Letters to the Editor for 4 April 2013

Readers of City A.M.

Welfare reform

[Re: Is the government doing enough to reform Britain’s creaking welfare state?, yesterday]

I don’t understand Matthew Oakley’s claim that a 5 per cent reduction in the welfare budget would “pay” for a four runway airport at Heathrow. Is he implying that the UK taxpayer should be coughing up to expand a private sector airport? Surely, if it’s such a commercial winner, companies will be falling over themselves to fund its expansion?

Elizabeth Balsom

The current debate about the bedroom tax and the welfare state touches on a wider malaise contributing to the benefits culture. Because renting a roof over your head is so incredibly expensive as a proportion of the average income (spending 40 per cent is not uncommon), once people get into social housing, they tend to hang on to it at any cost. The same is true of transport to and from work – rising petrol prices and the astronomical costs of public transport deter many from taking work outside their local area. This leads to a situation where people would rather struggle on paltry benefits than struggle on paltry wages. Cracking down on the cost of living is a vital element to ending welfare dependency. The implications of people opting out of the working world are a massive cause for concern.

Karl Chads



A great day for consumers. SSE’s fine may not be huge, but it sends a signal that energy firms have treated customers unacceptably.

Why is the revenue from SSE’s £10.5m fine going back to the Treasury and not to the customers who were ripped off?

The race to restart nuclear reactors: Japan versus North Korea. Albeit, they have rather different intentions.

The real middle class wouldn’t care about a class survey, and certainly wouldn’t take part in one.