Nick Herbert MP ‘should provide answers’

THE RECENT column by Nick Herbert (County Times, South Downs edition, December 1), Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, regarding the tough decisions that have been taken asks more questions than it answers.

For example, does he really believe that the savage cuts to our public services making 700,000 people redundant has had no effect on the level of demand in the economy thus leading to poor economic performance?

Why did he not point out that growth forecasts for 2011 in Germany is 2.9, in France it is 1.6 as is the European average, far above the 0.7 in the UK? (Real GDP growth rates).

If he is concerned about raising interest rates, why did he not mention that UK borrowing would be £5bn more this year than originally forecast, £19bn higher next year and £30bn higher in 2013-14 due to reduced income tax and more expenditure on benefits as a result of much higher unemployment and the possible impact on the UK’s credit rating?

Why did he not mention that the Government spending of £30bn on infrastructure projects is partially funded by a reduction in tax credit and thereby pushing 100,000 children into poverty?

This is in addition to the 300,000 that the Institute for Fiscal Studies already expects to join the numbers of poor children from his Government’s previous cuts.

Why does he not mention that the Government is spending £7bn to provide a 40 per cent pension tax relief on higher incomes while the rest of us get only 20 per cent of tax relief?

Why does his Government take the tough decision to stop properties worth over £1m changing hands while avoiding all their five per cent stamp duty by using offshore company accounts?

Why does he say nothing about tax avoidance and evasion? Another 12,000 tax collectors are losing their jobs while some £25bn is evaded and £70bn avoided.

In my view, Mr Herbert should provide answers to these questions so that his constituents can make their own mind up about the policies that he is supporting every day in Parliament in our name.

TERENCE BERMINGHAM

Lordings Lane, Pulborough