Monday, 28 June 2010

Comment on Con-Lib budget

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has condemned the first budget from the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, which include massive cuts in public spending and benefits, and will increase in VAT from January.

We are worried that the acceleration of deep spending cuts by the Government could damage the fragile economic recovery, making the situation much, much worse.

We have also rubbished claims from the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat allies that the budget was in some way “progressive” and “fair,” which is borne out by a study from The Institute for Fiscal Studies. This shows the cuts “will hit Britain’s poorest families six times harder than the richest.”

The cuts will fall hardest on poorer households who are more likely to be dependent on public services and benefits, which we consider unacceptable. They could also be among the thousands of people who will lose their jobs.

We believe it is simply not right for people on lower incomes to pay the price for the economic problems, much of which was caused by the recent excesses of the bankers.

We have condemned the planned VAT rise. This is an unfair and regressive tax, which is also likely to disproportionately punish the less-well-off.

MK is especially appalled at the Liberal Democrats for going along with the VAT rise. Not so long ago, they were out on the campaign trail telling one and all in Cornwall that only they could stop the Conservatives, even campaigning against the ‘Tory VAT bombshell …’ (see above).

And yet here they are, only weeks later, lining up with the Conservatives to help impose their VAT bombshell.

MK has also repeated its calls for a radical overhaul of the taxation system.

It is our belief that fair taxes should play a greater part in reducing the deficit and paying for public services. Poorer families should pay less tax. Direct taxes such as VAT and council tax, which fall hardest on the less-well-off, should be reduced, while high earners should pay their fair share.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat budget fails to address the inequality of taxation, even choosing to increase VAT. It also fails to address the scandal of tax avoidance and tax evasion, which is costing the Treasury many billions each year.

Mebyon Kernow considers it is unacceptable that the Government seeks to punish ordinary families and the less-well-off, while allowing wealthy people and their tax accountants to cheat the system.

We are also angry that the Government is not addressing the historic underfunding of Cornwall.
During the General Election, there was widespread political support for MK’s call for a Commission to investigate the full extent of Government under-funding of Cornwall.

I understand that the three Lib Dem MPs have tabled an Early Day Motion which “calls on the Government to set up an independent funding commission similar to the Holtham Commission in Wales to examine the level of under-funding of Cornish services.”

It is nice to see them following up on an MK policy but this inadequate. With three Conservative and three Liberal Democrat MPs in the administration, it is shocking that we have heard nothing from Cameron or Clegg, Osborne or Cable on this matter.

We must question the commitment of these Government ministers to fair funding for Cornwall and I challenge all Cornish MPs to make the Commission a reality.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

MK has a new councillor

I am delighted to be able to report that Mebyon Kernow - the Party for Cornwall has a new councillor.

Stephen Richardson (above) today won a seat on Illogan Parish Council. In a straight fight with a Labour Candidate, Stephen polled 187 votes. His opponent, Steve Richards, managed 77 votes. A great result - well done to Stephen and the team!


Tonight, I attended the Annual General Meeting of the ClayTAWC centre in St Dennis of which I am a board member. Otherwise known as the Clay Area Training and Work Centre, ClayTAWC assists residents in training, education and working towards employment. It hosts courses and activities, which range from computer training to keep fit classes.

ClayTAWC is open, not only to those people on a course or participating in activities, but to those who want to pop in for a coffee, a chat and to find out what’s going on in the local area.

The centre opened its doors on 29 July 2000 and its 10th anniversary will be celebrated with an open day on Saturday 31 July. And as the newly-elected Acting Chairman of ClayTAWC, I would invite one and all to attend.

Pen Y Fan

Once again, I must apologise for not having blogged for a number of weeks.

I did have a week off in the Brecon Beacons. It was certainly good to manage a post-election break and my wife and I even staggered to the top of Pen Y Fan (see above).

Since I have been back, it has been back-to-back meetings. There has been much to blog about and I do promise to do much better in the coming weeks. Mebyon Kernow will certainly be having a lot to say about the coalition government and its budget.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Election results

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall recently contested two town council by-elections in the Truro and Falmouth Constituency.

Verity Gondall stood for a vacancy on Truro City Council (Trehaverne Ward) and polled 156 votes (12% of those cast). A very hard-fought election, the seat was won by the Liberal Democrats with 604 votes. The Tories were in second place on 534.

In Falmouth, first-time candidate Kerstin Peters-Gauld stood in Penwerris Ward. She polled 167 votes (21% of the total). We last put forward a local election candidate in this ward in 2001 and this latest result is a great improvement. The Tories won the seat with 324 votes and Labour, who used to dominate in the area, came second with 304.

I would like to say well done to both candidates, campaign organizer Loic Rich and all the helpers, for achieving such positive results.

We will also be standing in a forthcoming by-election for Illogan Parish Council on June 24. Our candidate, Steve Richardson, will be standing against Steve Richards of the Labour Party.