This week's mailbag includes letters on the rising cost of council tax, conflicting dietary advice and the BBC licence fee.
What do we get for rising tax?
I’m confused about our next council tax bill. Why does Wyre Council think it’s fair to ask for so much? It’s my biggest monthly expense; more than my gas, electric and water bills combined.
Okay, the government wants to pretend taxes haven’t gone up. But they’re transferring the cost of elderly care from the NHS and general taxation, to the Council Tax. So taxes are rising. I know its austerity, but isn’t that us paying for wrongs we didn’t commit?
Councils have already had a huge increase in revenue. All over Lancashire, there are new houses, despite local opposition. They all pay Council Tax.
And where’s the increase going? It’s not going to council workers. It’s not going to care workers: they’re on minimum wage.
And what do we get for this extra tax? Roads full of ruts and potholes, cuts to every budget from children’s services, to libraries, our countryside heritage. No wonder local government has such a poor reputation and so few of us are interested.
And what do our elected representatives do? There are 55 on Wyre Council and only 84 on Lancashire County Council. They all claim, what seems to me, to be generous expenses. They haven’t been cut.
I’m told that there’s a town house in Carlton Gardens, London valued at £95m. Its council tax is £1,421per year. That’s less than the £1,584.56p that I pay for my band C house in Wyre, worth about £170,000.
Does anyone on the council even care? Do they exist only to tax us, charge us, fine us and, when it comes to planning, ignore us? They’ll make us pay until we’re paupers. And then they’ll come back for more.
Dietary advice cheeses me off
It was reported last year that eating baked potatoes puts us at risk of coronary heart disease after decades of being advised they were the healthier option.
So what’s this recent report that consuming dairy products is now better for us after being told for years we should keep off dairy as much as possible.
Once again, a new research has supposedly discovered eating plenty of yoghurt, cheese, butter and milk could stave off a heart attack because they are rich in saturated fat protecting against cardiovascular disease, say scientists.
Do you know what, all these so called studies condradicting their initial claims of it’s good for you then it isn’t, or it isn’t but now it is, has got me cheesed off!
Cut wages, not the licence fee
So, the BBC is considering abolishing free TV for the 4.5 million (and growing) over-75s. Have they really thought this through?
Do they really believe that those 4.5 million will take this lying down? What if a substantial number, if not a majority, of those 4.5 million decide to stand up to the BBC and refuse to pay a licence fee?
Can the BBC really afford the cost and inconvenience of chasing thousands of licence defaulters and the subsequent court cases?
And, even if the BBC won its case and the defaulters were convicted, what sort of sentences is a judge likely to hand down to senior citizens, many with health or infirmity problems?
I, for one, will refuse to pay a licence fee for the benefit of a channel I rarely watch, while it continues to pay ludicrous and obscene salaries to people who were born with their brains in their boots and do little more than read an autocue or ask predetermined questions of some Z-list celebrity.
If the Prime Minister can run a country on a salary of around £150k then are BBC management, staff and presenters really worth more?
It is time for senior citizens to stand up to this outdated and profligate organisation.
Colin R Lancaster