Conservative MPs disappoint over Universal Credit, HS2 and pensions - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Mick Johnston, Ebberston, Ryedale.

As it is the season for screeching U-turns perhaps our Member of Parliament would like to take the opportunity afforded by his government’s reversal of policies on sewage pollution and corrupt MPs to execute his own handbrake turn on Universal Credit.

When Kevin Hollinrake gave his impassioned justification of the righteousness of taking £20 from the poorest families he may have been banking on Rishi Sunak to restore social justice through his autumn Budget.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It was rumoured that he would; in the interests of levelling up.

Kevin Hollinrake.

But when the dust settled on the Budget, after the jolly scenes in parliament and Tory celebrations in Westminster pubs, it was revealed that the rescue was a sham.

Respected independent researchers at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Resolution Foundation calculated the net effect of inflation and all the government changes affecting those on Universal Credit. They found that of those in work, three quarters were still worse off than if Universal Credit had not been cut. Those not in work were not helped at all by Mr Sunak’s jiggery pokery and remain £1,040 worse off each year.

In Thirsk and Malton therefore the 3,500 households on Universal Credit and not in work will now take the full £1,040 hit to their annual income. Some 2,250 of those households in work but on Universal Credit due to low pay will also be worse off.

The Government advice seems to be, don’t ask us to run the economy fairly, get a better job. A variant of blame the victim. Norman Tebbit will be proud.

Alexander Stafford MP.

Now that the figures have been clarified Mr Hollinrake has a chance to point to the real problem. Universal Credit is simply set too low to prevent grinding poverty, Covid or no Covid. So what is he for? Levelling up or grinding down. I think the solution is to raise benefits to adequate levels comparable with equivalent Western European democracies. What does he think?

From: Malcolm Naylor, Cowpasture Road, Ilkley.

We have what is claimed to be a representative parliamentary democracy. Well, do we really?

My MP, Conservative Robbie Moore certainly doesn’t represent me or many others in his constituency.

He gained his position by fraudulent manifesto promises which have now been put in the bin. However, he, like the electorate, are trapped within a system that is neither democratic or representative.

I have repeatedly asked him for his voting record on several issues, which so far remain unanswered. These include the pension triple lock, illegal immigration and deployment of troops on the Polish/Belarus border.

But as we know, MPs have to do what they are told by the party whips. So how can puppet MPs possibly represent their constituents? Prime Minister Johnson and his motley crew of greedy, self-seeking, disingenuous cohorts have abandoned all decency and honesty. They have used their positions to milk the taxpayer, giving Covid PPI contracts to their friends, used parliamentary privilege to earn money from second occupations and now try to change the rules to continue this practice without conviction.

For those seeking the truth, on just one issue alone I can report my MP, Robbie Moore, Conservative, voted to scrap the pension triple lock and is too arrogant to admit what he has done. I urge everyone to bring their MPs to account and make public declarations on their voting records. Well, Mr Moore, the public now know where your loyalty lies. And it is definitely not with your constituents.

Unfortunately, we will have to wait years before these charlatan politicians are replaced by yet another group of equally charlatan politicians in an undemocratic system.

From: Peter Brown, Shadwell, Leeds.

THE suggestion by Rother Valley MP Alex Stafford that the Eastern leg of HS2 would’ve been bad for parts of Yorkshire outside of “central Leeds” (The Yorkshire Post, November 17) is reminiscent of the response from his Morley and Outwood colleague Andrea Jenkyns to issues created by Brexit for Northern Ireland: “My constituency is miles away from Northern Ireland”.

Such small-minded, parochial Conservative MPs don’t serve the country’s interest or, I’d argue, their constituents’. Yorkshire firms face difficulties sending goods to Northern Ireland and Mr Stafford’s constituents are more likely to have benefited from greater rail capacity and economic development across Yorkshire than if it doesn’t happen or is attracted instead to the Midlands or North West, which HS2 will still reach.

RIP One Nation Conservatism (in Yorkshire, at least)?

From: Peter Neal, Oxford Court, Cleethorpes.

Congratulations to Rother Valley Conservative MP Alex Stafford for vehemently supporting the interests of his constituents and opposing the eastern leg of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds.

The clear lack of positive benefit is the principle reason that Alex Stafford has stood up for his constituents who elected him and now they have been rewarded by their vociferous MP. It is quite apparent that the plan to invest £96bn on the existing network will deliver benefits much faster and more cost effectively and quicker than the costs of HS2. It is deeply disappointing our Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers still supports the expensive vanity.