Paul Ray
Cllr Paul Ray

A Lichfield councillor says an update by the new Chancellor last week has not eased the “deep concern” he has for residents facing a cost of living crisis.

Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed he would remove the levy on health and social care as well as cancelling the rise in National Insurance payments as part of a raft of changes.

But Cllr Paul Ray, Lib Dem representative for the Chadsmead ward at Lichfield District Council, said local people would still face a tough winter as the cost of living crisis continues.

“Cuts in income tax will not provide significant help to the pensioners or others on low incomes in my ward.

“The cancellation of the rise in National Insurance along with the scrapping of the social care levy simply means the state of the public services we all rely on is going backwards. 

“On top of that, the Conservatives have removed the cap on bankers’ bonuses – these measures are immoral and cruel at a time of a cost of living crisis and will impact my residents severely.

“Many residents in my ward are having to make decisions between heating and eating.”

Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Ray said the Conservatives had misjudged the mood of the nation.

“For most people I talk to who are on comfortable incomes, their priority is not tax cuts but improving our decaying schools, NHS and other public services.

“We, as Liberal Democrats, believe in the value to our community of good public services and we do not hide from the fact that this would involve higher tax from higher earners and companies – we would also impose a windfall tax on the energy companies. That is just fair and plain common sense. 

“Unfortunately the Conservative Government does not believe in community and investing in our public services.

“We need a fundamental change of direction in our country. We will all have a chance to vote for that at the next General Election, which just cannot come soon enough.”

Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council
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1 year ago

The Conservatives do not really care about whether people have enough to eat and can afford to heat their homes. The Conservatives do not care about ensuring public services are fit for purpose, better to let them fail and then sell the remains to their mates. The Conservatives do not care about making life better for everyone. The Conservatives do not care about anything other than ensuring that their mates can make fat profits in the short term. 12 years they’ve been in power. 12 years. And look at the state of the country. All the Brexit benefits were a lie. The real benefits are not for you or I but for them and their mates. Free of EU oversight they can abolish regulations to ensure greater profits at our expense. If you think the Conservatives are going to make things better for you you’re either got a lucrative contract from them, lots of money, or are delusional.

Kwasi Kwarteng claims the income tax reductions are fair because tax has been reduced for everyone but they removed the 45% tax rate for people earning over £150k. The more you earn the more you benefit from the incoming tax reduction and people earning over £150k benefit a lot more than everyone else. The Conservatives want you to believe that allowing people who have already have lots of money to have more money will help people who do not have enough money. It’s absurd. They’ve refused to publish the economics forecasts for the effects of the recent announcements. Why do you think that is?

1 year ago

It’s reassuring that Paul has concerns for Lichfield constituents. I fear his concerns are well founded, and will be more than proven over the coming months. As I write, Sterling is at a record low in the lifetime of anyone under 50. This is horrendous, neglectful, and far, far worse than every other developed economy in the world…’s that bad.

Confidence in Friday’s economic plan is extremely low, with one famous Nobel Prize-winning economist stating “Liz Truss and here team are clueless”.

We have the lowest economic growth in the G7, yet have the lowest corporation tax…? If you believe Truss, low taxes create investment…’s a blatant LIE.

Our NHS is ruined, we have large amounts of the population too poor to heat their home or eat properly. We now not only have food banks but, now we also have “Warm Spaces” – HERE IN LICHFIELD!

While all of this is happening, every piece of analysis on Friday’s budget (including the Institute For Fiscal Studies) states that 99% of people in this country WILL BE WORSE OFF as a result of the changes. The only winners are those already wealthy.

While this mess unfolds, we have Rees Mogg stating “we must extract every cubic inch of gas from the “North Sea”….which runs completely at odds with its plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

I describe myself as a floating voter….I’m not 100% swayed by any one party. However, our very own MP, Michael Fabricant has voted to pump sewage into our rivers, voted to allow companies to fire and rehire (such as P&O ferries), and consistently stuck up for his party’s lies, corruption and ineptitude, whilst many of his colleagues had the integrity to call it out. Not to mention him “joking@ about rape, or sticking up for Chris Pincher.

Finally, if you think things are bad now, think again. It’s about to get a lot, lot worse.

John Allen
1 year ago

I fully agree with the last two posters. Over the last 12 years, the Tories have shown themselves to be self-serving, corrupt and incompetent. Their predecessors sold this country down the river with their dogma of privatising public services, and we have all been paying the price for this, literally. Despite his blustering claims, Boris the buffoon did not get the big calls right; in fact, none of them. We now have the prospect of having someone in power who could well qualify as the stupidest prime minister we have ever had. The Tories have always been the party of the rich and privileged, and have been showing their true colours in the last few years. I don’t think the Conservatives should ever be allowed to hold power in this country again. It is difficult to imagine almost any party doing a worse job of running the country. But will enough people in this constituency wake up and smell the coffee, and kick Fabricant and his camp followers out in the next election?

1 year ago

I REALLY hope so, @John Allen.

I’ve noticed on Twitter, there’s possibly a protest on Sat in many cities across the U.K. – Lichfield might be added by the look of it. To be honest – I am amazed it has taken this long.

1 year ago

There are a number of Conservative MP’s already trying to work out how to get rid of Liz Truss.

For anyone with a fixed rate mortgage ending in the next couple of years. The interest rate increase will really hurt them. I am in that group.

Even Mr F might be in trouble, as voters start to feel the pain of what has just happened. For those renting, landlords are likely to hike rents. Locally, it will impact us dramatically. The council have based all of their plans on an unlimited housebuilding strategy.

1 year ago

Who will come out of hiding first? Our disastrous MP or our disastruss PM?