answer is simple. They want to become independent, have a job and make a contribution to their communities. They want to be happy and live full and rewarding lives. Young people with autism have lots to offer employers and it is only right that they are afforded the same opportunities as other young people. However, only one in six people with autism are in paid and full time work. With the right support and opportunities, these young people can achieve incredible things. That’s why I’m supporting Ambitious about Autism’s campaign, Employ Autism during this World Autism Awareness Month. The charity wants to ensure young people with autism get the right education, advice and work experience opportunities to prepare for them for the world of work and ensure employers have the understanding and will to support this transition. To find out more go to