From: Stephen Jackson, Albert Road, Bexhill
In the opening presentation of the Town Forum meeting on social care (June 28), our MP produced the most sanitised tosh I have ever heard.
Where to begin? Perhaps with an ‘ageing population’, that reliable standby of the last 40 years. Huw Merriman seemed to think that by growing old we become a burden.
But let’s go back for a moment. The promise of the post-war years after the founding of the NHS was at first stifled and then snuffed out. This rejection was summed up in Margaret Thatcher’s ‘no such thing as society’. But their promised land never materialised.
The regime of privatisation and deregulation backed by tax breaks for the wealthy and big business has proven very costly. At first revenues from the sale of North Sea oil plugged the deficits, but after they dried up, it’s been swingeing cuts ever since.
The effect of all this is a damning indictment. The recent report of the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty could be describing a third world country. So, too, data published by the End Child Poverty coalition (Observer, May 17). A Gini Coefficient study shows the UK second only to the US in inequality.
Council spending on local services has fallen by 21 per cent since 2010, and yet rate support grant is being phased out.
Yet the UK is awash with money: 69 per cent of the country is owned by just 0.6 per cent of the population.
There is no progressive tax system. Indeed, Huw applauded the low rate of corporation tax and even appeared to sympathise with the tax practices of multinational corporations.
Tax evasion costs the Exchequer £120bn a year, but cuts to the civil service mean there are fewer officers dealing with the problem. Ditching our so-called nuclear deterrent would garner another £120bn.
The root of all this is political: it is not, repeat NOT, dictated by circumstances. But Huw goes along with it. Despite everything, he puts his hand up with the rest of them. Have you ever voted against the Budget, Huw?
So, the downward spiral continues. ESCC has to find some £700k in cuts, a word Huw studiously avoided.
Listening to the distressing stories of some of those present compels me to write this letter. The fact is, there is precious little help out there.]
I, myself, was a carer for five years and it drove me to the point of suicide.
Yes, Huw, I was shaking my head in disbelief. You haven’t got a clue.