James Grundy MP: Please use your voice in May
Many residents are rightly concerned at the rising cost of living at the moment, caused by the aftermath of the Covid crisis, and the international instability caused by the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
At the time of writing It has not been precisely determined what measures the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will be bringing forward in his spring budget statement this coming (from my perspective) Wednesday.
I am hopeful that the Chancellor will act to cut fuel duty as speculated in press reports over the last few days. It may well be the case that by the time you read this article, he already has done. It has also been speculated that the Chancellor will remove the lowest paid workers from National Insurance, which would be welcome given the poorest feel the cost of living pressures the most at times of difficulty. Such measures are sorely needed to help the ordinary voter in times like this.
It is frustrating however, that whilst the Government is working hard with limited economic leeway post-crisis to try to help people manage with issues around the cost of living, Labour politicians locally are thinking up new ways to exorbitantly tax ordinary working people. The Mayoral ‘CAZ Congestion Tax’ concocted by Mayor Burnham and Wigan Council is a classic out-of-touch, metropolitan elite policy, thought up in a metaphorical ivory tower by left-wing intellectuals, devoid of logic or understanding for what ordinary workers are dealing with.
It is particularly striking to note the difference between what Labour says in opposition, complaining that the Government is not doing enough to help ordinary voters, and what Labour does in power, conniving into existence with their CAZ scheme what is effectively a massive tax on all families in Greater Manchester, whether they drive or not. As we know, even for those who are not directly affected by the CAZ, the cost will be passed to consumers by businesses who have no other alternative. Labour in power always, without fail, leads to worse outcomes for ordinary workers. After every Labour Government the economy has always been left worse than when they came to power.
We all want cleaner air, but not at the price of thousands and thousands of bankrupted businesses and tens of thousands of job losses. We all want a cleaner environment, but not at the price of massively increased prices as businesses absorb those costs. Whatever happens, the Mayor and Wigan Council must not be allowed to bring back the CAZ scheme in anything like the form it was in before the Prime Minister intervened to put a halt to the economic madness that this policy represented.
In May this year, you can use your vote to make sure the CAZ never comes back, to ensure that politicians cannot blindly increase the cost of living on ordinary voters like yourselves. I fear that if Labour does do well in the election, they will claim local people support the CAZ. Please use your vote wisely, and prevent that from happening.