Letters, Saturday, March 2, 2013

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Let’s put an end to this nonsense

WILL we at last have an end in these columns to the economic nonsense from the regular and blinkered Tory correspondents, now that George Osborne has lost the nation its triple AAA credit rating and the value of sterling is on the tumble.

 Pushing the economy into a double dip recession has meant he has lost more in tax receipts than he has made in cuts to public expenditure. This is why the National Debt has risen, not fallen, under his chancellorship from £840m to £1.16trillion

 Deficit reduction was acknowledged by all the political parties in 2010. It’s how you achieve that separates the parties. Ed Balls, despite his previous failings, got it spot on when he warned cutting too fast and too deep would herald recession and result in failure.

 If the economy had avoided this self-made recession and had Labour’s legacy of modest growth, we would have had nearly three years of pain but progress behind us.

 Unfortunately, we are no further forward on the political consensus of deficit reduction.

 It’s time to call it a day, George.

Leslie Scott BSc Econ,

East Herrington

Time for change

THE time has come for a radical change in our political system. The current one is not working.

 Over the past 100 years things have change. Being an MP was a good job. They did not get paid much to begin with, but that’s all changed.

 The idea of local people going to Westminster to represent their neighbours has changed for the worse.

 These people were replaced by graduates, who had little or no connection with the constituents they were representing. They came from university straight into a job in PR then became assistants to ministers or party activists, and eventually stood for MP when the right seat came along and got a fine salary with plenty of holidays and a generous allowances.

 People are losing respect for MPs. There are exceptions but these are few and far between as we no longer feel they represent us at all.

 We must now have the worst political system we have had in decades, if not in centuries.

 Matthew Sinclair, of the Tax-payers’ Alliance, has said Parliament should call time on MPs’ subsidised dining and booze. It is scandalous that politicans preach about the need to rein in spending but refuse to give up this generous taxpayer-funded perk.

 Many people have seen their wages frozen, but they are still paying more for food and for a pint because of the beer tax.

George Gibson,

Sunderland

Euro fans’ myths

AS the Euro fanatics start a new round of their myth-making of how wonderful the European Union is for Britain, an interesting statistic has emerged as to how dependent the European Union is us.

 Britain is, in fact, the largest export market in the world for the Eurozone countries. We take 215billion Euros of their exports annually, more than they export to the USA and far more than the mere 150billion Euros they export to China.

 In addition, of course, this trade is massively profit-making to the EU while it is loss-making to the UK because we import so much from them.

 If the UK left the EU it would be suicidal for them to prevent free trade with us.

Rodney Atkinson,

Stocksfield

No time saver

I WOULD just like to say “well done” to Metro on its new high-tech, touch-screen ticket machines.

 With the old machines I would have to press one button before getting my ticket, which was often confusing and time-consuming.

 Now, with these new machines, I only have to touch the screen four or five times before getting my ticket, then have to touch it again to confirm that I don’t want a receipt.

 As you can imagine, all this screen pressing is much more convenient and efficient than the old ‘one button’ system.

 I can only hope the rest of the Metro system is upgraded in a similar high-tech fashion.

Stuart Nattrass

Manners are free

I’VE lived in Sunderland for nearly five years and overall I think it is lovely. But I have noticed that customer service is a dirty word in some shops.

 I went for fish and chips the other day and the shop worker wrapped them before I had chance to ask for salt and vinegar. I asked if she could put some on and she scowled at me.

 She did do it, but said not one word and then just handed the packet over.

 She seemed to be really miserable.

 We all have bad days but a simple smile and a bit of chat can really go a long way.

 Why would you work in a shop if you don’t like people?

 I’ve noticed it in some other shops too.

 Elsewhere the opposite is true – the girl in our local supermarket is an absolute sweetheart. No matter how busy she always asks how you are and chats away – she always has something nice to say.

 My friend and I went to Beamish the other day and the staff there were lovely – they wanted us to have a nice day.

 It’s funny how different people can be.

Judith Trucknell