Regarding Jim Gibbons' column in last week's issue (online, 26-09-21).

He should face up to the real reason for a housing crisis — land hoarded by developers and not being built on, property hoarded by overseas investors with no intention of living in it and housing supply deliberately kept short to ensure the price grows ever further away from young people without access to inherited wealth.

Instead he chooses to attack people who are unable to work through no fault of their own, or who can work but don’t have the physical capacity to do things like picking crops, or who are looking after young children and can’t be away from home all week driving an HGV lorry.

Many people on benefits are actually in work, but low paid insecure work.

As for the desperate people who are trying to cross the channel in boats, they aren’t coming here for benefits or free NHS care, (neither of which they will get if their claim for asylum is invalid) — they are fleeing war-torn countries and have no choice but to leave — their lives are in danger if they remain.

If their asylum claim is accepted, they want to work and contribute to this country, many are professionals like doctors, lawyers and teachers.

This country isn’t full — but we do have an ageing population.

We need more people of working age, not fewer — we need them working and paying tax to fund the NHS, pay state pensions and support local infrastructure.

READ AGAIN: Challenging the 'small-minded, pale, male and stale' viewpoints

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