Letters, Friday, March 29, 2013

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Have your say

IT seems like every day we read another story in the tabloids about a youngster “accidentally” running up a huge bill playing games on their iPad, and of course, their parents’ anger at Apple for daring to charge money for its services.

IT seems like every day we read another story in the tabloids about a youngster “accidentally” running up a huge bill playing games on their iPad, and of course, their parents’ anger at Apple for daring to charge money for its services.

 Well here’s an idea: Why not take responsibility for your own actions and those of your children?

 I’ve got an iPad and it’s quite simple to turn off the ability to purchase items in games without entering a password first, and even if a purchase is made, a warning will be displayed and an e-mail will be sent to your account telling you how much has been spent. There’s just no way to “accidentally” spend thousands of pounds on iPad games. It’s impossible.

 Of course, I spent a bit of time learning about the machine before giving it to my children. Anyone who gives a £500 gadget which contains their credit card number to a six-year-old without learning how to use it first gets what they deserve. I’m glad they’re out of pocket as it’s maybe the only way they’ll learn how to be responsible.

 Like so many other things today, it’s just another case of people not taking resposibility for their own actions. How far we’ve fallen as a society.

John Fowler

Wrong tax facts

MR W Quinn launched a not wholly correct attack on the Government’s Housing Benefit changes in his letter of March 8.

 Firstly, he incorrectly claimed “Councillor Robert Oliver said recently it was a mistake to call the bedroom tax an equalisation of benefits”. In fact, in letters on February 27, Councillor Oliver said: “The Labour Party continues its scaremongering about the reduction in benefits for extra rooms in social housing, which it mistakenly calls a ‘bedroom tax’. It is actually an equalisation of benefits between the private and social rental sectors in order to increase social housing provision and reduce cost”.

 Mr Quinn then went on to claim “a mother in a three-bedroom house with two sons away in the forces will have to pay tax on two bedrooms”. However, a report on the BBC on March 12 clearly quashes this.  Mr Quinn should also have checked back to Labour’s thinking on addressing this problem.

 A report, backed by Labour, was launched on October 19, 2011. The report, sponsored by Labour’s Shadow Minister, Tessa Jowell, argues that “empty nesters” in their 60s should be “encouraged” by taxation to downsize to smaller homes. In effect, a couple living in a two-bedroom house would, according to these proposals, be taxed at a higher council tax rate to “encourage” them to move to smaller houses.

 This report, Hoarding of Housing (a term offensive in itself) says: “Older people are often rattling around in big houses with many bedrooms standing empty”. It goes on “it is perfectly understandable that retired people cling to their home long after it has outlived its usefulness”. The tax will be set “to reflect the social cost of occupying housing, particularly housing that is larger that one’s needs”.

 Age UK said: “No one of any age should feel they have to move out of their family home unless it is what they want to do”.

 The head of the Labour-backed think-tank, the Intergenerational Foundation, which is championed by Tessa Jowell, launched the report saying that “empty nesters” should be “encouraged” through a new land tax to downsize. This, it was argued, would help make room for younger generations.

Alan Wright,

Barnes

Cyclists woes

WHILE chatting in the local pub with a few of the lads, my mate Jase made a point previously said about our cycle paths being littered with glass and dogs excrement.

 Jase said as soon as you start to leave Sunderland, the natives out walking their dogs are togged out in camouflage uniform.

 It is like a scene from the Burt Reynolds movie Deliverence he says.

 I thought he was talking about Washington, Easington, Murton and Shiney Row, where the sight of male dog walkers dressed as Rambo is all too common.

 He was, however, talking about Ryhope and Silksworth.

 Granted these people are not rigged out like the two-bob millionaire dog walkers you see swanning around Seaburn in their green wellies, Barbour jackets and flat caps, thinking they are Richie Rich. But their dogs do the same damage to our cycle paths I pointed out.

Ged Taylor,

Barnes

Looking for Ian

I AM looking for an old friend, who lived in the Fulwell area of Sunderland, in the 1960s.

 He would be about 73 years old now and about 22 in the 1960s.

 His father was Councillor Graham, and Ian studied architecture.

 Any information would be appreciated. Contact me on 07947564582 and leave a message.

Chris Davison

Reunion success

I WOULD like to thank everyone who made the Wearmouth Colliery Reunion such a success.

 Special thanks to everyone at Mill View Club, girls and Gordon, from All Seasons, for their help.

 It is nice that 20 years after the closure of the colliery we still have such a good attendance. See you next year.

Muriel Tulley,

Fulwell