LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No future without respect and discipline Opinion Property/Sports/Opinion - popup ad by News Of The Area - Modern Media - May 18, 2023 DEAR News Of The Area, THE recent Budget had some positives, but no incentive for those that carry the nation on their shoulders. Single mums were big winners, with the old traditional family unit of Mum, Dad and the kids sliding down the gurgler. It is little wonder our youth, in parts, are out of control. The cane at school, the smack or strap at home, eating your cabbage or no sweets – all these are gone. Turning the pages of a dictionary to interpret masculinity, femininity, discipline, respect, appreciation etc is now a challenge in a changing world. The threat of the local police officer’s size 14 up your bum and the cane and discipline at school or at home was feared, but encouraged respect for authority and your elders. I also noted in the Budget another 11,000 public servants. This will bring a boost to productivity they claim. In the real world it is the absolute reverse, with more red tape and disincentive for any poor bugger silly enough to have a go. Over to council rates, with many expressing concerns at the increase in their V.G. valuations – up on average maybe 40 to 50 percent. This does not mean their rates will increase by the same percentage. The Council’s annual rate increase is (thank God) pegged to the CPI. This year it may be 3.5 percent, but Council has applied for a special increase on top. If approved, the total increase will be a whopping eight percent. They also have the power to vary the rate in the dollar for the regions – Bellingen, Urunga Dorrigo – and farmland and rural residential. Hopefully fairness will prevail. The above only applies to land valuations but townies are also billed for services water, waste, sewerage etc. Rural areas do not have these services but pay on average much higher ordinary rates. Every beef producer in the shire (there are many) have seen prices drop on average by over 50 percent in recent months plus an incredible increase in costs. Council costs would also be increasing but they have the option to cut back on officers and white utes. I have contemplated the single Dad option (as a what if) but I was informed that my wife of 58 years of faithful service will qualify for 80 percent of our assets. I am back in love and contemplating my second honeymoon. Regards, Darcey BROWNING, Bellingen Shire.