Letter – We must make people’s pay go further

Dear Editor,

Sadly, I read more reports about low pay and high unemployment in our region.  It is vital that our politicians and businesses work together to provide more jobs and better pay for our workforce, but this issue goes deeper than this.

We must make people’s pay go further, there are many ways of doing this.  For example; those earning the minimum wage should not pay a penny in income tax.  We must ensure that people can feed and house themselves on a full time job.  It’s absurd that people are working all week but still can’t pay their bills and some even have to use food banks to feed their families.  Where is the incentive to work if a basic salary can’t even provide for your children?

We must reduce the cost of living – eg. reducing energy bills by securing a stable energy supply and removing expensive wind farm surcharges from everyone’s energy bills.  We can reinvest money wasted by pointless quangos and mismanaged foreign aid (recently given to not only corrupt governments but also nations with space programmes) into our local community to further drive investment, infrastructure, jobs and wages.

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letter – The NHS must prioritise patient care above all else

Dear Editor,

I find it distressing to read that an 86 year old woman who “has had three heart attacks, heart surgery, cancer treatment and can hardly walk” has been told she no long qualifies for free NHS patient transport.  Surely this goes against the entire point of the NHS if we refuse services to the most vulnerable in society?

I am passionate about defending our free NHS, but changes are desperately needed to make sure that money is spent where it should be spent: on patient care.  I am fundamentally opposed to the privatisation of the NHS (including Labour’s PFI project to privatise by stealth) but it is time we had a serious, grown up, constructive conversation on all sides about how to improve patient care.

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letter – We must ensure that we have a stable energy supply

Dear Editor,

We have been warned about the spare capacity that will be available for the national grid this winter – again.  We get this warning year after year and the issue seems to be getting worse rather than better.

We must be careful with what we use, ensuring we do not waste energy, but this issue goes much deeper than that.

We need to examine our energy infrastructure and ensure that the money we invest in this is not wasted. We must stop lavishing huge amounts of investment on ineffective windfarms whilst we have to restart outdated, mothballed power stations to ensure the lights stay on.

We need a thorough, sensible discussion about how we get our power, not just on fracking, solar and wind, but also on new; cleaner coal power stations and the expansion of nuclear facilities.  Some questions may prove controversial, but they should still be asked.

For too long politicians have been avoiding this question and kicking it down the road, whilst repeatedly patching up the broken dam. Enough of this, we need to develop and invest in a long term solution before it is too late.

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letter – We must stop funding oppressive foreign governments

Dear Editor,
Ethiopian state security forces have tortured, raped and burnt more than 5,000 people.  Meanwhile, our government has given Ethiopia over one billion pounds and the country is the second largest beneficiary of British aid.

This is another example of how badly managed our Aid budget is. We must ensure the money we give makes a genuine difference, rather than being handed to oppressive or corrupt governments and a list of world powers that recently has included India, Russia and Argentina.

Globally, people face crisis, disease and poverty everyday. Even here in the UK, in these cold winter months, millions of our most vulnerable people are faced with the choice of heating or eating.  Aid can be a positive thing if we make sure the resources are used where they are needed most, so they have the best possible impact.

We need a full, comprehensive review of our foreign aid budget – both into how much is spent and where it is spent.   We must ensure that taxpayer’s money is not given to corrupt foreign governments who torture their own people.

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letter – A response to yet more Labour lies about UKIP

Dear Editor,

It saddens me that yet again the Labour Party can offer your readers no more than scaremongering and lies about UKIP.

They talk about commitment to infrastructure, but just like under the Tories, Labour oversaw years of underinvestment into our roads and railways.  Just last week, Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister cast doubt on whether a Labour government would dual the A1.

Labour talk about defending and improving the NHS, yet it declined massively under Labour mismanagement and it was Labour governments that began to privatise it though the Private Finance Initiative.

Labour often lie about UKIP seeking to charge you to see a doctor, yet our “policies for people” document clearly states that UKIP will not charge you to see your GP.   This accusation is particularly rich when you consider two leading Labour figures; Lord’s Winston and Warner recently called for charges to see a GP, Lord Winston helpfully suggested a £200 fee.

UKIP want to introduce real recall, to allow you to remove criminal, corrupt and inept politicians.  Sadly the Labour party did not trust the public with this power and voted against the bill en-masse.

I would implore you to look at the record of your local MP, look beyond the rhetoric and lies and see if they have truly put your best interests at heart, or if they just looked for the next pay slip and quango bonus.

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letter – Welcoming the return of UK troops from Afghanistan

We all have countless opinions on whether our troops should ever have been involved, but I would like to set politics aside and thank our troops for all of their service and sacrifice in the Middle East.

It has been a long 13 years and each of the 453 lives that have been lost was a tragedy.   Our armed services have always been a vital part of our nation and I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who choose to serve our country.

Many of us have family and friends who have served and sacrificed for our nation. I am glad to see our troops finally return home and I hope that those who are injured or suffer emotional stresses receive all the care and support they need for as long as is required.

Although the world remains a very uncertain place, I hope that it is a long time before our troops are ever called off to war again.  And I hope that all of our other soldiers currently on active duty around the world return home safe and healthy.