YEP Letters: February 13

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Use your vote and don’t fall for the blame game

Dennis Birch, Cookridge

WITH REGARD to the General Election on May 7, we have two main parties and another five or six who are wanting us to vote for them.

The coalition made many promises to get our votes and almost immediately changed their minds. Over the years they have done what they wanted to do and not what the voters wanted them to do.

To do this, they put the main blame for what happened in 2008 on to the Labour Party. I want to remind voters what happened in 2008. The big banks went bust, along with many associated businesses in the money market.

The Labour Party bailed them out with billions of pounds of government money, so that the people of this country didn’t lose everything they had in housing/savings and their current accounts.

We should have had all that money paid back by the banks by now but it hasn’t been. This coalition changed everything the Labour Party was doing then, which was keeping people in work and still paying tax.

The result of their change is that the deficit needs another five years to get over and in the meantime millions of people are still stuck with wages they had many years ago.

A great number are now on part-time work and we have zero hours contracts.

The result is that benefit payouts have risen and taxpayers are subsidising businesses.

How’s that for our great “worldwide economy” as claimed by the Conservative Party with the still constant help of the Liberals?

The crux of the matter now is that all who can vote should get out and vote, like Scotland did for their referendum. OK so they didn’t gain independence, but at least they all voted to try for what they wanted.

Perfect way to spend a shilling

A Stubbs, Bridlington

MARJORIE WHITEHEAD is probably right in saying she paid a shilling for an unreserved seat at the Town Hall to hear the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maurice Miles on Sunday evenings in the 1950s (Your Feedback, February 7).

In those days a similar sum enabled me to sit at the rear of the orchestra near the brass section.

On one occasion I noticed they had recruited a trumpeter from Lionel Johns’ pier orchestra at St Annes, Lancashire, having seen him perform there the previous summer.

The pianists I remember were Kendal Taylor, Dennis Matthews, Colin Horsley and Benno Moiseiwitsch.

Later in the 1960s, after Moiseiwitsch had given an all Chopin recital, a reviewer from The Yorkshire Post said he would have rather been in Leeds Town Hall that evening than any other place in the world.

Civic Hall ice is not very nice

Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood

HAVE ANY others shared my indignation at the most recent example of the council’s ‘kiddy capers’ outside the Civic Hall?

An ugly assemblage of fairground pieces and a portable building by an ice rink.

Unsightly, gross and incongruous, causing inconvenience and untold damage to our image as a centre of international culture.

What empty-handed populist is responsible for these idiotic incursions into the public domain?

Hardly anybody midweek uses these playgrounds, which must run at a loss. They deter the wandering visitor, who would react with amusement, perplexity and disdain.

Surely some among our 99 Madame Tussauds councillors have allowed their gaze to wander from their expenses claim forms to this carnage outside?

Where are our Tour profits?

Martin Phillips, Cookridge

The YEP has recently highlighted the cuts in public spending in the area.

The Tour de France in Yorkshire is estimated to have brought £500m into the economy, so why can’t we use that to offset some of the loss of public spending?

After all, taxpayers’ money was used to help bring ‘Le Tour’ to Yorkshire so we should expect some sort of return.

Taxed by Prime Minister’s sums

Dave MacFadyen, Crossgates

Am I the only person confused by David Cameron’s big boast that “by raising the personal income tax allowance to £10,500 we have taken three million people out of tax altogether”?

When I use my calculator to make sense of this I find that a person working full time (40 hours per week), on the minimum wage (£6.50) should earn £13,520. This suggests the three million people David Cameron boasts about must be paid considerably less than the minimum wage.

If David Cameron really wants to make work pay he would start by enforcing the Minimum Wage Act. He has not.

In Britain the “law” of the free market doesn’t apply to either workers or customers. Individual workers have no choice but to accept whatever pay they are given.

In the past workers formed trade unions as the only way to have any say in the price they receive when they sell their skills and labour on the free market.

The Tories don’t think that workers should have that right. They intend to legislate to further reduce workers’ negotiating power in order to further reduce wages.

David Cameron tells us repeatedly that workers should take those jobs with poverty wages “as a starting point, to then work their way up to a better wage”.

This is nonsense. Most of these jobs have no career prospects. Worse than that, if you take such a job, you become stigmatised on the job market and find it very difficult to move upwards.

The real reason that benefits have been targeted by the Tories is that linking them to inflation, as was done before, meant that they had overtaken the most poorly paid. This was preventing wages from being further reduced. This is part of a long-term plan which was formulated before 1979.

Britain was not “the sick man of Europe”. There were countries in Europe where people had to go barefoot, even in winter. British workers were better off than at any other time, before or since.

The Tories formulated a plan to destroy trade union power in order to turn the clock back and reduce wages.

Why? Poor people are much more easily controlled.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9