MAURICE VASSIE says we should be proud of our overseas monetary aid (Letters, November 21).

Well, I should be really proud of our help to other countries provided all our people had a decent home, enough to eat without having to resort to charitable food stores, could afford to pay for heating and the sick were given all the medical treatment they needed without having to fight for it or raise money for overseas treatment.

Not to denigrate charities, who do a wonderful job – but if, as we’re told, we are one of the richest countries, why do we need charities? It’s appalling.

On the other hand, it seems that whatever anyone wants or needs is unaffordable.

Every company, especially the energy ones, seem to have carte blanche to do what they like with prices, councils increase their taxes so that just living a decent existence becomes too difficult for many.

Deal with the starvation and deprivation in this country, then give handouts to others.

Once that’s been sorted, then and only then will I feel pride in what we can do for others, no matter how sympathetic I am to their problems.

Janet S Kitchen-Cooper, Ashley Park Road, York.