Letters, Monday, February 11, 2013

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‘Bedroom tax’ to hit most vunerable

THE bedroom tax article headlined: “Another kick in the teeth for the most vulnerable”

is another attack from the Coalition Government on low-income families and the vulnerable.

 Bedroom tax will hammer single, grandparents, foster parents, disabled, forces and bereaved when it comes into effect in April this year.

 The policy will apply to every housing benefit claimant. Those who are assessed as having one bedroom “too many” will lose 14 per cent of their benefit. Those considered to have two or more will lose 25 per cent.

 This is expected to mean an average loss of £14 a week for affected claimants, but £16 a week for social housing tenants.

 Foster carers are also among the people who are likely to be hit by the bedroom tax. Under the new guidelines, any extra bedrooms in foster carers home will be regarded as spare rooms even if they are occupied by children in their care.

 The Government want more people to be foster parents, this will turn away potential foster carers. What happened to every child matters?

Gemma Taylor,

Houghton

Poor to suffer

WHY are they introducing this bedroom tax?

 The answer is obvious. It is because of immigration which is causing a severe housing shortage. The Government is desperate to get living space.

 Whereas once our parents would live happily in the house they had lived in for many years, they are now asked to leave their houses, or pay money they can’t afford because they have an extra bedroom.

 What about people who need to have help to look after them? Most people have a bedroom for relatives visiting as well. What an absolute disgrace that this housing shortage has been caused by successive governments giving in to the EU.

 What are we going to do when the Romanians and Bulgarians come here? Where are we going to put them?

 Certainly not in the spare rooms of the MPs with their second rented houses and their love of the EU gravy train.

Marjorie Matthews,

Sunderland

Engineering boost

I WOULD like to draw attention to our new scholarships for students studying engineering.

 Students who get three grade As at A-Level (or equivalent) are now eligible for a scholarship of £1,000 per year.

 The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) new Diamond Jubilee Scholarships will reward students who achieve three grade As at A-Level (or three A grade Advanced Highers or five A grade Highers) and start an IET accredited engineering or technology degree course this autumn. They will be entitled to the scholarship for up to four years. The scholarships have been launched to encourage bright, young students to consider studying engineering and technology, and to go on to enjoy rewarding and challenging careers.

 The IET’s 2012 Skills and Demand in Industry Survey shows that, for the first time since the recession, companies are more confident in expanding their engineering workforce.

 Starting salaries for graduate engineers and technicians are among the highest of all graduate salaries. But there remains a national shortage of engineers.

 This new initiative is one of the many ways the IET is helping to address that shortage.

 Students can apply for the scholarships by visiting www.theiet.org/diamond.

Linda Deleay,

awards and prizes manager,

Institution of Engineering and Technology

London

I RECEIVED a pamphlet from our local MP, Bridget Phillipson, stating her regret at the amount of youth unemployment in the area – something we would all agree with.

 She confirms that Labour wish to introduce a guaranteed work scheme whereby every adult, having been out of work for more than two years would be offered work.

 Very laudable in theory, but not practical. What sort of work would they be offered? Would it be digging a hole and then filling it in again, or something like that – in other words non-productive, non profitable?

 So, it would be of no use to the employee who would see it for what it was. More important it would be a total charge on the country with no return.

 It should be understood that a country weakens itself by introducing non jobs.

 If they are not available, then they should not be found. The only sensible thing to do is employ people as jobs are found by companies who produce products for the market.

 This is when the country becomes richer and then even more jobs are found.

 A study of how Nissan has progressed will prove the point.

 I used to work in a factory where numerous people wandered around every day with a piece of paper in their hands. They produced nothing and cost the company a fortune. The company went into liquidation years ago.

Allan Wilkinson