Evening News Letters: Taxi fare rise would leave drivers with a heavy load

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Have your say

LES McVey of the Edinburgh Licensed Taxi Partnership claims to represent 5000 workers in the taxi service (Interactive, October 25).

As a non-aligned taxi driver for 18 years I have never at any time been canvassed to join his organisation, nor any of the other trade organisations purporting to represent drivers.

And those who do work for the companies ELTP draws its support from don’t amount to anywhere near the 5000 figure quoted.

The sad truth is that the current tariff increase being sought is not being driven by drivers inasmuch as it is by the taxi companies and the taxi owners they represent.

Drivers know that it is they who will bear the brunt of the increased rentals to them by the tariff being hiked while customers vote with their feet in disgust at a fare hike when everyone is being required to tighten their belts.

All this while drivers are denied the opportunity to drive their own taxi, and improve the service to the public.

It is the responsibility of the council to conduct a study of the fare structure in accordance with its statutory duty to determine whether any increase is necessary.

In this case it hasn’t. Instead it has allowed taxi companies to conduct their own research, to provide the “justification” for the outcome they desire.

In short, start with the answer and then come up with the proof. Doesn’t this breach every tenet of public protection the council is supposed to ensure?

Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh

Lay foundations for new housing

PEOPLE on the waiting list for social housing in Edinburgh and the Lothians will be bitterly disappointed to learn that Scotland’s population is expected to reach its highest level ever.

Increasing immigration, combined with a higher birth rate, means that demand for housing is rising at the same time that public expenditure is falling.

Rapid population growth and the provision of quality housing is ultimately unsustainable given the demands placed on other public services such as health and education.

The housing pressure group, Shelter Scotland, publicly supports more immigration and a rising population, thus condemning even more Scots and immigrants to ever longer waiting lists.

Shelter Scotland should realise that housing needs are more easily met with a stable or declining population and their support for immigration only exacerbates the situation.

Ian Hain, Firrhill Loan, Edinburgh

Lib Dems stuck to their word on EU

Stewart Geddes (Interactive, October 27) needs to read the Liberal Democrat manifesto a little more carefully, where he will see that we gave a commitment to hold a referendum “the next time a British government signs up for fundamental change in the relationship between the UK and the EU”.

During the passage of the Lisbon Treaty through the last parliament the Liberal Democrats were the only party to consistently call for a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union.

This is because the treaty fundamentally altered our relationship with the EU and we believed it was right, in light of this, to give the public their say.

Currently there is no treaty under discussion in Europe that alters our relationship with the EU in a fundamental way like the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties did. It is for this reason that I voted against the motion.

Such a referendum would be a dangerous distraction in the midst of a financial crisis.

Mike Crockart, MP for Edinburgh West

Fireworks fears for all animals

BONFIRE night is fast approaching, which is terrifying for wild and domestic animals.

I would urge all owners to keep their pets indoors on the night of November 5 to ensure their safety and would also urge members of the public to be extra vigilant and look out for any hibernating hedgehogs in piles of leaves.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian