Britain is badly in need of a pay rise

Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
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More than five million workers, some living in Fenland, earn less than two-thirds of the median hourly pay – equivalent to £7.69 an hour – a rise of 250,000 over the last year.

And almost a quarter of minimum wage workers (now earning £6.50 an hour) have remained on it for the past five years.

According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which is committed to a £10 an hour minimum wage; workers have experienced an eight per cent slump in real earnings since 2007 – the steepest fall in living standards since Victorian times.

Moreover, the five million-plus figure doesn’t take into account the many workers who have joined the ranks of the self-employed because they had no other option.

But the average weekly income of a self-employed person is 20 per cent lower than in 2008 and 40 per cent less than a typical full-time worker. No wonder Britain needs a pay rise.

John Smithee

Member, Unite the Union, Wisbech

FIREWORKS

Bangers are a cat-astrophy

I thought ‘bangers’ were banned in 1997?

How come for the past few nights, huge bangs have been heard all over Chatteris?

I refuse to go anywhere from late afternoon onwards from Halloween until following Fireworks Night as animal lovers, especially cat owners, are subjected to 8-9 days of dread and worry.

Of course, we can keep cats in during the evenings, but it is more difficult to do this if the cat has gone out during the day and then becomes disorientated and lost (despite the myth that cats always find their way home), when fireworks (especially those illegal bangers) begin at any time from late afternoon on any day over that period.

Name and address supplied

LOW FAT YOGHURTS

Policing our eating habits

In a previous letter I expressed the notion that shopping exclusively in a supermarket is not the best idea.

There are, however, some items which you cannot find on market stalls. I refer specifically to spreads and yoghurts.

There are conflicting research papers on the wisdom of “low fat” products and I strongly object to supermarkets trying to make the decision for us. You have to look very hard in any supermarket to find a yoghurt that is not either low fat or zero fat.

Who appointed them to police our eating? It is up to the customer to decide.

Do the supermarkets have our well-being at heart or is this yet another way of boosting their profit?

Mrs Maddy Forster

43 Waterlees Road

Wisbech

SUPERMARKETS

Supermarkets are too large

I agree with Madeleine Forster.

For the 27 years I have lived in Wisbech, I have always shopped in Wisbech.

I have been such a regular customer that I often get discounts from a couple of them.

I do not like supermarkets, especially Tesco. They are too large and impersonal.

I have known most of the staff in the Co-op since before it was Somerfield, I have always bought my fruit and veg from Brewers, and I love QD.

I don’t eat meat, so having the luxury of two health shops locally, Brian Hardy’s and Holland and Barrett, is just great. The staff in all of those shops are always very friendly and helpful.

I do miss all three Bodgers shops. It is very sad that they had to close after so long.

If I need one or two things during the week, I always use the lovely little shop in Leverington.

Shirley de-GroomeNewton, Wisbech

EUROPEAN BILL

Engage brain before talking

Despite Mr Cameron’s jaw dropping statement, “I’m not going to pay that bill on December 1” it is in fact a rhetorical gesture as he has no lawful excuse not to pay it.

It leaves up to 23 payment days before Christmas for him to haggle the figure down and work out the best time to pay it so we don’t notice!

If the government hadn’t gone around promoting the elections by boasting about our putatively better economic performance since 2002 to the Euro Zone, we could have “kept schtum!” and not paid it.

Sadly the mouth opened before the brain engaged.

Mark Burton

Chatteris