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Letters to the editor: March 17, 2021

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Follow the rules to avoid another lockdown

Since December 2020, over 24 million people in the UK have received the first dose of the Pfizer-Biotech or the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and this has been heralded as a great success by the government.

Although the first dose provides some protection against Covid-19, it is necessary to have a second dose in order to have maximum protection. However, only 1.5 million people have received a second dose of a vaccine, so far.

The vaccination programme can only be deemed ‘a success’ when all those who need to be vaccinated receive both doses of either the Pfizer-Biotech or the Astra-Zeneca vaccination in an appropriate time-scale to prevent another surge in cases of Covid-19.

Over the past year, at least 125,500 people have died as a result of Covid-19 and there have been over 4.2 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 and deaths continue to increase in the UK and this should remain a cause for concern for us all.

Until everyone is fully vaccinated, lockdown is the only protective measure we have to prevent the rapid spread of the virus and NHS hospitals being overwhelmed by the admission of people with severe cases of Covid-19 infection.

We are currently experiencing a third national lockdown.

The UK economy cannot possibly withstand yet another lockdown in the future.

In the meantime, NHS doctors and nurses are advising that it is vital that everyone, including those who have been vaccinated, should continue to socially distance, wash hands and wear a face covering (when necessary) to prevent the spread of the virus.

By following these three simple rules and receiving two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, we can all look forward to a future when national lockdowns are thing of the past.

Angela Thomas


Eva Watson-Abbott, of Manea, sent us this delightful picture of her blind rescue cocker spaniel Holly ‘appreciating’ the garden display.
Eva Watson-Abbott, of Manea, sent us this delightful picture of her blind rescue cocker spaniel Holly ‘appreciating’ the garden display.

Campaign is calling for radical action

The Campaign for new Council Housing has been established in 2021 (the 102-year anniversary of the Addison Act) to campaign for the radical action which needs to be taken to resolve the current crises of homelessness and affordability.

We believe that council housing must play a central role in that resolution.

What we stand for:

  • The building of one million new council houses per year;
  • The abolition of the so-called ‘right-to-buy’;
  • The cancellation of all local authority housing debt;
  • Rents to be set at no more than ten per cent of tenants’ income;
  • The re-introduction of rent control officers;
  • Rent controls on all private tenancies;
  • A register of all private landlords.

Readers can join the Facebook group by clicking: www.facebook.com/groups/806014483556249

The group is open to all who accept the seven demands mentioned above. It is a non-party group.

John Smithee


Chancellor will push people into poverty

The respected Resolution Foundation said the chancellor’s cut of £4billion a year in public spending would be “challenging to deliver”, and estimated a further £15billion would be needed by 2025.

This sum would be required to give Mr Sunak “enough fiscal space to credibly see net debt sustainably falling in the face of future recessions,” the think tank warned.

The chancellor pledged to build a “fairer and more just” country post-Covid-19 as he announced plans to repair the nation’s finances.

These included an increase in business profits and the freezing of income tax thresholds which will see more than a million people starting to pay the levy, according to forecasters. Mr Sunak said “significant decisions” had to be taken, telling MPs that analysis from the Resolution Foundation suggested the average UK wage will be 4.3%, or £1,200, below the pre-crisis path by the middle of the decade and that this parliament will oversee the second slowest growth in living standards on record.

It said the basic level of benefits will go back to levels last seen in the latter days of Margaret Thatcher and the early John Major years, just as unemployment is due to peak.

Separate estimates from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the plans to end the uplift in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in September – when the furlough scheme also ends – will see half a million people, including 200,000 children, placed into poverty.

The chief executive of the Resolution Foundation said: “The chancellor has gone big on both support for the recovery now and tax rises in future.”

John White


They could have paid more to NHS workers

So, chancellor Rishi Sunak is giving NHS staff just a one per cent pay rise and raising taxes to kick start the economy.

The truth is that he could delay tax rises for two years.Most world goverments have a new deal with the banking sector, involving zero per cent interest loans with no payment due date. This new scheme is called perpetuity bonds – the debt simply rolls over year after year.

Its a kind of ‘borrow now and pay later’ scheme... so clearly the goverment could afford a 2.1 % NHS Payrise.

Ironically the Goverment can splash £9million to create a US-style room at Whitehall. Presumably it’s to make the Americans and Canadians feel more at home when they come over to negotiate the new trade deals.

Also, a quick word about the goverment reducing energy bills.

That’s why EDF has raised electric in advance, so they will still get as much money when the Government has reduced bills.

Then the Goverment will claim they saved you energy costs at the next election.

Mark Burton


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