Priorities are wrong
Once again council tax raises its ugly head, only this time with frightening consequences for those on fixed incomes such as pensioners and others who have no entitlements under the benefit systems.
These are people who may live in a valuable property but have no means of increasing their incomes to compensate for the increases.
They may have lived in the same property all their lives and have seen its value rise over the years but their incomes have not increased in proportion.
These council tax increases are being forecast to be anything from five
per cent to a mind-boggling 16 per cent in some areas and are being imposed to pay to cover councils’ social care expenditure.
There are approximately 22 million taxable properties in England generating about £24bn pounds in revenues.
According to Government publications, the increases to cover social care will generate between £208 and £356m, which is a piddling sum compared to the many billions of pounds paid in overseas aid to corrupt regimes known to misappropriate aid monies.
This is downright scandalous, especially when the Government knows all about the corruption, yet sting our own tax payers into paying for our own social care.
Someone has got their priorities wrong!
Derek J Bunting
Demand end to pay cap
The RCN is asking your readers to sign a petition (www.rcn.org.uk/nursingcounts) demanding an end to the one per cent pay cap on nurses. There are currently 24,000 vacancies in the nursing workforce across the UK, of which more than 2,000 are in the North West.
Our NHS is already struggling to cope with hospital bed shortages, long waiting times and under-staffed wards.
More than ever, we need to encourage people to consider nursing as a career and ensure we retain those already in the profession.
The evidence is strong that nurse numbers have a direct impact on patient health.
It was recently announced that MPs would receive a 1.4 per cent pay rise and yet the Government has imposed a pay ‘glass ceiling’ on NHS staff who work long and unsociable shifts to try and keep the nation healthy.
Nurses enjoy a diverse and rewarding career that really makes a difference but they must be wondering exactly what they have to do to merit a pay award which reflects the value of their work.
We need 100,000 signatures otherwise nurses’ pay will not be considered for debate by Parliament.
Operational Manager, RCN North West
Stop sugar scare tactics
The launch of a new app by Public Health England (PHE) to enable consumers to scan supermarket product barcodes for sugar content is a reasonable move. We believe awareness is a good thing. However, the claim from PHE that children are consuming three cubes of sugar from breakfast and fruit juice before they get to school is ridiculous. One cube of sugar has about 12 calories, so three cubes of sugar, comprising 36 calories in total, is absolutely not going to make children more obese. Let’s stop the scaremongering over sugar.
Chief Executive, People against Sugar Tax