Letters, Monday, December 31, 2012

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Labour left us in taxing times

IN her Wednesday column, Bridget Phillipson MP encourages the belief that the poor are being made to pay the price for the financial crisis.

 This is an emotive argument which the Labour Party is working overtime to sow in the minds of the voters, but it doesn’t tell the whole truth.

 It ignores the responsibility of the last Labour Government which increased dependency leaving everyone at the mercy of the inevitable cuts.

 When it comes to paying down the deficit, the main way in which this is being done is through income tax, the largest of all taxes.

 A study by the HMRC shows that the poor are paying less and the wealthy more and not the other way round.

 It says that Labour taxed the poor more and the rich less when in office with the highest income tax band being set at only 40 per cent for most of the time.

 Now, lowest earners have seen a 30 per cent per cent reduction in income tax as the personal allowance increases and the wealthiest a 30 per cent rise due to the 45p rate.

 This is a tax cut for the poorest which will lift more than a thousand people in Sunderland out of income tax and hand them a £267 cash boost.

 At the other end of the scale, there has been a clampdown on tax avoidance never seen under the last Labour Government with several loopholes closed.

Councillor Robert Oliver,

Leader, Conservative Council Group

You are what you eat? Not always

RE: Stop the snack trolly. The person who wrote this letter really needs to do some research on why people are overweight.

 While I agree with most of the letter, the last paragraph is very offensive.

 There are people who are under the weight management programme who do not eat, but do have weight problems.

 Until you are medically qualified to make statements then do not try to judge.

 I am a woman who works full-time and has problems with weight due to not eating three meals a day.

 I exercise, am well aware of the plight of people starving – not just children – I pay my taxes and I work extremely hard for numerous charities.

 I am by no means what I eat, but I do not feel that ignorance should have an explanation, therefore I decline to do so.  

 However what I will say is a huge “thank you” to the weight management teams, they are truly life savers.

Name and address supplied

Be aware of the ‘silent killer’

WE are pleased that Coronation Street’s latest storyline, with Fiz left fighting for her life, is alerting people to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 Unfortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is more than just a soap storyline. According to the Department of Health, more than 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK every year and thousands more are treated in hospital.

 It is likely many more victims go unrecognised because the symptoms can easily be mistaken for common illnesses such as flu or food poisoning.

 Despite these dangers, a recent study by Liverpool John Moores University found that fewer than one-in-ten homes have a carbon monoxide alarm.

 Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer as it has no smell, taste or colour. It can kill you or cause lasting damage to your health.

 The only way to fully protect yourself and your family is to have a carbon monoxide alarm that makes a loud noise when gas is present. They are widely available and cost around £15.

 Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn fully. The most common cause of this is when a household fuel-burning appliance, such as a boiler, is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained,

 For more information about how to stay safe visit www.co-bealarmed.co.uk

Karen Roe,

Campaign Manager, Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed! campaign

Postage problem

I RECEIVED a postcard from Royal Mail informing me that it had an item for me, but the sender didn’t pay the full postage.

 The sum was 19p plus £1 handling fee. Someone will have had to print the card, give it to the postman who then delivered it to me.

 This was probably a Christmas card, so Royal Mail, you can keep it and I hope you have the Christmas you deserve. Jean Barnes,

Fulwell

Plea from old pal

WOULD Carol Smith, who lived at 1 or 2 Pontefract Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, in the 1960s and ’70s, please phone 0774 590 7018 between 3pm and 4pm any day.

 An old friend is trying to make contact with you.

Name and address supplied