Is there hope for this country?

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Are things OK for you? Like most people I’m finding it tough.

I’m seeing my standard of living going backwards.

Like many, I’m worried that if my health fails in some way the NHS might be nothing more than a safety net, guaranteeing only the most basic level of care. Like all parents I’m concerned for my children’s future. It’s almost certain they will be saddled with unmanageable debt right at the start of their working lives. That’s wrong. I’m worried too about those who say there is no hope, no other way, that things are awful but they have to be that way. That’s simply not true. This great country succeeds when we tell the truth and work together. We did it in the war and we did it afterward when we built a health service that was the envy of the world. We need to do it again. Work needs to pay. We need a living wage so that work pays enough to live on and end reliance on welfare in a real way. I’m proud that Calderdale Council is taking a lead on this. Do we really believe that we need a millionaire’s tax cut so someone on £5 million a year can be handed back another £250,000? Wouldn’t it be far better to have a mansion tax to fund a 10p tax band that should never have been removed? Do we need to take on the big six energy suppliers and end the energy rip off? Of course we do. Can this country be turned round? Will there be hope for mine or for your children? Hope that they can find work, build careers and lead fulfilling lives that aren’t destroyed by unpayable debt? Of course it can but it will be done by the many not the few. When massive corporations and the super-rich conspire to pay a lower rate of tax than the very poorest we can be sure that giving them even more won’t build a recovery that we all can share in. We need to build a nation that cares for those in need. That continues to protect the poor, the disabled and the young instead of demonising them as scroungers. We need to work to ensure that prosperity is shared by the many not just the few. Things don’t have to be this way.

Anthony John Rutherford

Finkil St

Brighouse