Election 2010 – Coleby

A quiet drink in the Tempest where I met some of the locals.  We discussed economy, no surprise there, wages and NHS and cuts.  On the economy we talked about how taxation is skewed in favour of the super rich.  We discussed the Liberal Democrats policy of making the first £10,000 of your income tax free.  I pointed out that this would be paid for by closing tax loopholes and mansion tax.  Next came the topic that had been raised following the publishing of the Incomes Data Services report on Chief Executives salary.  One young man thought I was on £150,000 a year and I explained my salary was not a third of that as a nurse, in fact it was less than £40,000.  His father a retired nurse pointed out that was the truth and Robert said he was grateful to hear a politician speaking the truth.  I have long said; it is now part of Liberal Democrat ethos that all staff in the NHS should get an annual rise of the same financial amount.  So that if the figure was £500 this year, a nurse would see their salary rise by around 2.5% and a Chief Executive by about 0.33%.  As I explained in the Tempest this is a much fairer system, because the loaf of bread in the shop cost about £1 whether you are a nurse or the Chief Executive.  Next we moved on to the cuts and I explained that whichever party forms the next government there will be cuts.  Asked where I would make cuts I pointed out that I would start with the Strategic Health Authorities explaining that it was unlikely this would lead to job losses in Sleaford and North Hykeham but it would result in a major saving in the NHS.  The locals agreed with me that the cuts had to be where it would not affect local services.

Election 2010 – health

I am disgusted to hear that Labour have put out a leaflet targeting people with cancer.  As a parent who lost his son to cancer to have recieved a leaflet suggesting that access to services would be scrapped under another party would have been painful to say the least.  If my son had still be alive with cancer it would have been soul destroying.  I can fully understand how many if not most of the 250,000 women felt when the leaflet fell through their letterbox.  What worries me is why and how were these quarter of a million women choosen?  Have Labour accessed the NHS database for their own political gain?  For familes blighted by cancer and other long term and terminal illnesses the fear of not getting access to services only adds to the stress or caring for a loved one.  Gordon Brown should publically apologise and who ever was behind the leaflet be sacked.

At a time when everyone is being told and knows that there will be cuts why are Chief executive pay increases more than double the rate of nurses pay last year.  It is a clear slap in the face to NHS staff and unfair.   Norman Lamb said “This is totally unacceptable. There is simply no justification for chief executives to receive pay increases that are far larger than those for frontline nursing staff.”  In this time of economic crisis the fairest way would have been for all staff to get the same real money amount.  If every NHS employee got £500 rise a nurse on £20,000 would get 2.5% whilst the Chief Executive on £150,000 would get 0.33%  but both would have £500 with which to buy their bread, milk or use towards their utility bill.

The NHS is a jewel in the British crown and we have to look after it.  After all a healthy nation is a nation that can work.  A working nation pays taxes, whcih can be used to clear the debts caused by the bankers and Labour.

Election 2010 – Fair taxes for all

Is it fair that the richest are paying 20% less in taxes whilist the poorest are paying 20% more?  Clearly not.  Yet this is the situation that has arisen since Labour came to power in 1997.  After 13 years of Labour the poorest people in Britain are paying 20% more in taxation whilst the richest people are paying 20% less.  As a Liberal Democrat I believe in fairness and taxation in this country currently is blatantly not fair.   We need to rebalance Labour’s unfair tax system and put money back into the pockets of hardworking people. The people who keep this country going the teachers, firemen/women, police officers, nurses, factory workers, rubbish collectors, road sweeps, all the unsung hard working people who day in and day out go to work.  For the millions of these people who are on low and middle incomes the Liberal Democrats would do this by raising the personal allowance to £10,000.  This would give £700 a year to the hard working man and woman on the low and middle incomes.  It would be real money into their pockets.  Money they can spend on their families, on themselves, on living.

How would we pay for this?  It would be paid for by closing loopholes that unfairly benefit those at the top, a crackdown on tax avoidance by both individuals and multi national companies, a new mansion tax and higher aviation duties.  So that the richest in society pay more and the poorest pay less proportionally.  This, to me, is fair because a loaf of bread costs the same whether you are very rich or a working family.  There is no reason why those on low and middle incomes should be expected to go without the basics in life.

Labour are going to promise not to increase income tax in their manifesto but will make no similar pledge on VAT.  So again it would be the poorest who would loose out.

The Conservatives tax plans will benefit the richest people so continuing the last 13 years taxation divide and making the working man/woman poorer whilst their rich backers continue to get richer.

Only the Liberal Democrats have said that they will put money into the pockets of those on low and middle incomes – real money – £700.