Readers' letters - May 31

A correspondent says parents should stop complaining 'about the cost of trips during school holidays
A correspondent says parents should stop complaining 'about the cost of trips during school holidays

Stop complaining and take responsibilities seriously

It is the time of year when we are treated to the annual whining of parents who complain about not being allowed to take holidays in term-time without the threat of a fine hanging over them. What tosh!
Apart from a few parents whose employers may put constraints on them from taking holidays during term-time, many of these will be catered for by understanding schools. So most are just complaining about the cost of holidays.
There are some who say holidays are educational, but they are equally educational when taken during the official holidays. This is just clear hypocrisy – they just don’t want to pay the full price of holidays.
When you are a parent, you have responsibilities and they include sticking to various rules and regulations, including those regarding the timing of the child’s education.
For those who complain about travel firms putting the prices up during school holiday times, they are clearly wrong.
Like all good businesses, they are there to make money, not act as a charity, and so they make most of their income when prices are at their normal level due to the high demand.
What the companies do is lower the prices, outside peak time, to attract people to fill potentially empty seats and hotel rooms.
Also think of the teachers. They have a hard enough time looking after so many children that are class disruptive and anti-social.
Don’t make their life even harder by trying to help children catch up when they have been taken out of school.
Come on parents, stop complaining and take your parental responsibilities seriously. If you cannot afford a trip abroad, don’t have one! You have no divine right to one.
Ivan Kovacks
via email

Aid cash tiny in proportion

With respect to the letter from Karl Sheridan (WP Letters, May 25), he opined that “money in the Treasury’s coffers should be spent on getting this country in a fit state before worrying about other countries and their problems”.
He also quotes the figure of £13bn as what the DfID has to distribute each
year.
That is truly a very large figure.
However, it is only 0.7 per cent of our GDP, that is 70p out of every £100 the UK earns, which is the standard that the UN has set.
In medieval times, when people were far less prosperous, people tithed, and each gave 10 per cent of their individual GDP away – that’s over 14 times as much as that aid percentage.
So that aid percentage seems a very small amount for us to give, as we are the fifth-richest country in the world, and so our aid is being distributed to many of the 190-plus countries who are not as rich as us.
I do agree with Karl that we, as the UK, are facing a number of serious problems.
One difficulty with understanding our overall financial situation is that there is no transparency. George Osborne proposed issuing some form of accounts, but nothing has surfaced.
All sorts of organisations – from public companies to small charities – have to issue annual accounts, but UK Ltd, not a jot!
One sheet of A4 with the key details of the UK’s income, expenditure and debt would help us understand so much better.
Dave Roberts
via email

Striding ahead for good cause

I’m inviting your readers to get their walking boots or trainers on for the Stroke Association and sign up to the summer marathon challenge, Walk Your
Way.
In April 2013, a year after my own stroke, I took on the London Marathon.
It was a huge step in my recovery and helped to draw attention to this devastating condition while raising money for a wonderful charity that I’m proud to be an ambassador for.
Walk Your Way takes place between June 17 and July 1 to raise money to support stroke survivors and their families.
You can walk the whole 26.2 miles in one go, do it over a few days or spread the distance over the two-week period and get sponsored to do it.
It’s your chance to take on the distance of a marathon on your own terms.
For many stroke survivors, like me, getting your life back means overcoming life-changing disabilities and emotional difficulties.
By taking part in Walk Your Way, you’ll be helping to reduce your own risk of stroke, and the vital funds you’ll raise will help the charity to support more stroke survivors to regain their independence.
Sign up to Walk Your Way now: stroke.org.uk/WalkYourWay
Michael Lynagh
Stroke Association