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Tax and spend

Some people do not realise that the Government has no money, to raise capital it has to tax us and borrow from the financial markets to spend.

At this present time the country has a national debt of approx £1.8trillion (that is one thousand billion pounds) and rising with annual borrowing costs of approx £44billion (that is one million times one million pounds) and rising to service that debt together with an annual deficit of approx £40billion to balance the Government finances.

This last figure is borrowed money and is therefore added to the national debt as appropriate.

In addition, there are tens of billions of pounds already committed of extra borrowing to fund the PPI/PFI contracts for new hospitals and schools etc and student loans which do not appear in the Government finances and are not included in the figures as previously shown.

Despite years of ‘austerity’, these figures tell me that the country’s finances are still in a ‘dark place’.

At first sight the Labour Party Manifesto seems to be giving away something for nothing to most people but looking deeper it is soon realised that the huge spending detailed will have to be funded by us, the taxpayer, and Government borrowing.

Water, energy, rail, bus, mail, broadband firms will be nationalised at a stroke, 10 per cent of company shares will be given to employees with windfall taxes taken from oil and gas producers which will increase the costs to the consumer.

All these promises will no doubt cost far more than the £80+ billion stated.

Now they have produced another ‘joker from the pack’ concerning the ladies who have suffered from pension age discrimination - this one will cost £50 billion, so that is ‘only’ £130+ billion of spending of taxpayers’ money so far!

Huge rises in taxes and Government borrowing will be needed to fund this largesse.

Much-needed business and consumer confidence will disappear, the cost of living will explode and bankruptcy will surely follow - penury for the many, hardship for the few.

On the other side, the Tory Party Manifesto details spending of £16+ billion to be spent on the NHS etc and £22billion of extra long-term spending on projects including pothole repair, electric vehicle charging points, home insulation etc which is far more manageable and economically achievable thàn Labour’s plans.

But as they have promised not to increase the rates of income tax, VAT and NICS then indirect taxes and/or Government borrowing will have to be increased to pay for this extra spending.

At present, there are signs that the economy is taking a turn for the worse.

If this happens Government revenue will reduce, the annual deficit will probably increase as will the national debt.

And with tens of billions of pounds of extra spending which will have to be borrowed and/or raised by increased taxes - probably, mainly the former - the monetary pressures will cause interest and inflation rates to rise.

It will not be long before there will be a run on the pound sterling followed by a stock market collapse.

The country would soon become bankrupt and the Government will then have to go ‘cap in hand’ to the International Monetary Fund for funding which will only be granted on acceptance by the Government of strict and onerous financial controls spread over many years.

This action would hugely affect the living standards of everyone of us. Austerity? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

This scenario is much more likely to happen under the Labour Party’s spending plans.

A strong Government is required to carry through the people’s vote for Brexit and then concentrate on the important matters that concern most of us - the alternative is further months of delay and uncertainty.

I know who I shall vote for, do you?

Bob Griffiths, Shurnhold, Melksham

Vote for change

Further to my previous letter, concerning the local Liberal party’s misleading use of a bar chart to infer an exaggerated level of support in our constituency, I have received, this week, two missives from their candidate which make use of two other bar charts in the same, forlorn, hope that the electorate will be fooled, yet again, into believing they are the party that will run second to the Tories.

The Labour vote has continued to rise in this constituency and we are now in a position to overtake the Liberals who only beat us by a mere 121 votes at the last General Election.

In addition, this time there are only three candidates standing in North Wiltshire instead of the six who previously stood.

If the anti Tory voters were to combine with those who didn’t vote last time and, instead, vote Labour this would be enough to remove the Tory candidate from office with a majority in excess of 6,000 votes.

It is a fact that 17,702 people did not vote in this constituency at the last General Election. I don’t pretend to know their reasons, but I would not be surprised if a large number of these non-voters felt that their vote would not make much of a difference to the result. I dare you all to show up, this time, cast your vote and just see what happens when a determined effort is made to make your vote count.

If people want a real change they need to stop throwing their vote away on a party that plays fast and loose with statistics and vote instead for Labour - a party that will actually bring real change to the country.

Let’s not forget that every Tory vote is a vote to privatise the NHS, ignore the issues of homelessness and the increase in the use of foodbanks – all problems that are part of the Tory war on the poor which was enthusiastically supported by Jo Swinson and the Liberals.

Christopher Phillips, Roundbarrow Close, Colerne, Chippenham

Stamp appeal

More postage stamps are used in December than all the other months in the year. We are DESPERATE for used and new postage stamps from the UK and overseas, any amount at anytime of the year is very much appreciated. We also need horizon labels, stamp collections and anything philatelic.

Primary bone cancer can occur at any age, but affects mostly children, teenagers, young adults and the elderly. Every 10 minutes somewhere in the world someone is diagnosed with primary bone cancer.

Please help us to raise awareness as well as funds just by sending in something that you would normally put into the rubbish bin.

Terri, Stamp Appeal Coordinator, Bone Cancer Research Trust, 20 Bowers Road, Benfleet, Essex,

Brexit fig leaf

I belong to no political party but am an interested observer of the current political situation.

Boris Johnson is using Brexit as a fig leaf to conceal the fact he is ignoring the global climate crisis. Bearing in mind the Tory Party dependency on Russian funding this is not surprising. Vladimir Putin’s Russia’s primary exports are oil and gas, fossil fuels. It is very interesting that Russia’s other puppet, Donald Trump, is also a climate change denier.

