Readers’ letters - November 6

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Billionaires’ tax avoidance to blame for unequal society

Having just watched BBC Two’s The Super-Rich and Us, weren’t billionaires going to make us all richer too?

Their wealth was supposed to trickle down into our pockets, making the economy big and strong. Britain is drowning in billionaires, more than any other country, yet we are the most unequal in Europe. Why have we not seen a single penny from them?

The billionaires were wooed to Britain as a deliberate strategy to reconfigure the economy.

However, once here, the filthy rich were able to exploit loopholes to preserve their wealth, depriving us of even a trickle of their gold. The strategy not only failed to grow the economy but strangled it.

The O.EC.D now says our economy would be 20 per cent bigger had billionaires not flown their private jets to our shores.

But the biggest failure of wooing the filthy rich is the fact that they have actually driven inequality, mostly by hoovering up properties which have turned Britain into a nation of renters.

Unaffordable housing is a key factor, pushing the rich up and everyone else down and Britain’s billionaires are to blame.

Tax avoidance, frequently assisted by government complicity in providing loopholes to be exploited by wily accountants, result in inadequate resources to finance areas referred to by Mr Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions –namely health, education, and social care. Labour have proved again and again that taxation is necessary to provide a civilised society.

Royston Jones

Address supplied

Make roads more efficient

With the report from NASA that, “Our planet’s temperature has just reached a terrifying milestone”, and toxic air is claiming 40,000 lives a year, good sense should surely dictate that speed limiters are made compulsory on all but emergency vehicles, to prevent driving at ‘full (toxic) gas’.

To reverse climate change, it’s nowhere near enough to clamp down on the use of diesel vehicles, we also need to make our roads more efficient – if an athlete has blocked arteries they can’t possibly ‘reach the stars’.

When Sir Bradley Wiggins targeted winning the 2012 Tour de France, he basically made a 10 per cent improvement in 10 key areas. Today, all (smart) athletes and businesses that want to be successful, apply this concept.

Shouldn’t it also be applied to our roads and our NHS?

Where engines cut-out at traffic lights to save fuel, the saving can be wasted 10-fold by hard acceleration, speeding and braking.

Efficiency should come from:

n Zero tolerance of parking in all cycle lanes and on double-yellow lines.

n It should be no more acceptable to ‘block’ highways with cars ‘for sale’ than it would be to ‘block’ them with furniture for sale. Highways are life- supporting arteries, NOT car showrooms.

n To use mobile phones, drivers should leave the highway.

n Where vehicle owners have driveways, they should use them. Emergency vehicles lose precious

life-saving time because of selfish/senseless parking.

However important we think we are, we’re nothing more than miniscule cogs

in an astronomical clock, which will run until the end of time – with or without humans.

Allan Ramsay


Extreme reaction

Am I the only person who thinks we are going overboard about what constitutes sexual harassment? We seem to be heading towards a situation such as exists in Dubai where you can be jailed for touching someone in passing to avoid spilling your drink over them. How soon before we are compelled to stand at least three feet away from anyone, including our kith and kin?

Hilary Andrews

via email