Letters - July 9, 2019
Dental services in this town are disgraceful
I am writing to you in pain and in a totally disgraceful limbo regarding dental services in Blackpool.
A dental surgery has taken me off their practice list because i made a complaint about their treatment. I cannot get an NHS dentist now locally - i am trying all options.
The cost of the treatment i need privately is £870. It is £270 on the NHS.
I am faced with a stark choice, continue in pain or take the hit on the private treatment. This is unacceptable.
The really annoying thing about this is that my original complaint wasn’t even properly registered and the surgery only found out about it via myself during a phone call, after which the rude and unhelpful manager took me off their treatment list.
I have complained to Gordon Marsden MP , who has said he has taken a keen interest in my plight and really tried to help me.
The most stressful thing about this is how people hide behind rules and admin to prevent me from having affordable treatment.
If i was a drunk, abusing a nurse at 4am i would still get NHS emergency treatment .
What a disgraceful situation NHS dentistry is in .
Solutions to TV licence problem
Whilst some justifications will be made, there is no doubt that the ending of free television licences for the over-75s will hit some in quite a life-changing way.
If one looks at the status quo from which we are evolving, it is full of inconsistencies. What we call the BBC licence fee is really nothing more than a “gateway” to permit the operation of a TV set.
We then choose to give all of this fee to the BBC, even if some payers of it never watch BBC at all.
We then add the BBC channels to those funded commercially calling them all “freeview”. BBC channels clearly are not – they are more like subscription channels such as Sky and BT – whilst the commercial channels are more precisely “free to add”.
If there were no licence fee (for everyone, not just pensioners) everyone would have access to commercially funded channels and they would manage their own affordability of paid-for channels, including the BBC as a subscription service.
It would be necessary to bring down the BBC subscription cost from the present £150 level or there could be mass desertions.
First of all, foreign service and foreign language programme and the like are really matters for government policy rather than for domestic watchers and these activities should be funded by general taxation.
Second, those who watch BBC programmes through platforms other than television sets should pay their way via those platform charges. Third, the BBC could countenance some commercial funding, if not by advertisements then by programme sponsorship.
So long as sponsorship bids were by time slot and for completed programmes, so that the sponsor could not provide content, there should be little objection.
Should all this logical development be considered just too much hard work than the fallback position is to increase the over 80 pension supplement from 25p per week to £3 per week and call it a day.
Another reason not to vote Labour
On July 2, 2019, the Daily Mail headline, Labour Tax Raid on Family Homes, drew my attention.
It is a plan to replace inheritance tax with a tax they call lifetime gifts tax, which they claim will distribute wealth more fairly.
Inheritance Tax may be unpopular but lifetime gifts tax will be much worse because it is cutting the threshold from £475,000 per head and £950,000 per couple to £125,000 and £250,000 respectively, including value of home inherited and abolishing the exemption of gifts made at least seven years before death.
It will therefore rope in quite a lot more heirs than inheritance tax and will be far more unpopular as it will even force many heirs to sell their homes to pay that ridiculous tax. I can even see it losing Labour many votes, even in Labour heartlands, as it would prove Labour are no longer a hard worker’s party.
This is yet another reason, besides Labour being anti-Brexit, why I shall never vote Labour again. They’ll drive a lot more people than the rich out of Britain with that insane alternative to inheritance tax and therefore also cripple the economy.
R N Coupe