LETTER: Austerity fails to achieve its goal

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It was good to see Conservative controlled West Sussex County Council at last biting the bullet and recognising that if it is to provide high quality services, particularly to the most vulnerable in our society for social and related care, then council tax has to be increased.

A 3.95 per cent increase in council tax being necessitated by increases in demand for services in specific areas but mostly due to a swingeing cut of 20.2 per cent in Government settlement imposed by their Conservative friends in Government.

What a pity that the consistent underfunding of education in West Sussex for the last 30 plus years (a phenomena only recently recognised by our local Conservative MPs) could not have been addressed by a similar increase in council tax; as it is generations of children lost out.

How such tax increases stand with Messrs Cameron and Osborne pledges at the May 2015 election that Conservative Governments reduce taxes, is rather difficult to fathom.

Yet the Conservative Government austerity policy that is driving the cuts in funds to essential services, including those provided by local government, is not achieving its goal.

That would require a U-turn in economic policy and substantial investment in public works, social houses, roads, tidal power systems and the like in true Keynesian fashion to stimulate the overall economy; just as happened in the USA under Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Meanwhile Conservative Party friends and donors, including the ‘non doms’ and international corporations, are actively encouraged by Government fiscal policy to continue to avoid paying their fair share of tax to pay for the infrastructure, services and security that they use whilst resident in or exploiting the UK market, leaving the rest of us who have no alternative but to pay Income Tax and VAT, to pick up the increased tax bill and or worsening service provision.

L.N. PRICE

Smithbarn,

Horsham

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