Christmas cheer is proving too costly

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As expected, increased postage costs are influencing how many Christmas cards people will buy and send this month.

A lot of families who have internet access will be considering sending out e-cards, which some might think is a tad too impersonal. Others might decide to stop sending Christmas cheer at all, in which case they cannot really grumble if they don’t receive any themselves.

But there is no “Bah humbug” as far as my friend’s 85-year-old mother is concerned.

She loves Christmas, but like many older people, is on a tight budget.

She does not want to leave out any of her family and friends, so this year has been busy making her own cards and now intends to travel out on her disability scooter (weather permitting, of course) to hand deliver as many as she can.

I suppose it is a lot closer to the spirit of Christmas than the commercialised festival that it has become.

M Fordham, address supplied

Pay the living wage? We wish

As the owner of a well-known and long-established Wigan business I was extremely angry to read Wigan Council’s call for everyone to be paid the living wage, as they are doing.

I would love to be able to pay my staff that wage but the fact is I would have to make some staff redundant or let the business go bankrupt altogether.

At a time when there are so many empty units in the town centre and people like myself are putting their own money into their businesses to keep everyone employed, the Council needs to be more responsible with its good ideas.

Of course they can afford to pay that wage because of the money they receive from us.

Many other businesses are not so lucky. It would seem they can also afford to spend £6,000,000 on refurbishing the Town Hall despite the money recently splashed on the Life Centre. If they feel that the living wage is so essential, then maybe they could make up the difference in wages for our staff.

That way everyone would be happy – our staff would be earning more, we would be delighted to see that and the Council gets its wish.

Disgruntled business owner, name and address supplied

Make fines relate to your income

A government that fails to cut its debt, and also fails to cut the number of its road traffic casualties (pedestrians and cyclists, already on the breadline, both increasing) – what hope for the future?

If it’s going to take five years for us to see debt on the downturn, won’t it be the same with innocent road traffic victims?

With cuts to traffic policing, how can it be otherwise?

But, what if predictions are hopelessly wrong again? How much heartbreak do society’s most vulnerable have to take?

With the current annual death toll of 2,000 x 5 = 10,000, how much will this cost the nation?

Congestion alone costs £20 billion a year! Wouldn’t income-related speeding fines kill two birds with one stone?

Allan Ramsay

Member of RoadPeace, national charity for road crash victims