The UK’s GDP, the most common measure for assessing a country’s wealth, is the fifth highest in the world. For our country, one of the 2.5% wealthiest on the planet, to fail so comprehensively in the war against domestic poverty is a clear sign of the failure of our political system to select a Government which cares about its people.

As the UN’ Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, Professor Philip Alston, said: “the bottom line is that much of the glue that has held British society together since the Second World War has been deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos.”

The public services and social security which was our inheritance passed down from the generation which fought to stop the Far Right in WWII are being demolished by ministers either too ignorant to realise the consequences of their actions or who simply don’t care about ordinary people. That’s how we’ve ended up with over 30% of Crawley’s children living in poverty.

For Boris Johnson to propose the UK’s wealthiest citizens should now be given a £9.6bn tax cut is simply grotesque. That is money that should have gone towards our NHS, to local schools, to more police officers, to council services, not to mention doing something about rising child poverty. Of course, Boris is running to be the Conservative Party’s new Leader, meaning everything he is currently saying is designed to appeal to Conservative Party members and not the public. Although, doesn’t that say everything you need to know about Conservative Party members.

None of us outside of the Conservative Party will get a vote on who the next Prime Minister will be, that’s the nature of party politics, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get a say. Conservative MPs will decide which two candidates go through to party members and one of those MPs is Crawley’s. So, if you feel Crawley’s interests are poorly served by MPs putting tax cuts for the rich ahead of public services and tackling poverty, why not let him know and see if he listens when he chooses our next Prime Minister?

Cllr Peter Lamb

Leader Crawley Borough Council

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