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Letters, April 11: Lords don't shop for BOGOF deals; Maria Miller resignation; and Labour's regional ministers plan

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: April 11, 2014

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Miller affair proves MPs are out of touch

To me the most obnoxious moment in the Maria Miller expenses saga was just before she made her so-called apology to the House. Watching front-bench members rushing to sit three rows back, on the same row as her! One was the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Talk about "birds of a feather". Didn't he have to pay back over £10,000 at the last scandal?

And of course already back in the Cabinet is David Laws, who had to repay £40,000.

If these people lived and worked in the real world they would have been sacked, lost their pensions and probably would have been prosecuted. Why are they so different?

Most people find it bewildering that Maria Miller was asked to pay back £45,800, but was then told by a group of fellow MPs to repay only £5,800. This committee had three lay members, but they were not allowed to vote!

This whole affair proves again how out of touch with ordinary people our MPs and Government have become. No wonder they want to stifle the newspapers.

Arthur Phillips

Minehead, Somerset

Lords don't shop for these grocery deals

The House of Lords has suggested that there is too much food waste, because of supermarkets' buy-one-get-one-free offers. What a load of rubbish. A bargain is a bargain only if you need it and most customers understand this, with some giving their family members or friends the "free" item.

The main wastage is at the end of the day, when supermarkets have to bin perishables and out-of-date provisions. It is just not the food that is wasted but all the plastic packing. There is also much wastage of canned and bottled products that have a date code that is far too short.

I was brought up in an era before date codes existed and cannot recall anybody having food poisoning. Not many noble lords can be seen in the aisles at Tesco and I am sure there are not many buy-one-get-one-free offers in Fortnum and Mason or any other stores the noble Lords frequent.

They are not in touch with the needs of ordinary shoppers and they should leave well alone.

Geoff Malham

Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

Regional ministers won't have power

I am sure the regionalists in our midst will welcome Ed Miliband's plans for a "Minister for the West Country" and devolution of powers to towns and cities.

This is Labour's New Deal for England and the proposal has been hailed as the biggest devolution of power in a century by John Cruddas, Labour's policy review co-ordinator.

The article published in the Western Daily Press (April 9) reports that Ed Miliband outlined the future for England with the certainty that either Scotland would become completely independent or get much greater devolved powers, with Wales also getting greater devolution.

He seems to miss the point that powers have been and are being devolved to Scotland and Wales as nations. All he is offering England is piecemeal "devolution" that is in no way equivalent to that enjoyed by Wales and Scotland. Labour has promised English cities more powers over transport, housing and employment. How does this equate with the devolved powers to Scotland which has control over agriculture, forestry and fisheries, education, the environment, health and social services, housing, law and order, local government, sport and the arts, tourism and economic development, transport and limited tax raising powers?

If Scotland opts to stay part of the UK the divisions of governance will become even more apparent as more and more powers are devolved, not only to Scotland but also to Wales.

Ministers for regions have been tried before, with abysmal results.

It is for an English Parliament to decide how our cities, towns, and counties are run and what powers they should have. It is not for a UK government to dictate how England should be governed.

Veronica Newman

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Scrap expenses for these greedy MPs

Would it not be a better system if all MPs were paid a salary, of say £100,000 a year and stop all expenses? It is open to abuse all the time. Let's draw a line and make them live on just their salaries.

This lot in Parliament are always looking for freebies. They think because they are elected MPs they are above the law. We all know that you do not claim expenses by mistake or in error.

David William Pilton-Slade

Salisbury, Wiltshire

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