Readers' letters - April 2

Does the Government need to do more to address gambling issues?
Does the Government need to do more to address gambling issues?

Make it illegal for gambling companies to offer ‘bribes’

It is right that the Government is looking to address the subject of gambling by reducing the maximum bet on certain gaming machines.

I would suggest even further action by introducing a law which prohibits companies from advertising / offering a bribe of

cash-equivalent benefits to anyone who signs up or registers with them.

How many times do we see or hear adverts on TV, internet or radio which ask for £10

and then “Get 20

free spins” or “Bet with £50” or “Get 10 free games” or many other similar tempting offers?

It should be made illegal for any gambling / bingo companies to entice people to start gambling by adverts that offer money-equivalent discounts on their various “money for nothing” starter schemes.

Mr S B Oliver

via email

Balloon pollution

on land and sea

I have heard about balloons being released to remember people who have died.

My heart goes out to the grieving family and friends.

However, it is such a shame that whoever organises these events is apparently unaware that balloon releases are very damaging to wildlife.

Balloons don’t just drift away and vanish – they eventually fall and cause pollution, and can choke wildlife at sea and on land.

Even balloons sold as ‘degradable’ can last for months, even years, whilst the strings and ribbons survive and cause a problem for far longer.

There are many ways to commemorate loved ones and to mark their passing, and I hope that other readers will now be persuaded that adding to the problem of litter in our sea and on land is not something that should be encouraged, however good the intention of a balloon launch may be.

For more information see the Marine Conservation Society’s Don’t Let Go campaign: https://www.mcsuk.org/campaigns/dont-let-go

Sam Riches

Address supplied

Fighting against loneliness

At Independent Age, the older people’s charity, we’re always trying to help as many older people as possible.

Right now, we want to encourage older people who may be feeling lonely to get in touch with us to find out about our Friendship services. We have friendly, trained volunteers waiting to make regular calls to the people who need them to help make a difference to their lives, so we’re keen to hear from people who may have lost touch with close friends or family and would like to find someone friendly to talk to.

One in five older people in the UK are in contact with friends, family and neighbours less than once a week, while for one in 10, it’s less than once a month.

We want to help all those who need us, but we can only help the people who get in touch with us.

Many of the older people we help have told us that it can make a huge difference to their wellbeing if they have a call to look forward to each week or fortnight.

To receive regular calls, sign up at www.independentage.org/get-support/receive-regular-phone-calls-or-visits or

by calling 0800 319 6789.

Jeanette Bates

Head of Wellbeing at Independent Age

Wife denied allowance

Late last year I was certified as being partially sighted and was awarded an Attendance Allowance. My wife applied for a Carers Allowance.

She has been informed by DWP that whilst she is entitled to £62.70 per week, this cannot be paid as she is in

receipt of the State Pension.

My wife is, therefore, performing services which would otherwise fall to the NHS, thus saving the State thousands of pounds. I

always thought that the State Pension was an entitlement earned by contributions over a working life of 40+ years and not a benefit.

Name and address supplied