Letters: Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay now TIE is undone

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I WRITE regarding the article “City landed with £5m bill to fill gap in TIE pensions” (News, October 26). Why does the taxpayer have to fund this?

TIE was formed in 2002 as an arms-length company from Edinburgh City Council, although fully owned by the council. I understand that to mean a separate company from the council with its own finances and board members.

As such it is like any private company responsible for their actions. If a private company found itself in the position of TIE it would not be bailed out and rightly so.

TIE is less than ten years old so anyone contributing to the pension scheme would only have subscriptions of less than ten years in their particular pension scheme and I fail to see how that many employees could have retired in that time. There certainly won’t be more with the company being wound up. Was there not an insurance policy taken out by TIE to cover such an eventuality?

What has happened to the missing £5m – has the money been legitimately spent? Everybody knows stocks go up and down and it is just down to where they are when your pension is due to come out that says how much of a pension you have and this is a bad time economically. So why does the taxpayer need to pay for this?

You can’t have companies that are bailed out just because the council owns them – they are either stand-alone or they are not.

Y A Bruce, Balfour Street, Edinburgh

Back little man in battle with giants

SUSAN Morrison asked: “Have you tried buying an apple in the High Street lately?” (News, October 21). No, I hadn’t, but it was time to try.

I now know there are three, sometimes four, shops on the Mile offering apples for sale – two of them even offer a variety of choice. Two sandwich shops offered apples to travel, and two restaurants have bowls of apples on show . . . and if your taste buds are looking for that extra tango, the ladies at Clarinda’s will sell you an apple crumble to die for.

I, too, regret the loss of shops I once knew, like the butcher’s and the fishmonger’s at the foot of the High Street.

Start thanking those who provide a vital retail service for us locals; start paying attention to the newsagent, off-licences and cafe, support them in their daily and unfair fight to compete with supermarkets – that will use their loss-leader pricing muscle to kill them off without a thought.

The Royal Mile still has its “corner shops”. Love them and use them – we will miss them greatly if they fall.

David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Scots need more affordable homes

NEWS that Scotland’s population is expected to reach six million within 50 years means even greater pressure will be placed on an already scarce resource.

In Scotland today 156,000 households are waiting for a home, with demand routinely outstripping supply. Despite this the SNP Government is proceeding with a 39 per cent cut to the housing budget.

Investment in housing is investment in people. The Scottish Government needs to act quickly to build more affordable and socially-rented houses.

Graeme Brown, director, Shelter Scotland, Edinburgh

Don’t let religion poison our minds

HOWEVER hard we try to cover it up, irrational fear of same-sex marriages is homophobic behaviour.

Emanating in the main from unquestioning acceptance of the teachings of ‘holy’ books such as the Bible, this hatred of others is far more prevalent in our older generation.

Giving books written by fallible human beings holy status shuts down rational debate.

The Bible may suggest that homosexuality is an abomination punishable by death, but it also condones slavery, and instructs followers not to eat rabbits or shellfish.

Plumbing instructions once approved the use of lead piping until it was discovered that lead poisons the body. Just like it would have been silly to persevere using lead it is equally silly to let religious homophobes poison minds.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh