PM vis­its the Courier of­fices

Halifax Courier - - Yourcourier - By Jon Cron­shaw

The Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron hit out at Labour for the fi­nan­cial state of Calderdale Royal Hos­pi­tal dur­ing a visit to the Hal­i­fax Courier of­fices this week. Mr Cameron crit­i­cised Labour for drawing up the deal to build a £64 mil­lion hos­pi­tal build­ing un­der the Pri­vate Fi­nance Ini­tia­tive (PFI) which will even­tu­ally cost the tax­payer £774 mil­lion.

“Labour should hang their heads in shame when they re­mem­ber this PFI deal done un­der their gov­ern­ment,” he said.

“Af­ter the elec­tion we want to do what we’ve done with other hos­pi­tals, which is sort out the PFI mess and fi­nan­cial mess that they’re in.

“I want peo­ple to know that Calderdale Royal Hos­pi­tal is go­ing to pro­vide great ser­vices,” he said.

“We’re see­ing a growth in pop­u­la­tion of peo­ple us­ing our hosi­tals and us­ing our A&E.

“We want to see the im­prove­ments in pri­mary care - so we will have this seven day ac­cess to GP surg­eries from eight in the morn­ing to eight in the evening for ev­ery­one by the end of 2020.”

Philip Al­lott, Con­ser­va­tive PPC for Hal­i­fax, added that both he and Mr Cameron were keen to keep the A&E in Hal­i­fax.

Mr Al­lott said: “What Mr Cameron has agreed is to guar­an­tee our A&E - he’s adamant in back­ing me up.

“We will not close the A&E,” he said. “We can re­struc­ture and re­bal­ance the debt, and Mr Cameron has given me the green-light if we get a Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment to un­der­write the debt.

“By re­struc­tur­ing the debt we can bring the trust back from the red into the black.

“The Prime Min­is­ter has ruled-out the clo­sure of the A&E.

“So all the ban­ners around Hal­i­fax that say ‘David Cameron: hands off our A&E’ can be taken down. My mes­sage to Andy Burn­ham (Labour’s Shadow Health Sec­re­tary) is take those ban­ners down.

“The A&E’s not closing and we’re go­ing to keep fight­ing for Hal­i­fax,” he said.

Dur­ing his in­ter­view, Mr Cameron also re­sponded to Labour’s ac­cu­sa­tion that the Con­ser­va­tives have made life more dif­fi­cult for those living in poverty, in­clud­ing the rise in food bank use, wel­fare cuts and sanc­tions and the Bed­room Tax.

Mr Cameron said: “We’ve taken three mil­lion of the poor­est peo­ple out of in­come tax al­to­gether; we’ve seen the first real-terms rise in the min­i­mum wage; we’ve cut taxes for work­ing fami- lies; we’ve put in place ex­tra child­care to help peo­ple back to work; we’ve had the Work Pro­gramme which has been the big­gest back-to-work pro­gramme in the coun­try’s his­tory.

“It was Labour which crashed the econ­omy - it was the poor­est who were hit the hard­est, work­ing peo­ple lost their jobs and I’m fed-up with hear­ing the lec­tures, frankly.

“The elec­tion’s go­ing to come down to choice of who do you want to run the econ­omy, who do you want to run the coun­try.

“This is not a mo­ment for protest or mes­sage send­ing - it’s a mo­ment for de­ci­sion mak­ing.

“Vot­ing for UKIP will let in Labour which will put an end to the re­cov­ery and be a dis­as­ter for Hal­i­fax and the rest of the coun­try.”

Mr Cameron was on the cam­paign trail with Mr Al­lott with only a fort­night to go un­til the elec­tion.

Hal­i­fax has been tar­geted by the Con­ser­va­tive Party as a key mar­ginal seat.

David Cameron and edi­tor John Ke­nealy at the Courier of­fices

Mr Cameron also vis­ited De­sign and Dis­play, Low­field, El­land

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