Letters, Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Have your say

No Christmas cheer for the poor

A REPUTABLE organisation is taking the Government to court, for it believes the Scrooge-like cuts imposed on the poorest infringe human rights. No surprise there, because my intuition had told me that once the Chancellor gets inside his mansion, he stands before a blazing fire, warming his posterior, and doesn’t give a toss for the penniless people he penalises.

As the warmth spreads to his bones, how can he not find some generosity during the jingle bell season to help our shivering elderly? How does the Chancellor’s conscience allow him to be associated with the expected death of 200 people per day over the yuletide and winter because of poverty?

As he brushes the fire sparks from his suit, does he not give a thought for those pensioners who will be having a cold, miserable Christmas? No festive joy for them as they sit in cold rooms with coats on and blankets over their knees, some even reluctant to plug in the fairy-lights on the Christmas tree.

Osborne continued to crucify the poor in his autumn statement on new projects. He sent struggling families Christmas crackers with the announcement that the funding for the projects would be taken from tax credits and welfare. However, the Chancellor again played Santa Claus to the filthy rich. Osborne never asked them to contribute. So sleigh bells were ringing and carols the wealthy were singing all the way to the bank, while as usual Osborne left the poor waist deep in the Red Nosed Reindeer’s muck.

W. Quinn, Duke Street, Millfield

Insurance changes

SO the lawmakers in Brussels (not in the UK, we have none) have banned insurance companies from using a driver’s gender to calculate rates, by December 2012. They say it is sexist and is against equality.

Car insurance companies know that in general women are safer drivers. However, the EU wants to discriminate against safer drivers. If its statistics are used to charge lower insurance for safer drivers then automatically women will get lower charges. Will the EU then say that this is unlawful discrimination against unsafe drivers? The mind boggles!

What I cannot understand is that the new law will lead to costing £300million more in car insurance charges. Clarification, please.

Does it not mean cheaper insurance for unsafe, dodgy drivers and more for safe drivers, resulting in the same total?

Silly me! It will mean women drivers having to pay the same as high-risk new male drivers – a fortune.

Marjorie Matthews, Aiskell Street, Sunderland

Plea for market

ABOUT six months ago I wrote to the Letters Page about a market being set up in Sunderland. This is an open letter to Sunderland Council.

The Portas Inquiry said that an open market on a regular date or dates would be a benefit to city or town centres, so come on Sunderland Council – work to have a regular market on the streets of Sunderland. Not the farmers’ market – it’s way too expensive for working-class people.

Let’s have a flea market on one day then other markets on another. Trust me, it won’t cost alot and it will help people and small shops in the centre, plus it will bring people into the centre of Sunderland.

Scott Andrews, Wilkinson Terrace, Sunderland

Pennies mount up

EARLIER in the year, I wrote a letter to the Echo and thanked my customers, both in the Tunstall shop and Southwick shop, for the penny change they left in our two shops.

The collection raised £200 and paid for morning milk, lunch, afternoon milk and snack and a full evening meal for 500 deaf children and youngsters without speech.

Many customers have brought in their loose change in pennies since my last letter to the Echo. One does not realise how much 1p means to some people abroad.

You will all be delighted to know that my wife Damini, daughter Tripura and I revisited this institution in India last month and this time round the penny donation reached £250, since April this year.

This time customers’ generosity will help to support a five-year-old blind girl for a full year’s boarding, lodging and education in a blind school. This will certainly change her life for good and we intend to support her in the future with the penny change customers’ leave in our two pharmacies.

I would like to thank all our customers for their donations. I am sure God is again looking upon them and is sending blessings and good wishes for their well-being and for a Happy Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.

Dr Umesh B Patel, Leema Pharmacy, The Green, Southwick, Sunderland