Letters to the editor for 17 May 2013

Private sector pain

[Re: Private sector workers’ pay frozen – but not public sector, yesterday]

Flat wage growth is just half the story. For many older workers in the private sector, if you take into account the end of final salary pension schemes and the huge increase in self-employment and contract work, many are significantly worse off in real terms than they were 20 to 25 years ago. And far more so when compared to public sector workers, who are mostly on track to receive generous state-funded pensions. People used to say that large public sector pensions compensated for lower comparative salaries. But as you so rightly put it, private sector workers are now the ones who are struggling.

Carl Blaney


Jobless youth

[Re: Only bold structural reform can end the scandal of UK youth unemployment, Wednesday]

Lottie Dexter is an extraordinary young woman, and her campaign is a credit both to her and to the fact that there is at least some fresh thinking on the issue of youth unemployment going on. As she points out, Labour saw the solution as artificial jobs and expensive schemes. But we also shouldn’t forget its utopian pledge to put 50 per cent of young people through university. All the evidence suggests this was foolish, that these same young people are failing to find jobs, and that the economy needs workers who have technically-focused skills not philosophy degrees.

Judith Adade



Japan surges out of recession. GDP grew by 0.9 per cent in first quarter. Quarter four 2012 revised up to 0.3 per cent growth.

G7 action on tax avoidance? Someone needs to explain to these Davos men that, in a digital age, tax “base” can flow.

Despite Ukip poll surge, poll shows proportion who would vote to leave EU has dropped by 8 per cent.

The PM will use a three line whip to back James Wharton’s bill on an EU referendum. Will that also be reported as a rebellion?