Readers' letters - March 31
MPs' vote was an '˜attack on the most vulnerable'
This month, 315 MPs voted to reduce the numbers of children who are entitled to free school meals.The income threshold for children entitled to free meals goes down to Â£7,400 yearly.The Children’s Society believes as many as one million children could lose out, compared to those entitled to free meals under the previous system.The new legislation is a disgrace and will harm vulnerable children, some of whom find this hot meal the only hot meal they get that day. Reports of poverty are everywhere, giving rise to food banks and the homeless sleeping rough. There are also some double standards here – the 10 Democratic Unionist MPs voted with the government, but the Tories exempted Northern Ireland, and the threshold there is about Â£14,000, almost double our limit.Labour, in contrast, promises to fund free school meals for primary children once in power. Brilliant. For now though, this is a vicious attack on the most vulnerable. The Government looks after themselves and protects the privileged – MPs continue to benefit from subsidised meals and drinks.Back in July last year, we learned the taxpayer was footing a Â£2.7m bill to subsidise the bars and restaurants in the House of Commons where costs had risen by Â£200,000, with MPs enjoying three-course lunches for Â£10.30 with a small bottle of wine at Â£2.25Royston JonesAddress supplied
Dangerous potholesThe lack of adequate funding to carry out proper repairs to potholes in the roads for a number of years means that the quality of many of our roads is worse than Third World and this is an embarrassment to our country.Potholes are not just unsightly but also dangerous as road users often swerve to avoid them and, once drivers know where they are, they will always drive around them, which can easily result in accidents with other road users and even pedestrians. Cars’ wheels and suspensions are damaged from the shock of hitting a pothole but, when talking to a mechanic, I was informed it was more likely for motorists to get a puncture when driving through a pothole. This is because when it rains, debris such as nails etc get washed into potholes and cannot escape until a tyre runs into the potholes and picks up the sharp object, often resulting in a flat tyre. Potholes are extremely dangerous and cost this country millions of pounds to repair and in compensation payouts. There must be a strategy in place to resolve this once and for all. Howard Lawton via emailTrue meaning of Easter
While shopping, I was reminded how much things and attitudes have changed since my younger days. Easter greetings cards and eggs were in abundance to tempt us to part with our money – luxuries our parents could not have afforded had they been available. Then, as we were leaving the store, a lady behind us, in annoyance at something or somebody, emphasised her disgust by using the name Jesus Christ as a swear word, something not uncommon these days.For those who may think what relevance has Jesus Christ today, we need look no further than the example of the recent incident in the French supermarket. A policeman unselfishly took the place of a hostage, who, having been freed, will forever be grateful. In the same way, Jesus was condemned in our place and we can be either eternally grateful or refuse his offer of freedom and take the consequence ourselves. The choice is ours. This is the true message of Easter.W ForrestAddress supplied