Letters to the editor for 11 June 2013

Childcare reform

[Re: Childcare reform could raise costs further after Clegg’s attack on ratios, Friday]

Our reform to raise the standard of qualifications of Early Years staff will not, in itself, increase costs for parents. We are not putting additional burdens on providers in this regard. In fact, through reforming the role of local authorities and simplifying funding structures, we will encourage new entrants to the market. On top of this, we are enabling childminder agencies to be regulated establishments which will bring new, flexible services for parents and children. A more vibrant and competitive market will drive costs down and give parents more choice.

Elizabeth Truss, minister for education and childcare


Bank sell-off

[Re: Osborne must back plan to distribute bank shares to the public, yesterday]

Why would any institution want to own shares in these banks, knowing that any sign of the share price going up will unleash hordes of sellers? This Policy Exchange scheme would also be costly to administer, and would create nothing of value for the public. And if the scheme were to fail, the public’s anger at banks would (if anything) increase even further. We are trying too hard to be creative with RBS and Lloyds. The key point is to ensure the banks are sustainably profitable, and then to sell the shares simply.

Tim Lygoe



Other than EU, David Cameron is right on what needs to change: debt-fuelled economy; bloated welfare.

Francois Hollande declares that “the euro crisis is over!” I’m not sure Angela Merkel would agree.

Things spies do – torture, seduction – must be done. But that does not mean they should be “legal”.

China is the mystery meat of global economies. Digest its 7 per cent growth numbers with caution.