RAPID responses

Decaying heritage

[Re: A tax on heritage attacks the heart of local business, yesterday]

I completely agree with the sentiment and tone of this article. The charity, church and not for profit sectors are not legitimate targets for governmental revenue-raising on this kind of scale. One hopes, by now, the message has dawned. We need a much better response to perceived anomalies in the nation's tax regime. The worst thing about all this is the lack of notice given. It was a surprise measure in the Budget, and the consultation is likely only to tell us to put up with it. The nation's heritage, like its reputation, is slow to build and quick to be destroyed. U-turn please, and fast.

Pamela Greener


Italian practices

[Re: Mario talks a good game but Italy’s entrepreneurs have lost out, yesterday]

There is another consequence of austerity combined with rigid labour markets. In Italy, over the last year, prices have risen by 3.8 per cent and wages have risen by 1.3 per cent, so real wages have fallen by 2.5 per cent in purchasing power terms. No wonder Italian consumers aren’t optimistic. This reduction in real wages is an ever-increasing feature of the credit crunch era. One cannot expect the Italian consumer to come to the economy’s rescue. Instead, falling consumption could easily be a problem in 2012. It’s a lot more than just entrepreneurs who are losing out.

Sam Vickers



A heritage tax attacks our sense of place and of identity, both of which underlie the Big Society idea.

A “heritage tax” is doubly bad since craftspeople who maintain listed buildings are a prime source of apprenticeships.

Boris has to amplify what he has done, make comparisons, focus on his objectives, and include costings.

We need a new government now, never mind a cabinet reshuffle.