Letters - March 2, 2016

Embargoed to 0001 Monday February 29

File photo dated 06/01/15 of money in a piggy bank, as not saving enough cash, having a paltry pension pot and getting into debt are Britons' biggest financial regrets, research has found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 29, 2016. Being unable to work or earn more in their job, delaying buying a house, taking bad advice from family or friends and getting divorced were other common money mistakes. See PA story MONEY Regrets. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Embargoed to 0001 Monday February 29 File photo dated 06/01/15 of money in a piggy bank, as not saving enough cash, having a paltry pension pot and getting into debt are Britons' biggest financial regrets, research has found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 29, 2016. Being unable to work or earn more in their job, delaying buying a house, taking bad advice from family or friends and getting divorced were other common money mistakes. See PA story MONEY Regrets. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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Have your say

EUROPE

Union costs less than some claim

Mr DJ Bunting wrote a letter (‘Why pay the EU but not our Councils?’ Your Say, February 15) in which he alleged amongst other things that “we now have an unelected bureaucratic dictatorship in Brussels telling our democratically elected Parliaments what we can & cannot do”.

He returns to the EU issue in another letter (European funding is our money anyway, Your Say, February 26).

VoteLeave reckons that if we were not in the EU, the UK Government would be so awash with money that our NHS would never want for cash again.

SaynotoEU use some of the same story line.

VoteLeave bang on about £350m a week to the EU (£18bn a year). One of the ‘Sayno’ leaflets says £20bn & the other £17bn. They also talk about £55m a day and £350m a week, while Mr Bunting quotes £400m a week. They can’t even get that agreed and correct!

These are gross figures. The UK rebate brings our net contribution down to below that of Italy, and about half of our net contribution finds its way back to support UK businesses.

Mr Bunting says that is our money. So it is, as is all the UK taxpayer money wasted by the UK government on disastrous policies in the NHS and work and pensions which are nothing to do with the EU.

The EU budget is proposed by the Commission; negotiated by the European Council – its members are elected ministers of their own governments – and further scrutinised by the (elected) European Parliament. Differences between the Parliament and the Council are negotiated and the budget finally agreed.

One could reasonably argue this process is more democratic than our system, where the Chancellor consults only with his own party to come up with a budget that firstly satisfies Tory ideology and only secondly responds to the needs of the country.

Mike Turner

Fylde Liberal Democrats

EUROPE

Let’s be respectful during EU debate

Derek J Bunting seems to be usurping the role of the local UKIP with his sudden flurry of renewed letter writing.

In his latest letter ‘European funding is our money anyway’ (Your Say, Gazette, February 26), he takes Cat Smith and Gordon Marsden to task for pointing out the large number of local projects supported by European funding, though what they point out is correct.

I agree with him and a previous correspondent about facts and figures ‘muddying the waters’, but he also does that by brazenly suggesting that if we left Europe all the £400million we have been contributing would be ours.

First the £400 million per week net contribution he implies we would not make to the EU is erroneous. The correct most recent, calculated to weekly figures, are £395.04m gross contribution – less £278.38m UK correction and less £131.51m in various other payments back to the UK. These bring the actual weekly total down to £147.87m – a figure of just £2.27 per head for each of the UK population.

I know that I risk being accused of further muddying the waters by quoting the above figures, but there are huge number of electors still to decide, so yes – misinformation is to be deplored.

The real issues are the effect on our economy by withdrawal, which needs to be spelled out as clearly and as honestly as is possible.

We have nearly four months of debate before us so let all of us who have committed views, be fair to those who have yet to decide, by being respectful and honest in putting forward our arguments.

Colin Shrive

Sandhurst Avenue

Bispham

HERITAGE

Museum would be a year-round boost

Promoting Blackpool’s unique transport and entertainment heritage will be a huge boost for the resort. For businesses to be sustainable in a seasonal town its vital to find ways of improving the tourism economy on a year-round basis.

Encouraging annual conventions, festivals and school trips combined with developing a museum is the way forward for raising the credibility of Blackpool on a European level.

On a personal note, I was pleased to read ‘Resort’s museum dream’ (Gazette, February 26) as the article picture featured my late father, former tram driver Darrell Pierre photographed in 1976.

He was the first full-time Afro-Caribbean employee at Blackpool Corporation Transport 1967 to 1986. He is fondly remembered by retired transport staff and the public as a polite, smartly-dressed gentlemen with his trademark deer stalker hat.

It would be very fitting for one of the heritage tramcars to be named after him in the memory of his good name.

Stephen Pierre

via email

POLITICS

Cameron is a bully, and should be told

I have written to 10 Downing St to inform David Cameron he is a bully. Week after week at Prime Minister’s Questions, Cameron engages in disgusting tactics to ridicule his opponents.

The final straw was Cameron’s aggression towards Mr Corbyn’s dress sense and the quality of his suits. Mr Corbyn’s dress sense has nothing relevant to the issues of the day being Mr Corbyn’s support for junior doctors.

To bully your opponents, as Mr Cameron does, is unacceptable and demonstrates what a nasty man we have for a Prime Minister.

Michael Moulding

via email