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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Letters of the Week: Bob Parsons & Andrew Shaw

Once again, it's a dead-heat. There's this cracker from Bob Parsons in Friday's Daily Express which caught my eye.

Labour isn't to blame for all the country's ills. Many years ago, before Tony Blair came to power, officialdom advised my adult daughter to get pregnant to become eligible for a whole raft of benefits. And this was under a Conservative government.

The Daily Express tells us 'They' have ruined Britain, but who are 'They'? Have we so quickly forgotten the financiers and bankers given free rein in the Thatcher era who have brought the capitalist financial system to its knees.

Many people, myself included, would have preferred to see these privately owned bastions of capitalism collapse under the greed of their owners and shareholders instead of being bailed out by the taxpayer.

So a Labour government has once again saved capitalism, thanks to money that ordinary people have provided, while the perpetrators enjoy gold-plated pay-offs for failing.

Bob Parsons,
Trawden, Lancs.

And then there's this short, but very sweet one from Andrew Shaw from The Daily Telegraph.

SIR – I am not surprised at Tony Blair's despair over the new higher rate of income tax (report, April 25).
It will cost him a fortune.

Andrew Shaw
Corby, Northants

1 comment:

jock mctrousers said...

Yes, especially the second one, but this is a bit odd:

" officialdom advised my adult daughter to get pregnant to become eligible for a whole raft of benefits. "

Gold stars for breeding for the motherland (or fatherland - which are we?)?.

Apparently income support is about £60.50 a week at the moment. I would have to pay c£7 a week of my council rent out of that. My dual fuel costs £12 p wk by direct debit ( and few poor people would get that). That would leave $41.50. If you really had to have a phone , that would be minimum £5 a week (for a sparingly used landline) - so £36.50 for food, fares, lightbulbs, bicycle repairs (no way you could drive or use public transport often), clothes, bedding, non-prescription medicine, spectacles ( the NHS won't pay it all now I think)..... What's the minimum bus-fare now in London? If you really have to use public transport, then you'll have to shell out for a weekly bus pass. How much would that leave you. £2 -£3 a day? With food and power prices rocketing!

Surviving (just eating) on that is a full-time job, searching for the cheapest deals, or reject vegetables from market stalls, charity shops for clothes etc. And they want to force those on this pittance to spend 40 hours a week sitting in a job-centre, or doing work-fare! That isn't physically possible - people will starve, or murder their overseers.

And what about work? How many hours at the minimum wage would it take to even maintain that miserable existence, say for a single person not eligible for working families tax credit ( who really knows what benefits they're entitled to, who'll tell them?)? How much time would you have to spend in and out of DSS offices trying to get your miserable rebate anyway, and how long would you have to wait for it? Increased expenses for fares and meals at work (if you're not iron-willed enough to survive on sandwiches and a flask), reduced time to search for bargains...

The 'London living wage' is about right; 40 hours at £7.50 phr is just enough to survive, physically anyway - you won't be able to afford much socialising, with obvious mental health implications. Ok, if jobs like that were readily available, and lasting (not just for a few weeks or months), and there was the possibility that once you had shown you were a dependable worker you could move on to something better ... fine, but that world doesn't exist anymore.

And the next government will almost certainly end the NHS and reduce benefits to next to nothing, or abolish them completely, while prices rocket even further.

And now the point !!! How much money given to the bankers? £700 billion? Does anyone know? Does anyone know what they're doing with it? I don't read any British journalists who seem to have any idea about where this money is going, to who, what oversight there is of the whole thing... ETCETERA!!! Oh, and then there's the Private Finance Intiative - the ongoing commitment to supply a vast income stream to some rich people, whether or not (so not, obviously) they do what they're supposed to to keep us in schools and hospitals etc !

I tried to think of a pithy comment to round this off, but words fail me.