Thursday, 11 December 2014

Hospice and businesses cheered by new budget

Letter to the Canterbury and Whitstable Times:

Dear Editor,

Julian Brazier, commenting on changes to stamp duty, business rates and other measures contained in the autumn statement says that:

“…the deficit is coming down faster than people expected. We are therefore able to afford these measures…”  (‘Hospice and businesses cheered by new budget’, Times, 10/12/14)

He is either being deliberately misleading or being terribly naive. George Osborne himself expected to eliminate the deficit by 2015. He said so. Indeed, he asked us to judge him on it. Less than half has been eliminated: 4.5 out of 10 wasn’t a great score when I was at school.

In the same way the George Osborne is trying to convince us that recovering £400m of the £100 billion of tax-avoidance by the super rich companies is a worthy achievement, the key reason that he can ‘afford’ these changes is because there is an election in 6 months time.

Brazier pronounces himself ‘delighted’ with the autumn statement. I doubt whether many of his colleagues at local councils across the county will be so delighted when they have to implement the next round of Lib Dem / Tory cuts threatened to be so draconian that public spending, as a proportion of GDP, could fall to its lowest level since the 1930’s, possibly involving the loss of a million public sector jobs by 2020. Neither will all those, often amongst the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities, who depend on them.

Stuart Jeffery
Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Canterbury and Whitstable

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