Readers' letters: Trolley dumping is a worrying daily issue
We lived for 18 months in a new build near Wester Hailes cinema and throughout lockdown we used the Union Canal as our walking ‘allowance’ of one hour.
The number of trolleys taken daily from the shopping centre, then dumped over bridges when the user was close enough to home, was just ridiculous.
I approached Lidl, as one was dumped outside our build. “Nope, can’t leave the shop to collect it” was the manager’s reply.
At one point the canal couldn’t be used until magnet fishers (who do a superb job fishing junk out) were called in, due to the endangerment to canal boats caused by trolleys along the one and a half miles we walked of it to Sighthill.
It’s a daily issue dogged by apathy. Certainly at Wester Hailes it’s the norm.
Mr G Eadie, Edinburgh
Extra MP payments should be forbidden
Sky News and Tortoise Media have done the British public a great service.
They have pulled together a website which allows us to search to find out how much (over and above their parliamentary salaries and generous expenses) our esteemed MPs have received in donations, gifts etc since 19 December 2019.
You can find the website, which is called Westminster Accounts at news.sky.com/westminsteraccounts.
A search shows that by my calculation my MP, Alister Jack, has received £36,400 since the end of 2019 and neighbouring MP, David Mundell, has received £59,340.
There is clearly a public interest in knowing more about these donations. What, if anything, did the donors receive in return?
MPs are elected to represent the interests of their constituents. Can they truly be said to do that when they are also beholden to people or organisations who have given them cash?
I suggest that, since the parliamentary system is meant to be transparent, payments such as these should be absolutely forbidden. MPs and Ministers receive high enough salaries and generous expenses as it is.
David Howdle, Kirkton
Cut travel distances to reduce emissions
The way to cut carbon emissions from petrol or diesel fuel is to minimise the distance vehicles have to travel. Traffic regulations are regularly introduced that disregard this advice and we see such harebrained schemes as the Leith Walk/London Road debacle.
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. It would be prudent if the powers that be could remember this when planning traffic flow.
George Wright, Edinburgh
Health care funding models reassessed
Sir Keir Starmer declares he would not change to a social insurance model to fund the NHS (News, 16 January).
He states in these models, employees contribute a proportion of their salary to pay for their health care.However, NI contributions come from employees' salaries (and employers). So what's the difference?
Just that we only pay for some 18 per cent of the cost, the remainder coming from general taxation.
Why not make all NHS costs funded from employee and employer contributions and reduce general taxation?
Also remove the anomaly that people earning over £50,000 pay only two per cent in NI contributions. Why should they not pay 12 per cent like lower earners?
Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh
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