Readers' letters - June 4

We're not to blame for woes of the NHS

Wednesday, 6th June 2018, 6:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 6:06 pm
The elderly are not to blame for the woes of the NHS says a correspondent

Recently I have been appalled to read that there is a feeling in the country that the older generation are somehow responsible for the problems in the NHS. As it was announced that taxes would have to rise dramatically to prop up the NHS, it was suggested that the ones who needed the service the most will end up paying the least.I will be 80 this year. I worked in public service for 41 years, paying my taxes, national insurance etc and was forced to spend two years in the RAF, earning £1.2s a week. I am now unable to do many of the DIY jobs I used to do, so I have to call in tradesmen. They all demand cash payments, which, they openly admit, helps them avoid tax. We also read about footballers earning up to £300,000 a week and avoiding taxes by arranging to be paid through companies abroad.Blaming my generation fits in nicely with a policy of divide and rule as it deflects attention away from a lack of investment in society. A careful, deep scrutiny of the tax system, who pays and who avoids, would go a long way to solving our problems. My generation worked hard at a time when the word “pressure” was not in our vocabulary. We were often very tired but we just “got on with it”. We didn’t expect to have cars, fancy gadgets or holidays abroad and struggling along was part of a happy life. We set up the NHS, we financed it alongside council estates, public libraries, youth clubs etc and I refuse to feel guilty.Charles StubbingCleveleys

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energyDon’t blowa gas-ketNeil Inkley’s letter (LP Letters, May 30) shows energy companies appear to still be playing mind games with their customers. The gist of the letter seemed to suggest his energy company was teasing him with the possibility of saving him money on his energy bill while at the same time withholding information which may be useful. The tease was suggesting he changed to another tariff of theirs to save £70 per year. Neil discovered that the deal was only available for another two months and, with cancellations fees, it was no longer viable. However, the indications are that his energy company was not telling him the truth and, in speaking to a few people, it is obvious that the following is not a well known fact. It is illegal to charge cancellation fees within 49 days of the contract ending. Thus had Neil’s contract due to close within that timescale, he could have at least saved on his cancellation fees.There is an ‘attainable alternative’, and that is to go on a comparison website and find a better tariff. However, it appears some of the new players are perhaps offering TOO good a deal. One example may include offering a tempting rate only for you to find it could be a variable rate tariff, so in just one month they could increase the tariff rate.Get everything in writing before you agree to anything. Some time ago I was in a telephone conversation with an energy supplier and I could not make out whether the caller was saying either 16.9p or 60.9p per day for the standing charge. Even after me quoting the figure of one, six, point, nine pence and asking him to confirm this, his words were “Yes”, but then followed by a garbled quote. When we went to confirm the contract, my exact words were that I was prepared to go ahead provided the standing charge was 1, 6 point 9 pence. When the written contract arrived, the standing charge was 60.9p per day! I requested a copy of our conversation and, after much delay, it arrived. It had been doctored to apparently show it as being 60.9p. I’ve never been back to them!Neil SwindlehurstWalmer BridgedocksSad plight of crown jewel I went to look at an apartment at the Docklands as I was thinking about moving back to Preston after an absence from my home town of seven years. I was amazed at the neglect of this once beautiful area of Preston. When I last lived here, I was renting an apartment in the same area and thought it would be nice to move back to the Docklands.On entering Maritime Way, I noticed that the Ribble Steam Railway line had ongoing works at the crossing (this was being worked on when I left my last apartment, is this the same repair seven years on?) A local resident dog walker confirmed it was. Amazing! The litter from fast food outlets covered the adjacent car park, apparently this is the norm said same resident. A walk up to the Bull Nose (Dock river entrance) showed that the litter problem is not local to the car park and rubble from charred barbecues on the grassy knoll added to the neglected look, not to mention blatant smoking of marijuana from parked cars. The weeds growing out of the kerbs and block paving areas also shows a neglect of what I remember was described as The Jewel in The Crown of Preston. What a shame this once lovely area shows such decline. I decided to concentrate my house hunting in Freckleton.Name and address supplied