Readers’ letters - February 22

Greenpeace is proposing a bottle deposit return scheme in a bid to end plastic bottles polluting the sea
Greenpeace is proposing a bottle deposit return scheme in a bid to end plastic bottles polluting the sea

Plastic bottles threaten our seas and marine life

Do we really want more waste plastic in the sea than fish?

If the answer is no, it’s vital the Government and other authorities begin to take action on the scourge of plastic pollution.

The seas around Britain are at their choking point, with millions of tons of plastic entering them every year.

That’s a lot of harm being done to the fragile marine environment.

According to a recent Greenpeace survey, for every mile of UK beach inspected, there are more than 150 plastic bottles found scandalously washed up.

It is surely, therefore, high time that society ceases to view plastic as something cheap and worthless in order that we are incentivised 
to treat it responsibly and recycle it.

To this end, Greenpeace (inspired by the 5p carrier bag levy) is proposing a bottle deposit return scheme which could see the end of plastic bottles littering our beautiful seas.

Aled Jones

Address supplied

Compensation and social care

Council tax bills are set to increase to help pay for care for elderly and disabled people. A gap in the social care bill could be plugged if disabled people with injuries caused by negligent motorists or employers, for example, were to receive the correct level of compensation to meet their needs. As it stands, taxpayers often pick up the tab.

Large compensation payments for severe injuries are discounted to offset any income which may be made over time through investments. It is supposed to ensure an injured person’s compensation does not exceed the cost of their care, equipment and basic needs.

After all, compensation is not a ‘win’ or a windfall. The current rate for the discount is far too high, having been last set in 2001 when interest rates were much higher. Seriously injured people are undercompensated, sometimes by millions of pounds.

Families must stake their compensation on risky investments to try to make up the shortfall, or fall back on the social care system.

The Lord Chancellor has promised that a new discount rate will be announced this month. The fairest outcome is that insurers must accept their responsibilities and pay what is due from the premiums they have already taken, so the state can be relieved of the responsibility of funding much-needed care.

Neil Sugarman

President, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

The Old Peers Pals Act scandal

Earning £300 a day would certainly inspire anyone to ‘work, rest and play’.

The Peers in The House Of Lords have been on to a good thing for over 100 years! It’s not bad going if you can afford to leave your taxi running whilst you clock in to The House Of Lords to claim your £300 allowance. It’s about time ‘The Old Peers Pals Act’ scandal is fully exposed.

There are Lords who clearly do make a considerable and worthy contribution, yet some Lords are claiming very nicely for doing nothing or falling asleep!

The whole thing is an obnoxious combination of Government complacency, arrogance and insincerity that has allowed this kind of administration to happen for decades. During an age of savage austerity cuts, this kind of ‘cosy’ administration amongst the wealthy makes a mockery of public spending.

Stephen Pierre

Via email