In dire need of a grit­ting re­think

Lennox Herald - - LENNOX VIEW -

West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil should get their pri­or­i­ties right.

How do they ex­pect the pub­lic to grit the roads and pave­ments?

I think they should think of the use of the coun­cil tax and those with a dis­abil­ity or who are el­derly.

Who is go­ing to be re­spon­si­ble for grit­ting of main streets, ie shop­ping cen­tres?

I think they need to re­think. name and ad­dress sup­plied

Scrap­new­ben­e­fit

I was de­lighted to read that West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil is tak­ing ac­tion to try and get the gov­ern­ment to scrap the dreaded Univer­sal Credit, at least for the time be­ing.

This dreaded wel­fare re­form is not fit for pur­pose so there is no way it should be rolled out across the coun­try when there are al­ready so many prob­lems with it.

Surely a pi­lot project is held to make sure that the pol­icy works, not to find that it doesn’t work yet push ahead with it any­way.

It’s about time the gov­ern­ment had a wake-up call and scrapped this be­fore it makes any­one else’s life a mis­ery.

I am glad that the coun­cil lo­cally seem fo­cused on mak­ing sure those af­fected will be looked af­ter be­cause those re­ly­ing on these ben­e­fits are ex­actly the type of peo­ple who need our help.

I will watch with in­ter­est at the next step the gov­ern­ment take and if they even bother to re­spond to cor­re­spon­dence from West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil in con­nec­tion with this. name and ad­dress sup­plied

Du­ty­to­pay­tax

Boots is ac­cused of avoid­ing at least £1.12bil­lion in tax since go­ing pri­vate six years ago, enough to pay for two years’ pre­scrip­tion charges, the start­ing wages of 78,000 nurses or 5.2mil­lion am­bu­lance calls.

This claim ap­pears in a new re­port on al­leged tax avoid­ance by the multi­na­tional phar­macy-led health and beauty group Al­liance Boots.

Unite, the UK anti-poverty char­ity War on Want, and the Change to Win fed­er­a­tion of US trade unions, call on Al­liance Boots to dis­close its tax re­turns and shed light on its web of debt strate­gies.

Al­liance Boots draws an es­ti­mated 40 per­cent of its UK rev­enues – £4billion – from pre­scrip­tions and re­lated ser­vices, mainly paid for by the Na­tional Health Ser­vice.

The com­pany is seek­ing to ex­pand into med­i­cal ser­vices tra­di­tion­ally sup­plied in hos­pi­tals, fam­ily doc­tors’ prac­tices and com­mu­nity health clin­ics, largely paid for by pub­lic funds.

The trans­ac­tion to avoid pay­ing taxes was led by US pri­vate eq­uity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP and the com­pany’s bil­lion­aire ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Ste­fano Pessina, who lives in tax-free Monaco.

In 2008 Al­liance Boots re­lo­cated to the low-tax can­ton of Zug, Switzer­land, even though the com­pany gen­er­ates no rev­enue there.

The hold­ing com­pany that owns Al­liance Boots is lo­cated in Gi­bral­tar.

Tax avoid­ance is now part of the DNA of a cor­po­rate Bri­tish cul­ture that is rot­ten to the core.

While this gov­ern­ment pur­sues the needy with a sin­gle-minded cru­elty, the Tories do lit­tle to stop cor­po­rate Britain from strip­ping earn­ings in the UK and send­ing prof­its to tax havens.

It is ut­ter hypocrisy that Boots re­lies mainly on the NHS for 40 per­cent of its UK rev­enues, while avoid­ing its tax re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

A string of scan­dals has made a mock­ery of the gov­ern­ment’s sup­posed crack­down on tax dodgers, which de­liv­ers rhetoric on tack­ling tax avoid­ance, in­clud­ing Britain’s over­seas ter­ri­to­ries, but which amounts to noth­ing.

Only the ac­tion of the or­di­nary de­cent per­son, by re­fus­ing to sup­port these com­pa­nies, will ef­fect any change. Gov­ern­ment will do noth­ing.

B McKenna, Over­toun Av­enue, Dum­bar­ton

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