We need a fairer way to afford a home
Every night, before going to sleep, with the recent freezing temperatures outside, I have thanked God for a warm house – something that everyone on Earth should be able to enjoy.
Tragically, that is not the case right now. In most new housing developments, only a small portion of the site is allocated for affordable homes – a problem that is typical of the whole housing situation across the UK.
House prices increased by 152 per cent between 1995 and 2016, while incomes of those aged between 25 and 34 grew by 22 per cent.
This year, prices are set to grow again by six per cent: how many wage packets will grow by anywhere near that this year? Houses could become even less affordable.
This amounts to oppression. It means anxiety and misery for many young men and women, who ought to be saving to buy their first home., How have we come to this?
Developers and landlords have, for years, reaped huge profits from over-priced houses to buy or let, while so many workers have been paid low wages that they have to choose between heating their house or putting enough food on the table.
Many thousands of men, women and children are relying on foodbanks or deliveries to stave off hunger. Meanwhile, we are learning that high-rise builders have made excess profits from ‘cutting corners’ in construction, leaving yet more people unsafe in their homes, and bearing the burden of debt.
The pandemic is, of course, adding to our troubles, but when this is overcome, we must work to remedy the longer-term injustices and miseries. Our Prime Minister has promised to tackle this: to level-up the nation.
That must mean the fair distribution of resources and wealth. It means that for the next 10 years, whichever party is in power must enact a number of steps.
Firstly, every employee and self-employed person should receive a genuine living wage (with increments for added qualifications and responsibilities).
Secondly, regulations should be introduced and strengthened to curb the greed of excessive profits, prices and interest rates, while ensuring the high standards of workmanship.
These reforms will enable many more people to buy and sell, raising prosperity at the same time.
Two millennia ago, Jesus of Nazareth urged people to love their neighbours as themselves, and to treat others how we should like them to treat us.
He built a community on that basis. We, in the 21st century world, need to do likewise.
Who is going to get money for schools?
I read Guy McGregor’s recent letter regarding education funding (Diss Express, February 12) and join him in thanking the staff of our Suffolk schools for the amazing job they do, especially in the current difficult circumstances.
I also agree with him that there must be fairer funding models for our schools in Suffolk to ensure that they stop receiving funding that is well below the national average.
It is at this point, however, that I should point out that Cllr McGregor has been a Conservative councillor for many years, with Suffolk County Council controlled by the Conservatives for many years.
All Suffolk members of parliament are from the Conservative Party and the Conservative Party has been in Government for more than 10 years.
Who would he suggest we vote for in the local elections in May to effect the changes needed to ensure that Suffolk schools get a fair level of funding?
North Suffolk Liberal Democrats
We must heed calls before it’s too late
I watched the last of the excellent Perfect Planet series last Sunday evening. What will we do when Sir David Attenborough is no longer with us?
It has certainly sharpened my awareness of what we are doing to our wonderful ‘home’.
It was alarming to hear that our children’s’ children will be living in a hostile world if we do not pay heed to all the warnings.
Global warming is a very real and serious threat to humans and animals alike.
We can all play a small part by reducing CO2 emissions: buses and coaches should be made to turn off their engines when stationary and we, as individuals, by not sitting in our cars with the engine running.
A week ago, when leaving a local supermarket at 5pm on a Friday, five cars were parked in a row, gentlemen at the wheel – partners apparently in the store food shopping, all with their engines running. On my way home, I spotted another two vehicles in the town centre doing exactly the same.
It is time for us all to heed ‘the wake-up call’ before it really is too late.
What value should we put on a life?
On the way home from Diss through Hoxne and Denham the other day, I passed three people who were out walking their dogs.
It was overcast and drizzling, yet all three were in dark clothing against dark hedging, making them not easily seen.
They are not the only people I have seen recently who have not been adequately visible.
What is their safety/life worth? A high-vis vest starts at £1.55 and can be a good way of increasing safety when out walking on narrow roads and gives drivers a greater distance in which to assess the situation and take any action necessary.
Please, for such a small cost, let’s make our rural roads safer.
Mr B V Hall