Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 22nd September 2021

Rising energy costs, a National Insurance tax hike, a £20 per week cut for struggling families, and shortages on supermarket shelves are just the latest in the long series of problems inflicted upon the country through decisions of a Government prioritising a ‘culture war’ over the real need and issues facing households in Britain.

None of these problems were inevitable and any one of them issues under any previous Government would have provoked a national outcry. Yet, it appears that in Britain today no matter how much wrong Mr Johnson does, Mr Johnson can do no wrong in the eyes of Conservative voters.

Where does that leave Crawley? Since the last General Election we have gone from the densest centre of employment in the country, to suffering the worst job losses and with councils’ incomes now so heavily connected to the economic performance of their area, local public services are being starved of funding exactly when our communities need them most.

With so many households already close to breaking point, it is any wonder that we are seeing a huge increase in crime and antisocial behaviour tearing at the heart of our community and putting residents at risk?

Yet, for all the talk of ‘building back better’ and ‘levelling up’, Crawley as the country’s hardest hit economy is to receive no Government support for rebuilding and even existing funding is threatened by the Comprehensive Spending Review. We are a town held in contempt by our own Government.

This isn’t rocket science. Funding for regeneration should be focused on those communities which need it most, rather than seats the Conservatives hope to win at the next General Election. Families in poverty should no longer be the target of Government cuts, nor should the tax burden rest upon those with lower incomes, instead we should return to a tax system based upon what people earn and use the money generated to rebuild our fractured public services.

The question is, after eleven years of this nonsense does anyone really believe that our Conservative Government is going to have a change of heart now?

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