UKIP MEP urges Baird to stop “pouring taxpayers’ cash down the drain”

– Arnott accuses Baird of being a ‘graduate of the Tony Blair School of Economics’

–  New figures reveal Northumbria police spent £165,681 in 2013/2014 on two external contracts to companies providing translation services.

 

Labour’s Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, has been urged to ‘stop pouring taxpayers cash down the drain’, by UKIP’s Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

The call comes as Baird released a survey asking residents whether they would be prepared to ‘pay more for policing’.

Baird is responsible for setting the police precept – the amount everyone pays for policing in their council tax bills – the maximum it can be raised without the need for a referendum is 1.99%.

Mr Arnott, UKIP’s local Euro MP, said “Ms Baird is clearly a graduate of the Tony Blair School of Economics – here she is wishing to push up people’s taxes whilst under here watch taxpayers’ money is being poured down the drain. Only last month we heard how £10,428 was needed to repair police cars after 77 fuelling errors, currently Northumbria Police Force are advertising for a ‘Corporate Communications Adviser’ on a salary of up to £28,000, whilst continuing to splash tens of thousands of pounds each year on third party translators. The situation is an utter farce”.

Recent figures unveiled in an FOI request to Northumbria Police shows that the force have two external contracts – one for telephone services (Language Line), and one for face to face interpreting and translation (ITL) on an as-needed basis.

In 2013/14, £165,681 was spent on these services.

Northumbria Police Force were criticised in 2011 for taking a delivery of a £50,000 ‘steel ball in a hula hoop’ sculpture on the day staff were told 450 jobs are to go.

Arnott added “At a time where front line jobs have been cut, we need to take a long hard look at paper-pushing backroom staff, who are often on inflated salaries, to ensure our streets are kept safe and we that we get the best possible value for the taxpayer”.

 

Jonathan Arnott MEP selected to stand for Parliament in Easington

UKIP have selected their North East MEP, Jonathan Arnott, to fight the Easington constituency at this year’s General Election.

Branch members met last Friday evening to vote on potential candidates who had put their name forward to be considered as the party’s candidate.

Following the event Mr Arnott said “It is an honour to stand in the constituency where I live, and to provide a voice to those who have been completely neglected by the Labour Party across the area. UKIP want to scrap tax on minimum wage jobs, scrap the bedroom tax and protect the people’s health service which was so heavily privatised under the last Labour government.”

 

My Column – Small Business: EU-Expendable or Economic Engine Room?

The biggest assault on our small businesses for many years seems to have slipped through the public consciousness. I was aware of it, of course, but until very recently I had failed to grasp the sheer scale of it.

Big business, of course, loves much of the Brussels system. They have the money and resources to lobby the Commission and Parliament, which of course no small business can realistically do. Brussels has more lobbyists than Washington DC (hint: that’s not actually something to be proud of) and so big business is able to manipulate EU legislation in ways that the others simply cannot. This is where I fail to understand the mindset of the Left of British politics in respect of the European Union. They remain pro-EU despite the fact that the EU is the friend of everything that they hate: globalisation, big business and the corporatist agenda.

I’m writing about something which is putting small businesses in my constituency and all over the country out of business. It all sounds so very straightforward, and it seems to have come out of the idea that Amazon and other companies trading online should be made to pay their fair share of VAT in every country. So far, so good. You might agree or you might disagree but even if you disagree, you can see the Commission’s reasoning. The days of companies plumping for the country with the lowest rate of VAT would be over. It may not be the most effective means of improving the tax system, but it’s a simple one.

 

 

You can read the rest of my article at my Huffington Post blog here.

My Column – To the Murderers Who Attacked Charlie Hebdo

It is quite clear that you do not care about the loss of life and suffering that you have caused. It is quite clear that you have no regard to the friends and family of your victims or to the people of France. You clearly lack the conscience to recognise that what you did was fundamentally immoral and sickening to all right-minded people. There is no point in asking you to reflect on right and wrong. I ask you instead to reflect on the utter futility of those murders and the impact to the faith you claim to follow.

There may be blood on your hands, but your actions have far wider consequences than you may care to admit. You do not realise what you have done, the impacts you have had on global political opinion or the freedom of moderate Muslims to practice their religion in peace. Consider what you have achieved. In the days leading up to your massacre we saw the far right take to the streets of Germany. By your actions you give fuel to their hatred. The far right in the UK – parties such as the BNP – have been utterly defeated. By your actions you have raised the spectre of the return of such unsavoury organisations.

You have set back the cause of tolerance and understanding of Muslims in Europe. Few members of the general public are aware of the differences between Sunni and Shi’a, between Suffi and Wahabi, just as few would be able to explain the difference between Protestant and Catholic. Although your beliefs do not represent those of Muslims in any way, shape or form, in the minds of many people you will have associated them with your actions.

 

 

You can read the rest of my article at my Huffington Post blog here.

Letters – We must build a stable, value for money NHS

Labour’s Scottish leader has boasted of plans to collect money in England to fund Scotland’s health service.  This is the sort of political and economic absurdity that has put the NHS and the country in the state we have found it in recent years; there are only so many ways that Labour can claim they’ll spend money from their so-called Mansion Tax.  Labour do not know how much money this tax (if ever implemented) would raise and counting on that money to provide key services is reckless.

Here in Hartlepool we well know the dangers of ill-conceived healthcare strategies.  The solution to many of our local and national issues (especially the NHS) is not just how much is spent, but how the money is spent.

We must sit down and look at our NHS, from top to bottom, see what is being spent and ensure waste and mismanagement is removed so that we can have a stable, effective health system.  The solution is not just adding a few more billion to the budget every year but making sure that the NHS provides value for money.

Letters – A new year, but there’s nothing new about Labour’s hypocrisy

Dear Editor,

We’ve seen and heard a host of smears on UKIP in recent weeks, which presumably, are set to increase further in the coming months as we get closer to the General Election.  The latest has come from Richard Bulmer in Sheffield, who suggests UKIP are out to protect big business.

If he takes a look at ‘Policies for People’, freely available for all to see at ukip.org, it clearly states ‘UKIP will set up a Treasury Commission to design a turnover tax to ensure big businesses pay a minimum floor rate of tax as a proportion of their UK turnover’.  Ultimately, this would work as a back stop for the tax system and ensure that every big company pays a fair share of tax.  

Only last July it was revealed that one of Labour’s biggest donors had poured millions of pounds into banks and energy companies that Ed Miliband had publicly condemned.  Back in October, Labour’s biggest individual donor, John Mills, was criticised for donating in shares rather than cash, since they can be gifted on a tax-free basis. 

If Labour wants to cosy up to big business then that is their prerogative.  But they can’t do that, and at the same time invent false attacks on UKIP claiming that we’re doing the same.  

The saying ‘people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’ springs to mind.  It may be a new year, but there’s nothing new about Labour’s hypocrisy.

 

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East.