Thursday 29 September 2016

Imposing limits on cash withdrawals will only punish OAPs

Published 06/11/2015 | 02:30

Enda Kenny needs to protect elderly
Enda Kenny needs to protect elderly

I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms at the recent announcement from the Bank of Ireland, who have said that the minimum amount that can be withdrawn over the counter in their branches is €700.

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Are they not aware that this is more than three times the old age pension?

So now pensioners and other social welfare recipients will have to wait four weeks to get their money, and some of these people need this money weekly.

Recently, Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated that he had been advised by the Governor of the Central Bank that it might be necessary to deploy the Army to protect the ATMs.

Might I now suggest that Mr Kenny should call out the Army to protect not the banks, but the OAPs and others now compelled to withdraw large sums of cash.

They will now be the target of every pickpocket, bag snatcher and thief in town.

It was reported some time ago that Tánaiste Joan Burton said social welfare payments would, in the near future, not be paid by An Post but that it would be paid directly into the banks of recipients.

This country is certainly no country for old men.

Mike Mahon

Templeogue, Dublin 6W

Whose money is it anyway?

I think there is enough evidence by now that the citizens of this country are becoming victims of abusive behaviour from corporate bodies.

And this is happening under the nose of a rather complacent Government, for whom its citizens come last in their priorities.

Only a few months after the announcement by some insurance companies that they will no longer cover cars older than 15 years, we now have the Bank of Ireland issuing restrictions on withdrawals and lodgements, unless they are done through the latest in-house automated machines.

This is something which is going to create serious problems of extreme inconvenience - and above all security - for the elderly.

Saying, after facing a barrage of criticism, that they will facilitate some elderly people is not enough and, what's more infuriating is to learn that Finance Minister Michael Noonan called the BoI's new regulation "surprising and unnecessary" but was "a commercial decision by the bank".

Is Mr Noonan afraid to call actions of this kind "deplorable" or even "abuse of power" and do something about reversing such actions?

After all, shouldn't the Government have a big say in matters concerning the banks and their customers, as guarantor of same?

Apart from anything else, banks are dealing with, and exist, thanks to our money, therefore they have no right to dictate the way we have to lodge or withdraw our money.

Concetto La Malfa

Dublin 4

Real cost of legalising drugs

One of your correspondents (Irish Independent, Letters, November 5) says we should "decriminalise drug possession" as they have done in that "small Catholic country" Portugal.

There are two questions that need to be answered before any such moves should be sanctioned.

Firstly, what level of addiction will result from the legalisation and free sale of drugs?

Secondly, what will be the cost to society, the economy and the exchequer, of a perfectly legal drugs strategy?

Tony Leavy

Sutton, Dublin 13

Freedom to wear the poppy

It is a sad indictment of a supposedly 21st century pluralist Irish State that we still feel entitled to comment on the very personal decision to wear a poppy.

This is put into perspective by Ian O'Doherty's incisive observations on Conor McGregor's decision - for whatever reason, personal or professional - to wear a poppy on a recent public appearance (Irish Independent, Comment, November 5).

This is most certainly not a new phenomenon, in the 1920s and 1930s,

the wearing of the poppy and/or Armistice commemorations by the thousands of Irish survivors of the Great War were subject to violent disruption by recalcitrant republicans, or determined resistance by anti-Treatyites, including Eamon de Valera and Sean Lemass.

The people of Ireland, Catholic and Protestant, who wanted to remember fallen comrades and family members were, over subsequent decades, ostracised, harassed and intimidated into a sad silence by a bullying republican cohort determined to create a modern Irish state that was acerbically Anglophobic (in the public sphere at least).

This included members of my own family, now deceased, who were embarrassed by siblings/cousins who had served in the British forces for generations.

I clearly remember as a young boy being told to either put away the service medals of my great uncles, or go to my room if I wanted to openly study them.

Therefore, like O'Doherty, I too will wear a poppy over the next week. I will do so not simply out of familial respect, but also as a citizen of a plural society with multiple faiths and beliefs, where individual acts of respect should be honoured and not criticised.

Dr Kevin McCarthy

Kinsale, Co Cork

Don't penalise the landlords

I do not get it. A significant number of landlords have exited the letting business, presumably because they feel it is not an attractive investment. Environment Minister Alan Kelly thinks he can improve the situation by making it more unattractive for landlords.

A lot of these landlords did not become landlords by choice.

They were caught in negative equity and ended up leasing their apartment or house.

It sounds a little unfair to expect these people to now subsidise social housing in Ireland.

Fine Gael is right to stop this madness.

It took the last 50 years to give landlords the confidence that they could let their property without the interference of the Government. Mr Kelly wants to reverse this now. He will create one hell of a problem.

John Murphy

Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Religious instruction in schools

Does the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment not realise the Catholic bishops have already begun the rollout of their new Curriculum Framework in their primary schools, both north and south?

It seems to me the NCCA proposal will be both superfluous and useless in Catholic Schools.

Irish Independent

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