Readers’ letters - October 23

The tax credit proposal will increase poverty and debt. See letter''''            Picture posed by model
The tax credit proposal will increase poverty and debt. See letter'''' Picture posed by model
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Think again on tax credits

We are sorry to see that our MP, Ben Wallace, voted for the changes to tax credits.

The changes will mean chaos for the family budgets of 338,100 working families in the North West who, between them, have 636,700 children.

The average loss per family next April will be £1,350 per year.

In Wyre and Preston North, 2,800 families will be affected.

The amount most working families, who are currently on the national minimum wage, will lose in April far outweighs any gains from the so-called ‘national living wage’ of £7.20/hour, or the small increase in tax allowance that will save £80/year.

The changes to tax credits hit low to middle income families too.

They will also see a family with children who have a household income of £20,000 lose nearly £2,000 next April.

If they earn £25,000 between them and have two children, they lose £2,300.

We were told by the Prime Minister that this would be a ‘one-nation’ government, with working people at its heart but, after the vote on tax credits, it doesn’t look like that.

As night follows day, families with children will end up in greater poverty, in debt and, in some cases, in increasing danger of losing their homes.

These changes will damage local businesses and local economies because people will have less to spend.

Our MP should be standing up for the ordinary people in Wyre and Preston North who don’t earn a fortune and badly need tax credits, just to make ends meet.

People who earn more than £2m a year now get a tax cut each year of £250,000 because the 50p tax rate was cut to 45p.

Our MP must tell the Chancellor to think again on tax credits.

If he doesn’t, any claim to be a one-nation government or to be on the side of working people will be rather wide of the mark.

Anyone who wants to check how much they could lose just needs to visit: www.litrg.org.uk/News/2015/150917-How-will-tax-cuts-2016-affect-you.

Members of Unison, Fulwood

The dangers of shared space

I read with interest Ms Abram’s letter Have Traffic Rules Changed?, referring to the chaos which is Fishergate (LEP Letters October 19).

Well, I for one would certainly say they have.

For one thing, there are now no traffic lights.

Drivers do not know where pedestrians are crossing and pedestrians have no idea where cars are coming from.

The ‘junction’ between Corporation Street and Debenhams is an absolute nightmare to cross, with cars coming from all angles.

With no marked lines, cars inch forward, so there is no safe barrier for anyone crossing the road.

Shoppers have to wait for the goodwill of motorists stopping to let them cross.

And to be absolutely honest, I haven’t met one single person, either on foot or in a vehicle, that would even contemplate this fiasco to be any kind of ‘improvement’.

Why couldn’t this part of the city centre be pedestrianised so it would be a safe place to shop?

Shared space?

Whoever heard of pedestrians sharing space with moving vehicles?

What it is, is an accident waiting to happen!

Sue Jardine, Preston

These cuts just aren’t fair

It’s just not fair. How about the government makes the cuts where they would have the biggest effect, ie corporate chiefs and bankers who got us all in this mess in the first place?

Jon Thurman, address supplied

Building could destroy tourism

It seems that many people are confused about the meaning of greenbelt. It is a term that denotes an area of open land surrounding urban areas.

They have been placed there to restrict urban sprawl, to prevent towns merging and to try to encourage the recycling of derelict sites in urban areas. The greenbelts were designated as protected areas nationwide in the 1950s.

However, there are also areas known as greenfield sites, these have no protection and are previously undeveloped sites, usually agricultural land.

Finally, brownfield sites may seem like the sensible option to build on but are not always the favourite of the developer as the site can have possible contamination. Also it can be expensive and difficult in terms of demolition and existing foundations.

The EU has withdrawn its funding of urban regeneration schemes. That said, the choices of sites in the Local Plan are the cheapest for the developers.

Greenbelt and greenfield are eaten up at an alarming rate so developers can make the most profit from the land they buy.

The council promises jobs so they will build businesses on these sites. However, Lancashire is a focus for tourism. Walkers and sightseers flock into our countryside, and help our local farmers survive. By building on our fields, they could destroy our thriving tourist industry in certain areas. This will expand our urban environment and with it comes numerous problems, pollution, congestion, overcrowding of schools and, of course, crime.

Ms Janet Taylor, Lancaster

Who paid for state banquet?

So we are living in an age of austerity where benefits and tax credits are being cut.

We are living in an era where services – from libraries to policing to social care – is under threat.

Yet, if we have no money, who paid for the luxurious banquet for the Chinese head of state at Buckingham Palace?

The head of state is a man whose government has contributed, even if indirectly, to thousands of British jobs now under threat. Whose country’s human rights record is a little to be desired, and whose government is doing nothing to reduce the demand for ivory in China – a demand contributing to the rapid decline of elephants.

Jane, Lancashire