Letters - October 30, 2015

File photo dated 08/05/13 of members of the House of Lords and other lawmakers awaiting the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II during the State opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, as there are renewed calls for reform of the House of Lords. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 29, 2015. The Daily Mail found that 124 peers who live in London have this year claimed the daily allowance, which is paid at a flat rate regardless of how far the Lord has to travel to get to Westminster or whether they have to stay overnight in a hotel to attend. See PA story POLITICS Lords. Photo credit should read: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
File photo dated 08/05/13 of members of the House of Lords and other lawmakers awaiting the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II during the State opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London, as there are renewed calls for reform of the House of Lords. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 29, 2015. The Daily Mail found that 124 peers who live in London have this year claimed the daily allowance, which is paid at a flat rate regardless of how far the Lord has to travel to get to Westminster or whether they have to stay overnight in a hotel to attend. See PA story POLITICS Lords. Photo credit should read: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
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TAX CREDITS

Lords had no right to veto finance bill

An alliance of unelected peers and bishops has tried to make the Chancellor rethink a key part of his economic strategy. There are strong arguments in favour of amending his tax credit cuts to ensure that the genuine poor do not suffer.

But the upper chamber had no constitutional right to do what it did. By its actions, democracy has been defied.

The democratically elected Commons approved three times the planned cuts. The Lords rebellion is, therefore, unconstitutional. It is farcical that some 90 Liberal peers helped Labour peers to block the government’s cuts when the party has only eight MPs.

The government made two crass decisions. It should never have used a statutory instrument to get the cuts approved, instead of putting them in the finance bill, thus protecting them from the Lords. Nevertheless, the Lords has no right to veto.

The last Labour government introduced tax credits. By 2008, their cost had risen to £30 billion a year. They have become an unsustainable subsidy for low-wage firms.

Independent research indicates some 30 per cent of the poorer part of the workforce will have a significantly reduced income. It is also evident, but never mentioned, that many recipients of tax credits do not need them.

There is no doubt serious cuts have to be made to welfare costs, as they have been spiralling out of control. Tax credits need reforming to secure a viable economy. However, the neediest in our society must not suffer as a result of what looks like a Treasury misjudgement.

Dr Barry Clayton

Fieldfare Close

Thornton-Cleveleys

TAX CREDITS

EU is not the only undemocratic body

In his latest letter to The Gazette, Philip Griffiths slams the ‘undemocratic’ EU (Your Say, October 29).

Sadly, he’s chosen to do this in a week when a government, elected on just 37 per cent of the vote, by less than a quarter of all eligible voters in the country, had its plans to do something it promised not to do delayed by a parliamentary chamber made up of political appointees, hereditary peers and bishops.

Does he really think the people are any better off giving power back to that lot?

Will Patterson

via email

CLARKSON

Blackpool has what it takes to rival best

Will Jeremy Clarkson be asked back to switch on the Illuminations again? Unlikely. His negative comments made to the national media about Blackpool were unjustified. His one-sided attack was unfair and damaging to a town which has had a right ‘good kicking’ by the broadcasters over the past few years.

Jeremy Clarkson is a successful wealthy and intelligent man. He has done Blackpool no favours by his recent unwelcome remarks. What has he really gained? He might just find that it will be someone else throwing the punches next time.

Yes the town has some social deprivation and a high level of unemployment. This is a recognised problem found in a lot of seaside towns that once thrived from post war UK tourism with an over supply of guest house type accommodation. Today it’s a dilemma, and not an easy one to manage and resolve in a short period of time.

Blackpool as a destination tourism town is finally on its uppers, and despite the critics, it’s a town which has a solid and much-loved reputation. The emphasis is to now attract new generations to visit the town on recommendation from their elders. This is achievable by encouraging arts and culture to meet the expectation of younger generations.

Hastings and Brighton have seen positive change over the past 20 years, I hope some of their secrets of regeneration success can be adopted in Blackpool. Brighton does not have a Winter Gardens, a world famous Tower and Ballroom or Pleasure Beach. Blackpool has the potential to be envied by other resorts, not ridiculed by the press and privileged.

Stephen Pierre

via email

ANIMALS

Please don’t buy a pet from the net

I heard of a recent case where an elderly lady bought a dog off the internet and then realised he was not the breed (a Jack Russell) she wanted.

Buying any animal off the internet is not ideal in any circumstances. In fact, it is the worst way to find a pet.

For one reason, it is how puppy farmers sell their dogs, born in cruel conditions, and often with health defects.

I couldn’t help but think the lady concerned would be better off adopting an older dog from a rescue centre, considering her age and circumstances. In fact, I reckon that’s the best way for anyone to find a future ‘furry friend’, canine or feline.

Jane

Lancashire