Readers’ letters: February 19

Have your say

Politics: Duty level needs cutting in Budget

As a local employer and independent wine merchant, I am writing to ask for your readers’ support in helping businesses like mine all across the country convince the Chancellor to cut the punitively unfair level of duty on alcohol in next month’s Budget.

The crippling duty rises under this government mean your readers are now paying nearly 80% tax on an average priced bottle of spirits and nearly 60% on an average priced bottle of wine. That is the equivalent of around £10 on a bottle of gin or whisky and nearly £3 on a bottle of wine going straight to the Chancellor. This compares with less than 21% duty on an average priced bottle of wine in France.

Small wonder that consumers in the UK are paying the Chancellor 67% of the wine duty collected across the 28 Member States of the EU!

Why should the 30 million people who drink wine have to pay hundreds of pounds a year in sky high duty just to enjoy a glass at the end of a hard working week? The current rates of duty are unfair on them and crippling businesses like mine.

That is why today I have written to our local MPs calling on their support and to ask them to personally lobby the Chancellor, George Osborne to do what he has already done for beer and pubs in the last two years and cut the duty on wine and spirits as well in his March Budget.

I have invited the local MP to come to my store to hear my personal story and why I need their support. I would like to extend this invitation to you, as our local paper, and to any of your readers who would like to know more about this crucial issue.

We have already seen the impact a cut in beer duty in the last Budget has had on our local pubs and it is good to see so many of them thriving as a result. And it is not just pubs that stand to benefit. Independent research by EY has found that a modest 2% cut would generate more than £1 billion extra for the public finances and create almost 20,000 new jobs.

These are just some of the reasons why I am calling today for your help and support to convince the Chancellor to do the same for my business so that I can offer your readers and our local community a range of independent wines and spirits at a fair price.

Please show your support and email your MP at It is incredibly easy to do. You just need your postcode.

Philip Amps,

Amps Fine Wines of Oundle


Eyesores seem to be everywhere

What a load of rubbish Peterborough is at the moment – rubbish and road holdups

Whatever has happened to Peterborough over the last several months? Litter seems to be growing out of the grass and bushes by the ton and nothing is being done about it. The grass areas along the cycle path from Orton Malborne to Orton Longueville are a disgrace. Complaints to the council fall on deaf ears…there is rubbish everywhere you look.

If Peterborough wants to compete with the top cities of the country to attract people to live and work here then it need to clean up its act, and schools need to start teaching children that its not ok to drop their crisp packets, and empty bottles in the hedges. Other litter throwers think its ok to dump empty bottles of wine, beer cans or Red Bull on grass areas outside people’s houses, but there are no litter pickers in sight.

Has Peterborough City Council given up on litter picking, or is it something residents should do… but we pay Council Tax for that to be done don’t we? Please do something about it, and at the same time please have some heart for the train commuters who have to put up with the delays around Station Road and the Boulevard until November. It is chaos every evening.

Orton Malborne



Cameron ‘bullies the needy’

The Conservative plans to withdraw benefits from the obese, and others if they do not do what they are told is another example of the way that this Government bullies those in our society.

This Government has a default position which is to wave its finger and point at the less fortunate. The Government obviously does not care about those with weight or addiction problems; it is just ideologically driven by its contempt for those on benefits and its need to get the benefits bill down at all costs. It is doing all of this whilst being unconcerned about multi-national corporations squirrelling their money abroad.

To threaten those at the bottom of society with penury if they do not do what they are told shows the Conservative Party remains unchanged and is fixated on finding people to blame rather than helping people with their problems.

Mary Herdman

UKIP Parliamentary Candidate for Peterborough


Setting the poor against the rich

What pathetic weakness of debate aimed at populous politics shown by both Labour and Liberal Democrats as we near the next general election. Setting out to demonise the rich. Setting the poor against the rich, in this politics of envy.

Wealthy people have freedom of choice, they do not have to live in the UK and pay taxes here, by virtue of their success they can take their money and go and live anywhere in the world, including tax havens and Monaco. They have this freedom ,which possibly they have made sacrifices and worked long hours and years to obtain. By demonising them and telling them what dreadful people they are, will only hasten their departure from the UK!

Many wealthy people invest their money back into the UK from beautiful off shore islands where they retire to, creating businesses which provide employment for millions of people in the UK. Due to the encouragement towards business investment by the Conservative government, that is why we have such a successful country, with 3% growth a year and with the lowest inflation.

Labour would destroy all of this, like it did when previously in government, if it got back into power under leftie Ed Milliband.

The UK offers many opportunities for people to be successful and make money, they just need to have a good idea, apply themselves ,and work very hard towards their goal.

Margaret Randall