Letters – 8.8.19

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Families worthy of support

I see that Kate Forbes, in the Lochaber Times of 18 July, believes that all families are worthy of support.

In a world of seven and a half billion people when on a long-term basis it can only support five billion this is a difficult premise to justify, and to produce more than two children when you do not have the means to support them is like buying a Rolls-Royce and then expecting the State to contribute to the annual servicing costs.

Indeed these extra children are one of the main contributors to global warming, not from their CO2 output but from their additional consumption of world resources such as timber and heating for their accommodation, their throw away clothes, fuel for their transport and food miles for their unsatisfactory diets.

One way of solving this would be for the State to abolish the personal allowance and pay everyone a tax free income of £1,000 per month to spend as they please with anything over this taxed at 40 per cent, thus sweeping away a raft of tax, national insurance and benefits legislation, eliminating means testing and redeploying the people needed to administer it into productive work.

Depending on the additional number of people deciding not to work and pay tax this could be a solution to wiping out pensioner poverty, the Scottish Government’s budget deficit and, by keeping wage costs down, revitalising Scottish industry.

Andrew Green
Dal Ghorm House, Ardtoe

Hard work and dedication is appreciated

I am very sorry to hear that Pat and Iain Abernethy have left Lochaber Sensory Care.

I would like to thank them both for their dedication, hard work and enthusiasm which they brought to the meetings and outings over the years.

This has been greatly appreciated by everyone. They will be a great loss to sensory care and I wish them both, all the best in the future.

E.M. Webb, Fort William

Moaning minnies

Once again I read in your journal of parking charges on the Isle of Mull.

Will these moaning minnies ever stop ?

What makes them think that they are better than the rest of the citizens of Argyll and Bute and visitors that have to pay for parking.

It is time that they woke up to the fact that the council needs every penny that it raises.

I do partially blame the council for the situation as it did not impose the charges years ago.

George S. Mackay,
by email

Reverse parking charge plan

Following on from the increase in parking charges at the foot of the Cobbler in Arrochar I hear that there are proposals to introduce similar charges on Mull and Iona, causing an outcry in these small communities and they are seeking help to mount a legal challenge.

Like many others, I am concerned as I would like to visit but these charges would be a large deterrant.

I wrote and asked the four councillors that represent the area whether they supported the proposal. Councillor Mary-Jean Devon replied that she was totally against the proposal, I have not heard from Councillor Sir Jamie McGrigor or Councillor Roderick McCuish; I got this reply from SNP Councillor Jim Lynch.

‘I am one of the ward 4 Councillors for Oban South and the Isles covering this area. I did not support these parking proposals.

‘At the Area Committee meeting where the vote was taken to parking on Mull, I submitted an amendment rejecting the proposal in it’s entirety. I also called for a full Island Community Impact Assessment as outlined in the Island Act to be carried out before any further proposals were considered.

‘On the day my amendment fell and the motion to introduce charges was passed by four votes to three.’

I then asked where the proposal had come from. Again Councillor Lynch kindly provided the answers: ‘The proposal was made as part of the Traffic Regulation Order process prepared by council officers. The recommendations were then made to the Area Committee and a vote was taken.’

In my view these proposals are a disgrace. They are bully-boy tactics aimed at small communities where there is unlikely to be much of an electoral backlash. Can you imagine what would happen if an attempt was made to introduce £9 a day parking on the seafront in Helensburgh?

Our councillors would soon have it explained to them what the consequences might be.

The plan to increase charges on the islands should be abandoned and those in Arrochar should be reversed.

Dougie Blackwood, Helensburgh

Actions – or lack of them – speak louder than words

I note the press release from Messrs Allan and MacNeil in which they predict that the new Prime Minister will be “bad news for the isles”.

However, now we know they are both alive and capable of issuing a press release on a matter over which they have an opinion but no control, can they now answer questions which are of even more immediate relevance to their constituents?

Why has the SNP Government in Edinburgh cut funding to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar by £572 per head of population over the past five years? Do they support the formula which gives their constituency by far the worst deal in Scotland?

And if not, what have they done about it?

Opinions are easy but actions – or lack of them – speak louder than words.

Matt Bruce, Garrabost, Isle of Lewis