Letter from Parliament - Jim Dobbin MP
Date published: 06 February 2012
Is it complacency or just plain arrogance that’s stopping the Tory-led Government from ditching its failing economic plan? The economy has been flat-lining for some months but official figures out this week confirm that growth shrank at the end of last year. David Cameron spent time during this month travelling to Europe to lecture Europeans on Human rights and where they were going wrong with their economies. Given the gravity of the economic situation here in the U.K, he would have been better spending time here lecturing his chancellor, George Osborne, to find a plan B. It was astounding to hear Cameron giving more excuses during a recent Question Time. I’m sorry Prime-Minister, this isn’t good enough for people who have lost their jobs and can’t afford to live properly. The Government has to get a grip. By clobbering the economy with spending cuts and tax rises that go too far and too fast, the Government has left us badly exposed to the Euro-zone crisis. He should lecture his cabinet instead. Rising unemployment and a lack of growth means the Government won’t balance the books by 2015 and are set to borrow £158 billion more than planned. That will cost every family in Britain an extra £6,500. Ed Miliband is now beginning to make his mark as we see David Cameron follow his demands on Bankers’ bonuses and ethical capitalism.
Despite Cameron’s claims that the N.H.S Bill has support, every professional body representing G.P’s, Nurses, Midwives, Physiotherapists, Hospital Consultants and Radiographers has demanded the scrapping of a Bill that will kill the N.H.S. Before the last election, satisfaction levels with the N.H.S were at an all time high. The latest data on waiting times showed that 42% more patients were forced to wait longer than 18 weeks for treatment. That’s a huge increase in patients not getting care when they need it. If the Prime Minister succeeds in allowing hospitals to fill 49% of hospital beds with private patients, this is certain to get worse. The Prime minister must now listen to N.H.S patients and staff and drop this Bill putting the N.H.S and patients first.
I am calling on the Government to rethink its’ approach to Policing. Figures show the biggest fall in Police numbers in decades at the same time as crime is increasing fast. I voted against the scale of government cuts to Policing in Greater Manchester. Today’s Police numbers show the total number of Police Officers has dropped by 8,000 since the General Election. This represents the lowest number of Police Officers since 2002. The number of Community Support Officers has fallen by almost 1,000 and the number of Police staff has fallen by 8,820. These figures are released a week after the latest crime statistics showed the biggest annual increase in personal crime for over a decade- a rise of 11%, including robbery, theft and violence. This follows a 40% drop in crime during the last Labour Government. The expectation is that cuts of 20% to the Police force will lead to the loss of 16,000 Police Officers. Police forces are standing at a ‘cliff edge’ due to mounting pressures. Indications are that the Fire Services and Ambulance Services are beginning to follow the same pattern. Health and Safety and personal protection is no longer a priority for this government. The 29 millionaires who are running the country are completely out of touch with the ordinary people of this country.
I led a deputation of MPs, Charities and victims to meet Anne Milton, the Health Minister, to try and convince the Government to invest in withdrawal programmes for those addicted to tranquilisers. There are 1.5 million people who suffer from what simply is prescription addiction. We hope the Government is going to listen for this desperate plea for help.
I was able to take part in the business breakfast at Heywood Sports Village with some of our local businesses who are so crucial to our local economy. The meeting demonstrates the need for the Council and business to work together. The Private Sector and the Public Sector is supporting each other. Are you listening Mr Cameron? A good example of ‘all being in this together.’
The ‘Sod-Cutting’ Ceremony at Holy Family High School was an enjoyable event. I look forward to the building programme being completed. It looks like an exciting scheme. The pending re-development of Castleton is now at an advanced stage. I look forward to its’ progress. I had an invitation to Woodside Working Men’s Club in Middleton but had to withdraw because of the snow storm last Saturday-I hope to arrange a visit in the near future.
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