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People are not put first
10:00am Thursday 29th March 2012 in Letters
CONSIDERING the financial plight of this country, it would seem that both local and national governments are living in a world of their ownwhen it comes to economic management.
The Government is cutting thousands of jobs, reducing services, funding to the elderly and disabled, pension increases and cutting winter fuel allowances. It is doing all this while providing benefits for foreigners and their dependents, increasing overseas aid and EU contributions, proposingtospend£ 32billiononanew rail link from Birmingham to London, reorganising the NHS atacost ofhundreds of millions with part of the cost actually being taken away from hospitals.
Why couldn’t this money have been spent improving hospitals, services and better equipment? The excuse for the rail link is that existing services cannot cope.
Why is it then that London Midland cannot only provide more carriages, but also run more trains and cut the time taken to get to London using the existing rail network?
This economic irresponsibility is reflected at local level with Dudley Council making hundreds of redundancies, closing homes for the elderly, reducing residential care and cutting services.
It would seem, however, that they can find £5 million to replace lampposts to save an estimated £150,000 a year, which according to our calculations will take more than 30 years just to recover the cost, and also find £88 million to spend on a few thousand council houses.
Has no one asked why these properties are in such a poor condition? It would seem that at all levels of government, material considerations have priority over people.
H Smith and JF Smith Halesowen