Politically Correct by Jack Croysdil - November 4, 2015

Jack Croysdill, chairman of the Blackpool North and Cleveleys Labour Party.
Jack Croysdill, chairman of the Blackpool North and Cleveleys Labour Party.
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Austerity is more to do with right wing dogma

Austerity continues to hurt working people, as usual particularly the low paid.

The Government continually says ‘by raising tax thresholds many low paid workers will not pay income tax’. 

They seem to have conveniently forgotten the rise in VAT which wasn’t in any manifesto. That was increased to 20 per cent.  

Now with the Working Tax Credit cut, it means some eight million workers will be hit extremely hard. The insurance tax increase in the budget also added a burden.

Looking at the whole picture, the new tax threshold will not reduce overall tax.

Remember, tax is tax no matter what word precedes it. To infer otherwise is just a con.

Since the election in May nothing has been done regarding zero hours contracts.

Those employed in that way have few employment rights, yet the Prime Minister has said many people who don’t want full time work prefer such contracts. He is mistaken.

I find it’s more a matter of having no choice, for there is a big difference between part time work, which some people prefer due to commitments, and zero hours contracts.

I have looked at the situation as it was in 1945 compared to the recent situation caused by the bankers crisis. 

It is clear that in real terms the War debt was far greater.

It was not settled until Gordon Brown was chancellor some 60 years later. 

The incoming Labour government after the Second World War did wonderful things to improve the lot of the majority, including bringing in the NHS and building more post-war homes and schools.

Despite the austerity measures, David Cameron’s government finds it surprisingly easy to fund large amounts of money for projects costing billions that they deem important.

However looking at the whole picture I believe this austerity programme has more to do with right wing political dogma than anything else.

Cuts are hurting services

Hospitals are closing wards in an effort to save money, many are heading towards a severe funding crisis, and this is a worrying situation as winter approaches.

The Government announced in 2014 that it required the NHS to find £30bn of efficiency savings by 2020.

This seems impracticable particularly as for some time there has been a four per cent annual increase in demand, fuelled by an ageing population, advances in medicine, and an increase in long term conditions such as diabetes, and breathing problems.

Clearly the target of £30bn is failing because it is unrealistic. The NHS reforms cost a great deal of money which should have been spent on staff and patient care.

Constructive criticism by the BMA and other health care bodies was totally ignored.

The police are also under immense pressure.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has said: “We have still got to identify further cuts which will mean losing more officers and staff”.

His concerns are echoed by other forces and chief constables. Law and order are the basis of a democracy. Can we only afford to run a skeleton police service?

Local councils also have to deal with a funding crisis.

These are government enforced cuts passed onto local councils, who are compelled to manage with greatly reduced funding.

Blackpool Council has lost a total of £93m in cuts in the last five years.

Local government is forced to make cuts which are hurting both adult and children’s services and many worthy local charities, who work in the community and normally receive some council help.

We should lay the blame firmly on central government.

It is their policy that is harming local services.

Wind energy is the cheapest

We need electricity in seemingly ever increasing amounts.

How do we supply this need without continuing to damage the environment is the big question?

The only truly clean way is to increase renewable energy sources for they do not produce carbon emissions.

Harnessing power from wind, water and the sun are clearly the only sources which will both protect the environment and supply the energy we need.

The number of on shore wind farms have increased dramatically in recent years.

With improved facilities and a decrease in building costs and thanks to new developments, they are now significantly cheaper to build, coupled with the extra efficiency that has been developed.

New figures show the cost of energy produced by onshore wind power farms is now the cheapest form of energy produced in Britain.

Despite this the Government has stopped subsidies for new wind farms.