Letters - Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ban wasteful and harmful fireworks

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 3:45 pm
fireworks

Recent correspondents who are worried about the use of fireworks (LP Letters, January 10).

People are more and more concerned about the environment. So why are we having fireworks displays and allowing fireworks to be sold?

Fireworks cause air pollution, noise pollution and littering. They frighten domestic and wild animals.

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Their explosions cause flashbacks with servicemen who suffer from post-traumatic disorders.

Propelling tonnes of explosives into the night sky on Bonfire Night and Hogmanay, as well as other times of the year, is environmentally unsound and socially disruptive. Whatever happened to our leaders’ ‘world-leading’ commitment to going green?

Fireworks should be banned. An important step has been taken towards that end by Sainsbury’s and Co-op who no longer stock these wasteful and harmful products.

William Loneskie

via email

FINANCES

Windfall tax for gas producers

A cost of living crisis looms, with working people’s taxes and national insurance to be hiked up from April.

Inflation could be super-charged by the widely expected 50 per cent-plus rise in energy costs this year due to the gas price crisis.

That would throw many more into poverty, in Lancashire and across the country.

How then does our Prime Minister describe the modest idea of a temporary stop to the five per cent VAT?

He calls it “a blunt instrument” (despite declaring it as a Brexit Dividend, in his referendum campaign).

So, where could Mr Johnson and his lamentable government turn to protect us?

Easy: the North Sea gas producers are expecting near record cashflows in the current year of around £15bn, thanks to collecting at the obligatory, rocketed world prices.

Exact profit levels are of course hard to say, for their corporate tax minimising purposes, but this situation cries out for a windfall tax on these producers!

For one year at least, that could replace both the five per cent VAT and all of the “green tax element” of bills, and still leave plenty of government revenue from the collected tax, to lift consumers’ carbon reduction subsidies from their current minimal levels.

Please ask your MP if s/he will support this.

If they are Conservative, also ask if they feel constrained by the fact that oil/gas-linked individuals and companies gave their party £400,000 in the last year, according to the Electoral Commission (one of those awkward elements that the UK Government plan to muzzle by the way).

Richard Birmingham

Member of the Labour Party

ENERGY

Coal power can help cut bills

Besides reviewing the 25 per cent climate levy and five per cent VAT on electricity bills, an immediate way to help negate current energy prices is to allow the remaining coal-fired power stations to contribute more fully to electricity production and give security of supply and affordability to offset the ever increasing cost of gas, our primary source of fuel.

Coal is currently cheaper than most alternatives available.

Our one per cent contribution to global emissions and current subsidy costs to reduce further emissions are now coming at an unacceptable price to the householder and business.

As previous contributors have pointed out, if the UK did not exist, that one per cent would make no different to global emission targets.

This may be an anathema to current government policies and the Greens, but we need to avoid further fuel poverty for people who cannot afford the impending rise in energy costs.

This is called reality. Any well run company would not be afraid to change its direction if it needed to, so why not the Government?

Richard Wood

Address supplied

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