Paying the price for the USAF over here

PUBLISHED: 11:34 06 October 2006 | UPDATED: 12:02 04 May 2010

FOR those people who welcome the USAF flights buzzing and polluting our air quality when they dump tons of aviation fuel, I wonder if they thought for a moment what cargo was being transported. Perhaps human cargo en-route to a detention centre never t

FOR those people who welcome the USAF flights buzzing and polluting our air quality when they 'dump' tons of aviation fuel, I wonder if they thought for a moment what cargo was being transported.

Perhaps human cargo en-route to a detention centre never to be heard of again; perhaps weaponry to kill a few more; let's all pray one of the bomb carriers doesn't have a mishap over Ely.

Some may have fond memories of the Second World War when nylons and chewing gum were freely handed out by the American soldiers. Those days are now gone - 60 years in the past and we have an abundance of both products.

It is true, however, that there really is no such thing as a free lunch and we, the British taxpayer of 2006, are paying a fortune for those freebies of yester-year in the form of the SOFA agreement, which allows every US service member and family members to pay no council tax while here, both as active duty or indeed as a retiree staying here into old age.

Add to that no road tax for the first year, tax free petrol, no VAT on anything - shall I go on?

If you consider the free education, healthcare and social services that they can take advantage of here on a non-contributory basis, asking for a B52-free day on a Sunday should not be beyond possibilities.

EILEEN BARTON

Tennyson Place

Ely

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