Letters, Friday, November 2, 2012

Have your say

Time to put an end to benefit state

OVER 20 years ago I said that parents on an average wage, with more than two children, would be better off financially on benefits.

 Free school dinners, spectacles, dental treatment, no bus fares to work, etc. This is not because I was advocating this, just stating an obvious truth.

 This country has created a benefits state.

 The plan to pay no family allowance for more than two children is an excellent idea.

 We could not do this to people already receiving this, but could set an early date when it would apply.

 People who work plan their families to what they can afford. People on benefits know that the taxpayers will pay for all children they have.

 With unlimited immigration the country’s financial problems have been vastly worsened.

 Time to get out of the EU. Let us have that in/out referendum.

Marjorie Matthews,

Aiskell Street,


Blatant abuse

WHILE I totally agree with people taking full responsibility for their own finances, I totally disagree with housing benefit claimants who spend the awarded benefit on anything but paying their rent.

 Not only are they stealing from the landlord, they are also stealing from every hard working taxpayer in this country.

 Most people don’t know that a benefit tenant has to be two months in arrears before the benefit system will consider paying the landlord direct.

 Two months is a long time, by then the landlord has very little chance of regaining any arrears.

 Not all landlords are wealthy people and many get a lot of bad press simply because they have rogue tenants who think it’s their right to live rent free and spend rent benefit on whatever they fancy, all at taxpayers’ expense.

 In my case the income from my property is my only income.

 I can’t claim benefits or legal aid as I’m supposed to have a rental income. I’ve had to borrow to pay charges on my property, which the rogue tenants are also claiming and not paying.

 It’s a long drawn out expensive process trying to evict bad tenants, many get legal representation – legal aid, again at the taxpayers’ expense.

 It’s a blatant abuse of our benefit system.

  Then they simply declare themselves homeless, find another property and live rent free for another six months.

 When the new benefit system comes into place, I for one will not be renting to benefit claimants.

 I understand not everyone on benefit are the same – I can only speak from experience.

 Sunderland Council pulled down perfectly good houses, let them house these rogue tenants as they do very little to help landlords in my position.



Converting natives

ON a rare visit to that small insignificant toon on the river Tyne, I noticed a lot of fresher students at the Haymarket coming out of Blackwell’s bookshop.

 I held the door open for some of them. One absolutely gorgeous girl fluttered her eyelashes at me and said “thank you so much” in a posh Henley-on-Thames accent.

 “How hinny,” I replied, “are you from the South of England?”

 You should have seen the look of her face.

 Then to my astonishment I noticed a male Geordie reading the Football Echo. Would you Adam and Eve it? They don’t have a football pink of their own any more, so they have to read ours!

 Who knows? Like missionaries in darkest Africa, you may be converting the natives to the true faith.

Frank Seely,

Cotswold Close,


‘I’m all right Jack’

WE all know Christmas activities are increasing in many ways, which will create more hardship.

 Some recent small examples include daily Lapland Tours costing £500 to £600, Christmas/New Year dinners at £50 to £60 each, expensive gadgets – which are not always needed in society.

 However, a recent item by Briget Phillipson MP was interesting. It said energy costs are going through the roof and a local supermarket was holding a “Fareshare” campaign to tackle food poverty.

 She is right about churches and community groups such as Monkwearmouth Salvation Army, which is offering a two-course dinner for £2 on a Monday, Holy Trinity Church, High Usworth, £2.50 on a Wednesday, Brunswick Methodist £2.50 monthly on a Friday, plus Houghton Bethany Church admin etc.

 All these volunteers deserve our gratitude in an increasing divided society.

 “I am all right Jack” hasn’t died yet from the 1950/60s.

Bill Craddock MBE

Donvale Road,


Scruffy tramps

WATCHING some of the soaps on telly recently, I wondered if someone could please tell me, do any of the male characters own a razor?

 They are all scruffy looking tramps!

John “the pun” Watson,