DEAR SIR

Re: Postal Fury
WITH regard to your front page story in Tuesday´s MDB about the new post office charges, it is not just Andratx that it is affected. We live in Porreres and have been told the same thing, so I suspect that this is being imposed across the island, if not the country.

We feel that we are being penalised because we live in the country. If we lived in a town then we could have post delivered to us no matter what name was on the letter.

We already save the Correos time and money because they do not have to make a delivery to us. They are clearly just seeing this as an easy way to make extra money with no additional work for them.

I have already written to the Spanish Consumers Association, Facua, and suggest that anyone affected by this does the same. They have an English language website that can be found at: http://www.facua.org/es/english.php

Martin Page
Porreres

DEAR SIR

TODAY'S TV News headlines feature swinging cuts for University finances. As usual in these circumstances the Government (Lord Mandelson) states blandly, without detail, that there will be no essential cuts to services and all reductions will be covered by efficiencies.

The politically naive may have thought that these efficiencies would have been achieved already. The more cynical among us see his statement as just government manure.

One enormous efficiency rarely mentioned by academics or MPs is to revise the academic year. Universities are not a waste of time but do waste a lot of time. Surprisingly both Westminster and the Universities have a similar calendar and enjoy almost as many weeks on holiday as at work which may explain why neither push for change. A typical student year has 3 terms totalling 29 weeks and therefore 23 weeks off.

On a typical 3 year degree why can't the 87 weeks teaching be done in 2 years? This would still leave a generous 2 months for holidays each year? As well as reducing the cost of a degree by up to a third the graduates would start work and paying tax one year earlier.

The students would benefit by not having to scratch around for work as I did typically at Xmas (mail delivery 3 weeks) Easter (4 weeks waiting tables) and summer (16 weeks washing dishes at Butlins). Although fun none were of any relevance to my studies but were relevant to my subsistence bank balance. I doubt if temporary jobs now are so available.

Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma