Letters, Wednesday, September 10, 2013

Have your say

‘Bedroom tax’ will help families

IT seems that Labour is a confused party.

 “No change there then,” I hear you mutter.

 It cannot seem to make up its mind on the simplest of policies. Running around like a headless chicken with no direction and no leadership. Its amateur and spineless approach should be no surprise to the people of Sunderland, who have suffered under this party for generations.

 Take the “bedroom tax” issue. We have heard Labour MP, after Labour MP speak out against the so-called bedroom tax. They call it barbaric and have even called in the UN to inspect whether it goes against Human Rights. When questioned on this policy however, Labour has refused to get rid of the bedroom charge if elected.

 This week saw the deputy Labour leader in Scotland pledge to get rid of the charge. This was then denied by Labour in London.

 If it is such a “barbaric” and “heinous” policy then why no promise to get rid of it?

 The answer is that the Labour party is a party of headlines – short on substance and short on ideas.

 The spare room subsidy, as it is correctly known, is actually an incredibly fair policy aimed at dealing with the social housing crisis caused by the lack of building by the last Labour government. It is incredibly unfair that a hard working family cannot get a house big enough for their kids while a single person is allowed to live in a three-bedroom house. That is the sort of problem that the spare room subsidy aims to rectify.

 What are Labour’s plans for social housing? Well, in 13 years they did very little. As a result we have a housing crisis that this Government is dealing with.

 Do not fall into the trap of thinking that Labour has changed.

Dominic McDonough

Nurses are needed

IN Alan Wright’s response to my letter headed “havoc in the NHS”, he quoted from the Keogh Report that stated “The data analysis alone did not show nursing levels on wards as being a particular problem in eight of the 14 hospitals”.

 Mr Wright should realise this doesn’t mean there wasn’t a problem and it must mean nursing levels were causing difficulty in the other six hospitals.

 In fact, Sir Bruce Keogh spoke of “the inadequate numbers of nursing staff”, and all 14 hospital trusts he investigated must carry out “urgent reviews of safe staffing levels”.

 The report also said that nurses were being overworked. Some were made to work 12 days in a row with a 14-hour shift in the middle.

 The revelations put pressure on Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to explain why, since his Government came to power in 2010, 1,000 nurses have been axed from the struggling trusts at the centre of the scandal. However, lets give credit where it’s due. Mr Hunt seemed to finally admit the NHS could do with hundreds of extra nurses.

 He said after the Keogh Report that a new Chief Inspector of Hospitals would create jobs.

 “I wouldn’t be surprised if many more nurses are employed” he said.

 Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said he had been telling the Government we need more nurses for nearly three years, and “if the Health Secretary is serious about recruiting more nurses, it needs to happen today”.

W Quinn

Lost out in love

AS a small boy living in Henry Street, I remember a family, who lived at the bottom of the street next to the railway wall.

 Here is where I need some help. I remember that Sampson lost out in love and said he would jump off the town bridge at midnight, but I think the police may have stopped him.

 I have asked family and friends about this and nobody can remember the event. Is there any old Hendonians, like myself, who can recall this taking place?

 Hendon was not always poor, a few of us from Henry, Addison, and Bramwell Streets went to a local boarding school at the bottom of Nobles Bank Road and Gray Road, opposite the Hendon Gardens pub.

 As my late wife said you can take the boy out of Hendon but not Hendon out of the boy – happy days.

G Liddle