Letters, May 24, 2019

Plastic in the oceans hasnt just happened overnight - its been there a long time.
Plastic in the oceans hasnt just happened overnight - its been there a long time.

No wonder anxiety levels are rising

Whilst I have genuine concern for people with mental health problems, as a nation, we seem to have developed a ‘culture of misery and woe’ generated by poor quality TV programmes, political correctness and the focus of the news on cancer, carcinogenic foods, obesity, stabbings, et al which have produced a general malaise.

No wonder there are mental health problems!

What with plastic floating about in the oceans, greenhouse emissions and the tedious ongoing saga of Brexit... is there any wonder countless people feel anxious, depressed and suicidal?

All this negative news would depress the most stoic and hard-minded.

Plastic in the oceans hasn’t just happened overnight - it’s been there a long time.

Some journalists get on the bandwagon and suddenly, this is the most important thing to become anxious about, along with cutting greenhouse gases and forcing everyone to use electric cars.

What next can they find to increase our anxiety levels? The general public are cunningly made to feel they are to blame for all these worries and concerns.

Nonsense, this is the long-term result of unbridled capitalism, greed and self-aggrandisement led and encouraged by American big business. Don’t blame the British people.

Peter Asquith-Cowen

Address supplied

Politics

Liberal Democrats aren’t democratic

How can Vince Cable and the rest of the Liberal Democrats seriously stand up and say they are members of this party?

Their position on the European Union referendum means they have no idea whatsoever of the meaning of the word ‘Democratic’.

Some things never change.

It started with Clegg.

He promised the students he would stand against any type of tuition fee, then David Cameron offered him a position in Government, and he promptly did an about-turn and stabbed the students in the back.

Now we have Vince Cable, who does not seem to know the meaning of majority vote, but if he does, he should not be leading any democratic party.

Dave Croucher

Address supplied

Health

NHS staff to stop background checks

Apparently the NHS has stopped checking on health tourists’ backgrounds because they are not border guards.

True, but the NHS must have enough administration staff to carry out this duty, do they not?

If we go abroad, we either take insurance with us or we’re asked for a credit card to pay, but here people think we pay our taxes just so others can take advantage of soft officials.

The NHS needs every penny to treat people who qualify for free treatment, without millions being wasted on people who don’t.

Ask taxi drivers at Heathrow how many get off a plane and ask to go to the nearest hospital and you’ll get an idea of the scale of the problems.

Scott Andrews

via email

Politics

Tackling inequality in pensions

Pensions inequality between men and women - the gender pensions gap - is widening amongst people in the North West and across the UK.

One of the reasons for this is that women who have children and a break from the workforce, or return to work on reduced roles or hours, aren’t able to contribute as much to their pension pots as men in full-time roles.

A recent survey found that more than four in 10 (42 per cent) of women in the North West, who didn’t return to work after having children, said it made more financial sense to stop working instead of paying for childcare.

Forty two per cent of women, with children aged 10 and under, said they would be encouraged to return to work with the same role and working hours if affordable suitable childcare was available.

With the costs of childcare so high in the UK, this isn’t surprising.

We’re calling for the government to revive Britain’s dying high street and encourage nurseries to open in vacant units all over the country.

With typically good transport links, opening nurseries in the high street and reducing business tax rates for private nurseries could boost footfall in the high street and be a boon to local businesses.

We need to do more to ensure that women in the North West and across the UK, who want to remain in the workforce after having children, can do so with equal opportunities.

Gregg McClymont

Director of policy at The People’s Pension