Ask whose views and ideals you want for your family

Thursday 19th March 2015 12:00 am

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I READ with interest your correspondent Bryan Podmore's letter March 12. In response, although I hold no brief for any political party,  I have to disagree with his assessment of the legacy left behind by the previous administration.  They did after all  remove responsibility for the banking sector from the Bank of England and put a rather ineffective body in its place. They also gave responsibility for interest rates to the Bank of England with a 2% inflation  target which took no account of house prices, hence the massive boom in property prices which arguably led to the unaffordability we have today.  Property is now overpriced,  outside the reach of many, with no easy solutions.  A report on the British economy produced by two German economists who came to the UK to see how the economy seemed to be doing so well said this:     'Just as private households  have been living beyond their means, so has the state. The expansion of the public sector artificially inflates GDP growth data;   it cannot continue much longer.  Judging by the fiscal deficit trend, the UK is now in a worse fiscal shape than almost any other Western country.   In the event of an economic downturn the UK now has little leeway for stimulus.'  (Daily Telegraph Business Section 23 October 2007) The date of that report was October 2007 and was headed  'UK growth is a mirage built on debt' .  We know what happened next.   While Labour were not directly responsible for the banking crash I think it fair to say that they made a significant contribution to the  financial mess that the incoming Government had to clean up.   Finally, I think it  is probably not unfair to say that the Liberal Democrats will do or say almost anything to garner votes,  but if your correspondent would prefer to believe a politician, then believe Liam Byrne, the outgoing chief secretary to the Treasury in 2010 who left the famous note  'there is no money'. Michael Green Saltash Road Callington BRYAN Podmore was right to suggest in his letter to the Times (No one government or individual is blameless) that we ask ourselves for the election: 'Whose views and ideals do I want for myself and my family?' May I suggest some more specific questions that we could also ask ourselves before we vote? l Should the poorest citizens get the living wage (calculated regularly according to cost of living factors) rather than the lower minimum wage? l Is the vast and increasing gap between the richest and the poorest in the land something we should continue to tolerate? l Are we as a country and individually well enough prepared for the change in climate that we know is coming? l With the NHS increasingly underfunded, do we really need Trident?  The Scots think we don't, are they right or wrong? l Does our single experience of coalition government suggest that it is a satisfactory alternative to government by just one party? l Is the political establishment in parliament and government performing as well as we would wish? Alan Ray-Jones Brentor

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