I read with incredulity Coun Stephen Garner’s letter in the Chad of the 9th July 2014. I respond as someone who has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years and been a director of my own firm for nearly 10 years.
Coun Garner, who is a county as well as district Councillor, declares himself “to be an avid reader of financial strategies and business plans” I find his lack of even basic knowledge of economics, recent history and public finances very worrying.
Coun Garner repeats the Tory lie that “Labour mismanagement caused the crash of the British economy and the austerity which we suffer today.”
Firstly, I must inform Coun Garner that it is widely acknowledged among respected economists and financial commentators that the crash was caused by the reckless behaviour of banks and bankers, culminating into the collapse and rescue of banks in the US. This then spread throughout the global banking sector as more reckless banking behaviour was discovered especially in the UK.What has the Tory-led government done to resolve the underlying problem of the reckless “too big to fail” banks? Very little; hardly surprising given that the sector is a big funder of the Tory Party. In fact government policy has made another crash more likely.
The recent government’s “Help to Buy” scheme is creating another property speculation bubble, especially in the South East, a bust or downturn in the property market is therefore more likely to follow.
Secondly, Coun Garner must surely be aware that austerity is a policy choice of the Tory-led government. Government has a role in raising and collecting taxes not just in prioritising and spending the money it collects. By cutting taxes for millionaires whilst seeing queues growing at food banks, this government has shown where its true priorities lie. “We are all in this together” is a Tory lie. The poorest and most vulnerable in our society are being made victims and scapegoats by those who could afford to contribute more but refuse to do so. I find such policies sickening.
It’s about time Coun Garner and his colleagues in the “Mansfield Independent Forum” come clean and declare openly that they are right wing Thatcherites rather than pretending that they are all things to all voters just to get elected.
Hiding behind the facade of being “independent” is doing local government and local democracy a disservice. Time for the “Indies” to return to their Tory or UKIP ideological home and stop trying to con the voters of Mansfield.
Mark Fretwell B.A.(Hons), DipPFS, CeMAP
Director, Maxim Financial Consultants Ltd
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