As we approach a General Election, it is worth recalling a promise made at the 2009 Conservative Party conference.
We were told that it was time to say “enough is enough” on fixed speed cameras, as they were not the best way to make our roads safe. We were promised a switch to better alternatives.
Not only is that promise unfulfilled, but the government has kept the cameras going through revenue from lucrative speed awareness courses.
A recent opinion poll showed that two-thirds of drivers were unaware that they pay around £50 billion a year in taxes, but only about a fifth is spent back on roads.
Yet the government is looking to raise even more money out of drivers. It accepted a report that proposed hiving off England’s main highways to profiteers, bringing the threat of road pricing. The almost unknown Infrastructure Bill quietly paves the way for this.
Our roads have been paid for several times over and belong to the public.
They are not for sale or something that just falls short of that.
The last government backed down after 1.8 million people signed our petition against road pricing. I urge readers to ask their MP to oppose the Bill - enough is enough!
Brian Macdowall, Campaign Director, Alliance of British Drivers (ABD)
Benn’s double standards
Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn, who is objecting to the voting rights of Scottish MPs on legislation only affecting England being curtailed, is a hypocrite.
As a member of the Benn political ‘dynasty’ he should know a most important principle of our Parliamentary ‘democracy’ - that politicians must be accountable to those affected by their actions - was usurped when key areas eg health, education and transport were devolved to the Scottish Parliament, yet Scottish MPs of all parties still voted on those matters at Westminster affecting only England - not their own constituents!
A few examples of the resulting injustices suffered by England are university tuition fees which have already burdened generations of England’s students with debts were only introduced by Scottish votes and do not apply in Scotland or to students of other EU countries studying there.
Tolls on Thames crossing at Dartford Bridge were doubled by a Scottish Transport Secretary at Westminster, ie Douglas Alexander MP at the same time that tolls on Scotland’s Erskine Bridge were abolished!
Many English families are denied their modest inheritance when houses bought by parents or grandparents were forcibly sold to fund care of the elderly. This is also free in Scotland.
This blatant undemocratic, dishonest double standard is entirely the fault of Labour? At least David Cameron is trying to do something to redress the balance in the future, albeit a bit late in the day.
DS Boyes, Rodley
Let the fans see cricket trophy
HAVING READ about Andrew Gale taking the Championship Trophy to Huddersfield Town last week and plans to show the trophy at Elland Road, is there any chance of Yorkshire members like myself, who couldn’t get to Nottingham, of seeing the trophy during today’s final game against Somerset?
Or are we showing it at Bradford City’s next home game etc, etc?
Brian Bolingbroke, Wortley.
Stop mutilation of women
I READ of a new bid to support hidden victims of horrendous crime (YEP, July 23) as hundreds of women in Leeds have been confirmed as victims of female genital mutilation and many more may be suffering in silence.
Figures obtained by the YEP show that 61 women in Leeds were referred to a specialist FGM clinic in Leeds in the last six months.
All the women were born outside the United Kingdom. A conference will be held in the city in September to raise awareness of this most hideous defacing of a female’s sex organs.
I am astounded that we allow it to take place anywhere let alone Leeds, and as it is against our law it should not be allowed, no matter where you were born.
David Cameron said recently how shocked he was but it’s action, not words, that we need.
AE Hague, Harehills
Too poor to save for a pension
THE SEEDS for the disintegration of Britain were planted in the 1980s.
The destruction of our manufacturing industries, resulting in loss of tens of thousands of proper jobs paying proper wages, combined with the sell-off of council houses at knock down prices, all helped to create an environment consisting of part-time workers being paid part-time money. When political dogma decreed that 80 per cent of the population should be handed over like sacrificial lambs to the tender mercies of the powerful owners of privatised industries the writing was truly on the wall.
Only the wealthiest will be able to buy a home if artificially inflated house prices continue to soar; home ownership is being pushed out of reach for average earners and is an impossibility for those on part-time wages. As for the pension experts who claim that we do not save enough, they belong with the 20 per cent who do not live in the real world. Are they not aware that a large proportion of workers do not earn (are not paid) enough to save?
Surely it is time politicians and pension specialists with their fat salaries realised that with income tax, council tax, VAT, rent or mortgage and ever-increasing food, fuel, utility bills and transport expenses, saving is the last thing on the minds of those on minimum wages.
R Pearson, Burmantofts
‘Wealthy’ OAPs milked for cash
Yet another spiteful attack by Labour and the Liberals with calls for”wealthy”pensioners to pay more.
Perhaps Gordon Brown did us a favour after all when he trashed our private pensions. Why don’t these think tanks think of a way to target the irresponsible who have never saved a penny towards their retirement,and the freeloaders who have contributed zero to the system? Probably because it is too difficult and would affect their human rights.
Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet
Time to learn some manners
what a sad person Nick Kerr is. I don’t think he knows what manners are.
I’m an able bodied pensioner so standing on a bus isn’t a problem for me, however I was brought up to show respect to my elders and in my day it was the done thing to give up your seat to an old lady or pregnant woman. I don’t think either courtesy would occur to him. With reference to his comments regarding free travel for pensioners, I wonder what his attitude will be if he ever grows old enough to be on a pension and limited income. Get a life Mr Kerr
Mick Robinson, Guiseley, Leeds
Six-week wait to replace a tile
LEEDS CITY Council got a scaffolding firm in six weeks ago to erect a scaffold the full length of a house up to roof level to fix one roof tile.
The scaffold is still there and the roof tile is still off.
LCC could not run a bath.
F Lennon, Beeston