Letter: Life in a poor nation - ours

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THANK you, Neal Ascherson, for recalling tax farming (5 December), the medieval way for governments that don't want to get involved. The only reason for having, ie paying for, a government is that it should govern. As things are, we shall soon be spared the expense of anything more than a Westminster agency for contacting other agencies.

The Budget clarified the message that has been coming in dribs and drabs for some time: 'We are one of the poor nations. Winter has come. We haven't any money and we're not going to do anything toward earning any. You'll have to do without.'

The Government says it is good at 'targeting need', but when it comes to contributing to a thriving society its targeting skills amazingly desert it.

D G Williams

Saxmundham, Suffolk

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