Sunday, 3 October 2010

Letter to the paper

Over the last few months I have been involved in a string of letters in the local newspaper with two Labour Party members. Well I have had two replies. Here is my latest letter.

Thanks to Simon Rudd (letters 29th October) for his reply to my letter and thanks for calling us by our correct title, Liberal Democrats. To answer his questions, the Office for National Statistics does tell us there is a £4 trillion debt and this figure includes £770 billion of unfunded public sector pensions. The ONC report suggests that this amount should be included in the total debt and I agree that this figure should be acknowledged. However there are not many people who can relate to figures in trillions so it may be easier to understand that it costs £118 million per day to pay off the interest on the debt, more than we spend on the army, the navy and the air force – the whole of our defence. It's a ridiculous, unsustainable amount.

Headlines are much easier to appreciate and pensions should be considered in the total amount of debt because it is a debt. However the gap between rich and poor is much more concerning than how we look at figures concerning debt. The last Labour government managed to increase this gap and they had no coalition partner to appease.

I don’t know Simon, a member of the Morecambe Labour Party, but he may have been to the Labour conference last week. I heard no division among the speakers there. In fact I heard no debate. The only division I noticed was between the Miliband brothers. David left the conference early but he did speak about his dedication to his South Shields constituents from the comfort of his London home. In closing the conference Harriet Harrman made jokes about the union’s block vote. I don’t think David was laughing.

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