Shocking news (not) at the weekend was that the government has been told it will cost much more than first thought to “level up” the country.
Shocking statistics have shown that for every step forward in what are deemed to be “poorer” areas of the country, further investment has taken place in more affluent areas to offset it. This will, presumably, be a repeating cycle until the residents of Kensington and Chelsea run out of money. Of course, if the government has to keep increasing the tax take to pay for all this spending, that may be sooner than they think.
In terms of improving intrastructure and job creation, £1bn no longer goes very far and a lot more than a new by-pass or spruced-up park is going to be needed to turn some places into desirable areas. Former Red Wall seats – make no mistake, this is purely an attempted vote rigging exercise – have a certain charm BECAUSE they are former industrial hubs, not despite it.
The Laffer curve dictates that there is only a certain amount that can be levied from the wealthier elements of society before those elements up and off and take their fortunes offshore, meaning the tax take diminishes. This leaves the government needing to continue to find money from other sources – petrol/diesel for instance. This heinous assault on the cost of transport is having knock-on effects on the universal cost of living but is felt most by those with less disposable income.
In my hometown of Dudley, in the birthplace of the industrial revolution, we are getting a new bus station and a tram link as part of our “levelling up”. But ask around and people will tell you that they would much rather have the government attach less tax allowing them affordable fuel for their cars than provide a shiny new tram. It’s all fur coat and no knickers.
Martin Day – Party Secretary