Letters - Monday, February 5, 2018

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We need more low rent council houses

With latest figures on homelessness, 2018 should be a crucial year - as we say every year, and the problem grows.

This crisis-ridden government is out of ideas. Its flagship act, in may 2016, has disintegrated, its vaunted white paper of September 2017 had nothing new, although it gave £44bn of subsidies to the failed private market, and not a single commitment to the non-market rented homes millions desperately need. No attempt has been made to find out why people are forced to sleep rough at higher levels under the tories.

There has been an attack on council housing since the 1980s when Thatcher launched her campaign to sell homes to tenants at knock-down prices.

No government since then, of whatever political stripe, has accepted the need to invest in publicly-owned rented homes at really affordable rents.

They have maintained sales to sitting tenants and handed over entire estates either directly to the private sector, or to arms length management organisations. Further reducing the stocks of public housing obliges growing numbers, unable to afford to buy a home, to search the private rented sector. The problem was foreseeable but not adjudged a problem by many MPs, who are private landlords.

Having a roof over our heads should be a human right, rather than an abstract aspiration.

The problem requires concrete targets, resources, and a commitment to low rent local council homes.

Royston Jones

Anchorsholme

BREXIT

Another case of ‘Project Fear’?

As the Government is about to enter the next stage of Brexit negotiations it has been suggested by a leaked official document that the UK economy would be worse off outside the EU under each of the scenarios modelled.

Buzzfeed have said to have seen the document which forecast that UK growth would be five per cent lower with a free trade agreement and eight per cent lower without a trade deal and even two per cent lower with continued access to the single market.

Various Government institutions were involved in ‘Project Fear’ prior to the 2016 in/out EU referendum in which we were warned of all kinds of economic disasters if we voted to leave.

The majority voted to leave and no disasters happened, in fact the economy is doing better than predicted with employment up by 102,000 in the last three months along with record VAT receipts and UK growth of GDP of 0.5 per cent in quarter four, up slightly on the previous quarter.

There are far greater opportunities which we can and should seize and not be put off by those who feed us scaremongering stories. They need accept our decision to leave and get on with the job.

Phil Griffiths,

North West political commentator and broadcaster

BUSINESS

Profit before customers?

I’m alarmed that banks are putting profit before customers. In her reply to MPs over closures who are concerned about banks in their constituencies the prime minister said that was a decision for the banks to make on commercial grounds and it was not for the government to intervene.

This argument does not hold. Surely the pressure the government is putting on energy companies to charge fairer is a form of intervention? By saying it’s up to the banks to do what they think best gives them a green light to close as many branches as they can to improve profitably.

In a cashless society people lose the building blocks to appreciate the needs for savings, budgeting and the care that should be taken in borrowing money.

Banking should be seen as a service. After the financial crisis, banks owe a big debt to society.

Scott Andrews

Address supplied

SOCIETY

Blame lies with 
the oafish few

In the wake of the accusations levelled at members of the Presidents Club, the insinuation that public figures attending this charity function were tolerant and complicit in the unacceptable behaviour of a few members is ridiculous.

How many hostesses complained publicly out of 150 apart from the paid journalist? One is too many, but unfortunately some men that have had too much to drink do behave in an oafish manner. A very loud “keep your hands to yourself” used to be the accepted antidote to such behaviour, not refusal of donations.

Oafish behaviour in drink is not confined to men only, as demonstrated by some of the hen parties in the resort.

Cecil Crinnion

Address supplied