IoS letters, emails & online postings (3 November 2013)

Thank you for exposing the scandal of power giants using a loophole to drive down their tax bills ("The other energy scandal: tax avoidance", 27 October). As a recent pensioner, I am happy to pay tax on my income, just as when I was employed. But it is reasonable to expect that everyone else, including huge companies who make large profits from their UK operations, also pay tax. Please sort out this scandalous state of affairs, Mr Osborne.

Linda Menzies


Joan Smith rightly dismisses Russell Brand's political posturing ("Spare us the vacuous talk ", 27 October). Proudly declaring that he doesn't vote, and encouraging others to do likewise, is profoundly irresponsible. Celebrating cynicism benefits no one and insults those who died to preserve our precious right to peacefully change society through the ballot box. The young deserve better leadership.

Stan Labovitch

Windsor, Berkshire

In the aftermath of all this revolution will you, Mr Brand, hang about the decimated streets of our towns and cities to help sweep up the destruction of homes and livelihoods? Or will you be jetting home to your Hollywood Hills mansion?

Angela Jenner

Macclesfield, Cheshire

Jane Merrick is correct in highlighting the apathy that exists in young voters ("Young voters are bolder than Brand", 27 October). However, the way we cast our votes is archaic. It is time to introduce internet voting. Yes there would be security issues but there would, I think, be a surge in voting. Times have changed – simple as that.

Tony Webb


I live part-time in a small Andalucian village in Spain where quite a few of my neighbours are "gypsies", ("Grim history of the Roma is no fairy tale", 27 October) who work, worship, and live in houses alongside the other inhabitants. As in the rest of Spain, the Roma have integrated. There are some in the cities who operate in the drugs and crime world, just as the non-Roma do. And their traditions, particularly their love of Flamenco music and dancing, are celebrated worldwide. What is happening elsewhere in Europe is the obvious result of marginalisation and exclusion, and the shameful scapegoating by individuals and governments for their own interests.

Mo McIntyre

Hove, East Sussex

Sue Lewis criticises the "middle class value judgments" of those who campaign against payday loan companies.("Payday loans defended by new consumer champion", 27 October).

She says that bank charges on overdrafts and unpaid credit card bills are a bigger problem.

In a recent study, we found that many very low-income households tended not to have credit cards or bank accounts. They used high-cost credit providers – doorstep lenders, rent-to-own companies, catalogues and payday loans. To tackle the problems faced by people on very low incomes, as well as wealthier people who take on too much credit, it is vital that there is much tighter regulation of all high-cost credit.

Professor Sarah Banks

School of Applied Social Sciences Durham University, Durham

We don't have to buy "two for one" just because they're offered to us ("Let's check out of this supermarket swizz", 27 October). I don't like wasting food so I don't buy more than I need. It isn't rocket science! (Pun intended.)

Sara Neill,

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

According to my 2013 Whitaker's Almanack, Birmingham has a population of 1,073,000, compared to Glasgow's 592,800. So it is not being anti-Scottish to call Birmingham Britain's second city (Letters, 27 October).

Tim Mickleburgh,

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Stephen Brenkley lists 12 English captains to have won the Ashes in Australia ("Cook faces toughest test", 27 October). Surely he forgets one of the best: Raymond Illingworth. He is still alive and well and has not been subject to any of the unusual ends of other captains listed.

Peter Brookes


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