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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 24 July 2008
It’s unrealistic to call for wage restraint as prices rise

• AS John Mills says, financial services have boomed over the years and it’s been at the expense of manufacturing jobs – the bedrock of any society (Time for hard choices as reality catches up with us, July 17).
It’s a bit naïve to think that bankers and financiers would do anything other than expand as much as they are able to.
But increasing industrial output in order to export more is wrong. We should be producing goods primarily to satisfy the needs of people in this country. In other words, to make Britain as self-reliant as possible. This should be the aim of every country.
There are certain goods which it is justified to import, such as rubber, coffee, cotton, etc. And it is necessary to export certain products that other countries haven’t got in order to pay for them.
But why are we importing so much, especially from places like China, when people in this country are quite capable of making those same goods here?
Apart from anything else, there is the environmental impact of all the transportation necessary, often over long distances.
Employers will argue that costs, of which wages are by far the largest, have to be reduced to “somewhere near the world average”! Like those in the Third World?
It is unrealistic to expect wage earners and trade unionists to be restrained where wages are concerned when prices are constantly rising. What sacrifices are the employers going to make?
According to the recent official revenue and customs’ estimate, tax avoidance has now reached £41billion a year; corporation tax has fallen dramatically, as has capital gains tax. Why should we at the bottom bear the brunt of the present economic difficulties?
Brecknock Road, N19

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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