The link between prominent brexiteers like Nigel Lawson who also vehemently deny there is climate crisis is very informative. A big part of the pro-Brexit drive is get rid of regulation, much of it is directed at environmental legislation. They not only don’t support action on Climate Change, they want to undo the little that has been done.

Use your vote to protect your children and grandchildren’s future!

Andrew Milroy, Bellefield Crescent, Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Dodgy fact checker

I have asked Dr Murrison to explain the purposes of the fraudulent Factchecker Twitter account and the fraudulent Labour Party website set up as part of the Conservative Party election strategy. Dr Murrison has offered obfuscation and personal attack, but no explanation. In the absence of any explanation from Dr Murrison, it would appear necessary to accept the common sense understanding that these sites were set up to deliberately confuse the electorate.

Dr Murrison stated “we should be as straightforward as poss with voters”. Unfortunately this assertion needs to be treated with some scepticism given his refusal to comment upon, let alone condemn, his party strategy that has deliberately set out to confuse the electorate. Straightforwardness does not match with the fraudulent provision of false information.

What price our democracy should Dr Murrison be re-elected?

John Powell, Trowbridge

Austerity question

Question Time this week came from Wiltshire, and among the subjects talked about were the NHS being safe in any post Brexit deal, funding the NHS and income tax. These have prompted me to write.

From the outset I have to say that the Tories have never believed in the concept of the NHS, “free at the point of need”.

But even more so since the late Margaret Thatcher, and this is the bottom line, and consequently NHS privatisation has always been on Tory cards, following on from the privatisation of our Utilities in the 80’s, and privatisation of our railways by Tory PM John Major in 1992.

Secondly and very sadly, the British public are averse to paying the much higher levels of income tax necessary to fund an ever expanding National Health Service, in fact any party going into a general election stating they would raise income tax, would not get elected, and this in my view is one reason why the Tories have been kept in power since the 80s.

Tony Blair’s New Labour government 1997- 2010, continued the late Margaret Thatcher’s right wing free market deregulation, with funding of our vital services based on low income tax trickle - down economics. So Tory ministers constant diatribe on blaming the last Labour government for so-called building a huge deficit, is utter rubbish. We haven’t had a Labour government running our country since the 1970s.

The Tories are a small state low income tax party in or out of government, the Tories are obsessed with privatisation. It isn’t rocket science. One of the things we need so desperately in this country is a well educated, politically educated population then the entire Tory party and Government, would hopefully never see the light of day in this country ever again, because people would see right through them.

Instead of which we are largely a politically gullible nation neither interested in politics, or motivated by politics, unless things effect us personally, but by then it’s too late as is now.

Although Boris Johnson appears to be picking up support due to his no nonsense approach to Brexit, while we put up with more cuts to our vital services, the real issue here regarding the NHS, is not Brexit re- so called American intrusion into our NHS, it’s the full privatisation of our NHS should Boris Johnson win the next general election. As a lady in the audience pointed out, the NHS is already being privatised by stealth by the Tories.

I can neither understand or comprehend why so many people still vote Tory or indeed Mr Johnson when by now people must know what’s at stake.

It is beyond my comprehension when Tory voters are voting for these cuts, when this country is clearly awash with money. If anybody wishes to take issue with anything in my letter, they can email me at Michaelthompson533@btinternet.com

Michael Thompson, South Furzeham Road, Brixham

Desecration

It wasn’t that long ago that the staggering fact emerged that Trowbridge, our County Town, was the capital of Wiltshire’s knife crime. Now we have another incident.

I have a few issues with this case, namely that the church yard of St James’ has been an open drinking den, generally for Eastern Europeans for years now. The early hours of the morning that this was carried out must surely raise alarm bells, so taking both into account I was surprised to hear that the victim was able to stagger to our police station where officers’ were able to treat him? Could they be better employed stopping the desecration of our church yards by these drinking gangs?

A covert camera would reveal all required information and being a graveyard I can’t see anyone raising the privacy issue.

Really is time to get a grip. Drinking is heavily related to all types of crime and you won’t stop drinking from a police station.

We all know the areas concerned, but can only imagine why our otherwise fantastic police do little about it.

Mark Griffiths, Pavely Gardens, Trowbridge

Family support

We know the first 1,001 days of life are critical for a child’s development.

Experiences during pregnancy and early years play a vital role in shaping a child’s brain and can impact their health, wellbeing, learning and behaviour.

We also know that experiencing difficulties such as mental health problems during this time can make it hard for parents to form the close relationships with their children, that are so crucial for this positive development to happen.

Whilst over the past week we have heard some encouraging noises from the major political parties on greater perinatal and early years support, it is vital that these commitments are translated into meaningful action by the next Government.

This will require a transformational, fully-costed, cross-Government strategy that sets out how all families access the support they need to give their babies the best start in life.

A core component of this will be a fully-funded workforce development plan that enables well trained and competent frontline staff to provide the gold-standard of support to all families, no matter what the level of need is or where they call home. Collectively, we are deeply concerned by the 31% decline in NHS health visiting staff since 2015.

This, coupled with the increase in child caseloads for those still in the health visiting profession, means the nation’s universal support offer for families is under serious strain.

We urge the next Government to recognise and redress this through greater investment in the Healthy Child Programme. Government must also ensure that all parents who need additional help can access this through the expansion of specialist services, including community perinatal mental health services and specialised parent-infant relationship teams. On the 29th November, we asked that all party leaders dedicate this day to set out how they will meet the needs of all children, right from the start, while delivering benefits for society as a whole.

NSPCC – Peter Wanless, CEO

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