Letters: Rail travellers should vote with feet against price hike

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ScotRail has said it will increase its prices by six per cent. That is above the rate of inflation. What’s more, many ScotRail customers have been having to cut back as prices go up while wages remain static thanks to pay freezes.

This would be hard enough to swallow if a good service was provided, but ScotRail cannot seem to guarantee that.

This winter, services have been disrupted, delayed and cancelled, and in some cases passengers who have bought tickets have been provided with no alternative way home.

Rail companies are only getting away with these unjustified price hikes because petrol and diesel are so expensive.

Commuters should fight back by car-sharing where possible, and showing ScotRail that if the prices keep rising, the customers will be departing.

Dennis Walsh, Uphall

Flawed law that needed debate

WITH no in-depth study on sectarianism the SNP’s new legislation is too ambiguous and vitally flawed. Singling out partisan football songs while ignoring inherent sectarianism at the heart of society is a knee-jerk reaction to populism.

As a Scottish republican I object to a British national anthem that derides ‘rebellious’ Scots.

My English friends dislike Flower of Scotland, a song that suggests sending them home. We must thole this sectarianism until the political will is there to change it.

As a society we unnecessarily divide our children in separate faith schools and allow religious homophobes to discriminate against homosexuals. If these actions aren’t sectarian, what is?

When a lot of our ‘high-profile’ sectarianism is presented as a football problem shouldn’t the stupid windings of moronic fans be ignored until the law is broken.

Then the old legislation if properly enacted could have dealt with any escalation in sectarian crime.

Far better had the SNP debated the problem, focused on inclusive and instructive education and helped hard-pressed Scots by replacing the unfair Unionist council tax with a fairer income based alternative efficiently collected at source as promised in their pre-election manifesto.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

Mystery over a taxing problem

I WAS astounded to read Kors Allan’s letter of December 19 in which he states “Whilst I welcome the Scottish Labour Party’s apparent commitment to scrapping council tax”.

From whom and when did Mr Allan get that impression?

Alastair Murdoch, Scottish Action Against Council Tax, Strathaven, Lanarkshire

Answer needed for fuel poverty

I WRITE in response to news that Winter Fuel Payments to those living abroad had doubled in just five years.

The Winter Fuel Payment is a universal credit, any British citizen aged 60 and over is entitled to it whether they live abroad, are well off or still working.

So while £5 million will be given to those living in the sunshine; two-thirds of older people living in this country are living in ‘fuel poverty’.

There is a fundamental issue with this payment. The amount has been slashed by £50 for people aged 60-79 and by £100 for those aged 80 and over. This cut might not have much of an effect on those older people who live abroad, are well off or still working but it will have a significant impact on the most vulnerable in society who have faced an unprecedented soar in the fuel bills as well general increased costs in living.

What we need is a common-sense approach to how we can deliver more with a constrained budget, ensuring the most vulnerable society are not literally left out in the cold this winter.

With an ever-ageing population and strain on the public purse, this is not an issue that will simply go away.

Lianne Lodge, associate, Pagan Osborne, and member of Solicitors for the Elderly, Queen Street, Edinburgh

A tough label to carry around

ARE we to understand that Paul Kernachan, according to Royal Mail, can no longer be trusted and has to wear a guilty label round his neck for the rest of his life (News, December 17)? Is this forgiveness?

Has he committed a crime against the Royal Mail?

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh