Readers' letters - December 20
UK economic decline is not the fault of EU
G Cooper tells us he voted Brexit because of wealth disparity in the UK, plus the fact that many UK citizens are finding it hard going (LP Letters, December 16).
I say that is true but not because of EU.
One could argue that a nation which cannot adequately house its citizens is a failed state.
To blame the EU for this is ridiculous. It’s OUR problem.
It is the UK Government which decides how to tax its citizens and businesses.
It is the UK Government which decides how to share communal wealth.
Remember: We are in a global economic/business war. The citizens of other nations are competing with us for wealth and resources.
Many of them compete by educating themselves well beyond us.
Why should citizens of other nations pay us unless we can do and make things that they cannot?
When you buy Chinese or Japanese or German, some of what you pay goes to increase their wealth and, comparatively, reduce ours. At the moment, we buy because we do not do or make enough stuff which others want to buy.
The way to improve is to educate in science, technology, engineering and maths, and then to make and sell better stuff or services for tomorrow’s world, before they do.
Talk all you like but the fact must be recognised that arts degrees are not the equal of science degrees. The intellectual rigour of a STEM degree is greater than that of an arts degree. Those who practise STEM disciplines live in a world of unforgiving, measurable fact and truth.
Additionally, it’s time we cleared up the nonsense commonly heard about wealth of a nation and its citizens.
It has been frequently stated that the UK has the sixth largest economy in the world.
The sloppy political class seem to think this means we are the sixth richest country in the world. It does not. Most definitely we are not.
The most frequently agreed indicator of a nation’s wealth is Gross Domestic Product per person (capita).
Things depend a bit on how this is measured and when, but the three most prestigious listings puts the UK variously at 21st, 25th and 27th. About 120 years ago we were probably number one.
This tragic fall is not the fault of EU.
Time to pull up our socks, big time. Our present system and attitudes most definitely do not work.
Leaving the EU will not help in the least.
Is 45 years
To Anna Soubry MP and Nadine Dorries MP, I note that the Government will have to give long-term notice before increasing the state pension age (SPA). Being similar ages to we women of the 50s, I wonder if you can imagine what it feels like to suddenly see a six-year delay to our SPA.
We’ve done the right thing all our working lives, done what was expected of us for 45 years, only to find out that our ‘expected’ SPA has risen without notice.
I, along with many others, only found out a couple of years ago.
Do you think this is fair?
The Government sends out national insurance demands and self-assessment forms without quibble but when it came to letting us know about the change to our pensions, they failed.
We women worked around our husbands’ jobs and school hours the best we could. We did manual, low paid work – not worthy of a workplace pension – while our husbands pursued their own careers and secured their pensions.
We have never been treated fairly and still fight for equality to this day, yet the Government expects us to be equal to men in retirement.
Is this fair?
They say there’s been a sharp increase in life expectancy. Maybe back in the day, but this has changed and our life expectancy is decreasing.
Women are finding they are signing at job centres on a daily basis.
They are going to bed at 5.30pm because they can’t afford to heat their home and they are also calling on foodbanks.
Is this really the right way to treat women born in this decade who, like you, have done nothing wrong?
I ask you to support our plight to get our pensions back.
We’ve earned our pensions.
We paid the same rate of national insurance as men. Is 45 years not enough?
Season of goodwill
Walking along Lord Street in Southport with all the Christmas shoppers, I noticed a homeless man sitting on the pavement.
He wasn’t begging or even looking towards passers-by. I could see he was freezing, without even a warm hat on such a bitterly cold day.
A couple of doors away from where he was sitting was one of the many charity shops. I couldn’t help but wonder why the man hadn’t been invited into one of the charity shops to choose some warm clothing as a gesture of goodwill.
After all whatever happened to ‘goodwill to all men’? It wouldn’t be a bad concept for all charity shops to do this in winter as any unsold clothes only go to the ragman eventually!
What a sad day it must have been for all those attending the Grenfell Tower
memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
It was comforting to see members of the Royal Family and politicians offering their support.
Is it not time now to demolish this constant reminder to those involved?
Families connected must surely experience pain whenever they have to encounter it.