DON'T let anyone tell you that writing a letter can't make a difference. We were delighted to hear Gordon Brown's recent announcement about an increase in international aid and a commitment to keep up the increases.

This announcement is the result of concerted campaigning. More than 100,000 people wrote to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown urging them to increase the aid budget and start delivering on some of their promises.

Thanks to those letters and emails, more than 232 British MPs supported the campaign and the Government took action.

This decision means 14 million more people can have clean water and sanitation, two million more children can go to school and a quarter of a million infant deaths can be avoided.

It is excellent news in Britain and for people surviving on less than 60p a day it could prove a lifeline.

It shows the power we all have. So next time someone asks you to write a letter, don't hesitate, it could change the world.

Jonathan Dorsett,

Oxfam Yorkshire and Humberside campaigns officer,

Park Square East,


...SOME of the Government's spending plans announced the other day are disgraceful.

Chancellor Gordon Brown, left, wants to axe the jobs of more than 100,000 UK workers and families yet he increases aid going overseas by 9.2 per cent. He should understand that hard-working British taxpayers do not want him squandering our tax money overseas when it could be used to help British people.

Labour keeps on raising taxes and then giving billions of pounds away overseas. Dividing his spending plans (£21 billion) by the number of bureaucrats he intends to cut (104,000) means that, unless each bureaucrat is on £200,000 a year - which is a possibility under a Labour Government - then the difference has to come from somewhere else.

Will it come from a) a forest of money trees, b) the tooth fairy or c) the taxpayer?

Colin Henson,

Moorcroft Road,



Updated: 10:06 Friday, July 16, 2004