Letters: High motoring costs could drive people out of work

I strongly disagree with the point of view Clark Cross put across in “Make council staff cough up for their parking perks” (Letters, January 27).

I work with a local authority and I am on the lowest end of the pay scale. On average after tax my take-home pay is £250 per week.

I currently spend at least £70 of this on fuelling costs which are ever-rising. If Mr Cross got his wish and I was charged another £25 a week just to take my car to work, it would almost be coming to the point where I would probably gain more from claiming benefits and packing in my job.

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As from April I believe the basic dole payment will be around £70 a week.

I also have a disability for which I have never claimed. If I start claiming for this then benefits begin to look attractive and if I packed in my job it would cut my fuel costs by £70. If you take all of that into account I would only be £50 short of what I get by working. Is this a situation Mr Cross would like to see?

I would also love to use the public transport that Mr Cross talks about, but when I do it often runs late and sometimes does not run at all, which is the reason I got my own vehicle in the first place. I now find myself being punished for doing so in ever higher taxes.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

OAPs make easy targets for cuts

I NORMALLY use the local council leisure centre for swimming.

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I am 71 years old and enjoy the use of a pensioner’s Edinburgh Leisure card.

Over the last 12 months the cost of a four-week ticket was £10. On renewing my four-weekly ticket I was charged £19.

When asked how this almost 100 per cent rise is justified, I was told that the council made a mistake 12 months ago when it was setting the charge of £10.

No doubt the person responsible will still be in a job and looking forward to a fat pension.

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What puzzles me is, why did it take 12 months to discover this mistake?

Once again the pensioners seem to be an easy target in having to pay for the council’s “mistakes”.

Angus Sutherland, Kirk Park, Edinburgh

Why are they speaking up now?

ISN’T it odd that those who oppose the restoration of Scotland’s independence are now so eager to pick holes in the proposals for a referendum on the issue?

Why then did they stay silent in the past when UK governments made similar arrangements?

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Did we hear them complain when UK voters were asked to approve the UK’s entry to the EEC two years after entry had already taken place?

Did they object to the rigging of the 1979 referendum on a devolved Scottish parliament with the notorious “40 per cent” rule?

Did they express righteous indignation when it was revealed, 30 years later, that both Westminster politicians and Whitehall civil servants lied to the Scottish people about the value of the oil discovered beneath Scottish waters in the North Sea?

And how many of these defenders of democracy can name the last single-party UK government elected with a majority of the votes cast?

Robin MacCormick, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh

Sad police horses to be neigh mare

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I WAS saddened by the news that Edinburgh’s mounted police section is to be disbanded (News, January 25).

I often see the horses being exercised around the New Town and it is a beautiful sight. They also sometimes walk past my flat in Stockbridge and it is lovely to hear the clip-clop of hooves on the cobbles.

I realise this is quite a romantic vision of police horses, but I am sure they also serve a very vital service in law enforcement and it seems ridiculous that Scotland’s capital city shouldn’t have its own division.

We hold football and rugby matches here all the time, let alone big royal events and parades.

Let us keep our horses in Edinburgh.

For the measly sum of £52,000, it seems totally worth it to have a division of our own.

G Fraser, Stockbridge, Edinburgh