I have reservations about plans to cut back emergency housing payments which go towards helping those who are struggling to cope with the “bedroom tax”.
Those who watch Sky TV, drink booze or smoke fags are threatened with having a cut to any emergency payment handed out (News, August 24).
While in principle I agree with the thinking that people should cut back on non-essential items during difficult times, I find this a bit rich coming from a council which has wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers cash on the much detested trams project.
Perhaps if the city council had not invested in this vanity project there would be plenty of spare cash to help the vulnerable citizens of Edinburgh during this difficult time of recession and hardship.
There might be one or two people sponging from the system but I am almost certain that the vast majority of people who are experiencing difficulty with housing payments are genuine people who have ended up in this situation through no fault of their own, such as being made redundant or falling ill. For some of these people a cigarette or a few bottles of beer might be their only pleasure in life.
If any tenant can cut out something non-essential which might help toward them being able to make an extra payment or not having to rely on emergency payments then I would certainly encourage them to do so but I feel it is a step too far when the council wants to see your exact outgoings and possibly penalise you if you indulge in something they describe as luxuries.
Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife
Give us a Capital to be proud of again
Last week I had a trip uptown to enjoy the ambience of the festival crowds in Princes Street,
I further ventured up to the museum in Chambers Street, a place I’ve known since living nearby, and afterwards decided to visit the locations of my younger days, Drummond Street, Roxburgh Place, Adam Street – and what a disgusting sight met my eyes.
In Drummond Street there were about five or six large refuse bins, some of them overflowing and spilling on to the pavement. Roxburgh Place was closed off because of some Fringe show, and the pavement at the lower end of Drummond Street had deep potholes similar I’m sure to some at the Somme. Visitors looking for a venue on the Pleasance had to step very carefully to avoid tripping.
This pavement is a disgrace yet £776 million is spent on a fiasco of tram system that many citizens of Edinburgh didn’t think necessary. What an example these visitors must take home with them. May I suggest Councillor Hinds delegates more and gets Edinburgh back to a city that one can be proud of.
J Lawrie, Edinburgh
‘Compo’ campaign must be dismissed
The compensation lobby may be keen on the proposal calling for motorists to be held responsible for all collisions with cyclists (News, August 27) but I doubt if many readers will favour introducing a presumption of strict liability for cyclists who are involved in accidents with motorists.
It would grant cyclists an unfair legal advantage in the view of many, while risking decreasing cyclists’ own sense of safe cycling, and it would increase motor insurance premiums for all drivers.
It will also give personal injury solicitors more cases and hike lawyers’ fee revenue of course!
Poor Scotland already has enough compensation culture without adding to our growing reputation as a paradise for claimants of “compo”. This idea of strict liability for cycle accidents, which would be a claimant lawyers’ charter in the view of many people, must now be sensibly dismissed.
Angus Logan, York Road, North Berwick
Time for Queensferry to go its own way
During a recent outing down my local path I encountered a disagreement with two dog-walking, pram-pushing locals and two well fashioned serious cyclists from Edinburgh.
The gist of the argument was who had the greater need of safety. Who should get out of the way, or who should slow down? One of the Edinburgh cyclists argued that he paid more council tax than they.
No he does not. Queensferry residents pay just as much council tax as everyone else in Edinburgh, yet we do not benefit nearly as much from money for facilities.
Lothian buses do not come out here and the trams will never pass within ten country miles.
A visit to the local high school will illustrate pot holes similar to the Dakar rally in the parking area.
Even when you phone up the council to ask for street lights to be fixed, they think you’re living in a different constellation.
The only answer to the ignorance of Edinburgh to the Royal Burgh of Queensferry: independence.
Graeme E Pearson, the Royal Burgh of Queensferry
Another war with little connection to us
Once again then, the deluded Westminster government is attempting to march us off to a war that has nothing to do with our country – a Middle-eastern civil war amongst tribal mosaics that we could never even begin to understand.
No lessons learned from Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan – our government still vainly believes we are the world’s moral policemen.
And at the same time dishing out billions of taxpayers’ hard-earned to spurious, mismanaged foreign governments.
More of this? I would ask the Unionists to wake up!
Phil Cowan, Laverockbank Avenue, Edinburgh