Letters: No excuse for being caught off guard by winter weather

Army personnel from 1 SCOTS clear snow from roads near the Sick Kids hospital

Army personnel from 1 SCOTS clear snow from roads near the Sick Kids hospital

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Have your say

As the country braces itself for what could be a severe winter, Edinburgh City Council should show leadership and draw up contingency plans which would ensure that in the event of extreme weather conditions, transportation does not grind to halt.

I hope the basic necessities of life are catered for and vulnerable social groups are not cut off or neglected in any way.

The last couple of winters have been fairly severe so unless the nation is faced with unprecedented adverse weather, this time around there can be no excuses for being caught off guard.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Cash pressure on families growing

NEWS that almost a quarter of Britain’s children will be living in poverty by the end of this decade should be a sobering wake-up call to all politicians and a badge of shame on our country.

Already in Scotland 210,000 children live in poverty and a further 22,000 children a year live with the consequences of homelessness which not only risks damaging their childhood, but affects their health, education and life chances.

Changes to the welfare system are set to make it even worse for many. In particular, housing benefit being linked to the Consumer Price Index rather than to actual rent paid will adversely affect tens of thousands of households.

This will put even greater pressure on family finances and make it even harder for people to make ends meet.

The result will be even more children living in poverty while their parents fight to keep a roof over their heads.

We urge the UK Government to think again and retain the link to actual housing costs when calculating housing benefit.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, Scotiabank House, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh

50p tax rate is an issue of justice

LET’S keep the 50p tax rate – only one per cent of the population earn enough to pay it.

The revenue has significant benefits for public services in our area.

But it is also an issue of justice.

At the moment the poorest people in the UK pay a greater proportion of their income in tax than the wealthiest do.

It would be good to see the MPs of this area make it clear that they believe keeping the 50p tax rate is part of creating a more just society.

Anne Cochrane, Kirkhill Drive, Edinburgh

Toiling UK needs different answer

CHANCELLOR George Osborne says we will all weather the deficit together, but this “we” he mentions does not include very wealthy people like himself, because it is the lowest paid in the nation who actually feel the pain of cuts, not Mr Osborne and Co.

Remember that the recession was entirely caused by the so-called top people in world economies whose actions led directly to the current situation.

The UK has suffered enough and it is time for a Plan B.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh

Churches should have little sway

AS I understand it, the teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the gospels were mainly that people should be nice to each other, look after each other and take particular care of the vulnerable – the elderly, the poor, children, the sick. He did not mention homosexuality once.

Rather than spending money on cards for people to send to the government protesting same-sex marriage, wouldn’t it be better if the Catholic church spent it on relieving poverty and healing the sick?

If churches must go ahead with their protests, I hope the Government pays the same attention to them as they would to any other members-only group.

The churches should have no more and no less attention paid to them than a sports club or a knitting circle.

Religious belief should have no more sway over government policy than any other opinion.

Kirsten Hey, St Leonard’s Hill, Edinburgh