Wokingham Today

The real consequenc­es of austerity


I was interested to read the letter from Stephen Newton in your issue of March 15 where he labelled the Labour Party as elitist for having the temerity to condemn the fact that Councillor­s voted themselves a pay increase and a £100 car parking allowance while the rest of us suffer the effects of austerity.

To me his article misses the point which is austerity. The consequenc­es of which have been:

The reduction of real wages which are now lower than they were in 2010 with the Office for Budget Responsibi­lity saying that “earnings growth over the next five years is expected to remain subdued”.

Reduction in the growth of our economy. Last year growth in the

U.K. was the lowest in the G7 group of wealthy countries and the slowest since 2012.

Slashing of public sector budgets which has plunged our public services into crisis from the NHS to our schools.

Reduction of funding to Local Government which has seen essential services cut.

An increase in the number of people using food banks and rising homelessne­ss.

It is hardly surprising that he wouldn’t want to address the issue of austerity given that it was his party working in concert with the Conservati­ves who inflicted the policy on the UK.

Rather than labelling everyone else as elitist maybe Stephen could spend some time on doorsteps listening to the issues which the people of Wokingham have as a result of austerity and explaining why his party colluded with the Conservati­ves to make us all poorer, to limit the growth of our economy, to wreck our essential public services, and to help create a UK which is now more unequal. That’s the real Lib Dem legacy to the people of Wokingham and the rest of this country. James Reid, via email

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