Here is my latest column in the Grantham Journal (published 6th April 2012):
“After reading Nick Boles’ comments about the Budget, I am starting to believe that he is just as out of touch as his Cabinet Colleagues.
For starters, he says the Budget will help “deal with the country’s deficit and kick-start growth. His government has had nearly two years to kick-start growth, yet the country continues to zig zag between growth and contraction.
There are no major steps within this budget that will change that. Quite the opposite in fact.
As any economist will say, the one thing that stimulates an economy is demand. Unfortunately, this budget stifles demand at every turn. From the fuel duty rise (where is the promised duty stabiliser?) to the freeze in the pensioner allowance. From the cut in child benefit to the continued high levels of VAT. Chancellor George Osborne is taking every opportunity to play a political game with the national interest.
He can somehow afford a tax cut to 14,000 of his richest friends. Somehow he can afford £1.6bn in additional tax relief on pensions for people earning over £150,000, but is so strapped for cash that a good old Cornish Pasty will bear the brunt, along with our elderly and our young people.
For Nick Boles to show his support for this budget is not surprising. Obviously, he has nailed his colours to the mast when he was parachuted in. But his promises to represent the people of Grantham and stand up for their concerns were and still are hollow. His dismissal of genuine concerns about Grantham Hospital as “scaremongering” was patronising and out of touch with the mood of the town.
The instability in the health service that has been brought about by the Government’s ill-conceived health bill has still yet to be realised. As this bill now proceeds to royal ascent, we need our MP standing by our health services, not dismissing genuine concerns. Our MP should be fighting our corner when there is a real risk to quality care in our town, not retreating behind the decisions of the trust.
Unfortunately, I think that Nick Boles will mindlessly agree with the choices and priorities of this government without truly representing the needs of the local community”.