When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
8:00am Thursday 7th June 2012 in Letters
Sir – I refer to Mr Stableford’s letter (May 24) supporting local authority provision of caravan ‘pitches’ for gypsies and travellers (legally, these may be two distinct groups).
At the risk of inviting accusations of being racist, misogynistic or xenophobic by raising questions that challenge certain statements about ethnic minorities, I would ask Mr Stableford if he would clarify his statement referring to “the useful services within our society provided by gypsies and travellers, which can be achieved only by being able to travel from place to place, where their services are needed”.
I would ask Mr Stableford to be specific and detailed in clarifying exactly what these useful social services are.
With their peripatetic lifestyle, is it possible for tax liability to be calculated on their income and the tax to be collected on a normal basis? Also, how can regular National Insurance contributions be made and officially recorded for any meaningful social benefits and retirement pension eligibility to be calculated?
Any person who wishes to live a peripatetic lifestyle almost certainly will need to travel on public roads, which have to be funded from the public purse. We have freedom to choose our way of life — within limits of social harmony — and our choice inevitably carries certain unavoidable financial and social considerations.
J. Williams, Oxford