Gale`s View (1st December 2010)
I have taken a robust and public view of the need to present the coalition Government`s austerity policies to the electorate of my own North Thanet constituency and to the wider Kent.
I represent a parliamentary seat in an area that suffers from some of the highest levels of social deprivation in the Country and where the local average income is well below the national average. Nevertheless I have found that most people, albeit sometimes without enthusiasm, have recognised and accepted the fact that tough measures, even though they affect personal circumstances and standards of living, have to be taken if we are to restore our battered finances to good order, reduce debt and set England on the path to renewed prosperity.
Many of those generous people might even, out of residual affection, be prepared to see the UK lend financial support to an Irish economy that is in dire trouble. They also understand that, given our exports to the Irish Republic and the investment that our own banks have in that Country not to help would damage our own national interests.
What people are not prepared to accept, though, is that their hard-earned taxes may be used to support a European common currency that many regard as a busted flush.
We have learned, if we did not know already, that we were right not to join the Eurozone and that we were right not to surrender control of our financial institutions and room for manoeuvre to Brussels. Those of us who promoted the Save the Pound” campaign have, I think, seen our successful efforts justified.
What is less attractive, however, is the prospect of further UK funds being used to prop up Spain or Portugal or Italy or Greece or another as yet un-named European State economy.
That is why I have written to George Osborne to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to state in terms that we draw a line under our loan – and it is a repayable loan – to Ireland and that we will not commit any further UK Taxpayer`s money to either support a failing Euro or to bail out any other Eurozone country that hits the rocks. I would like to think that I shall receive the assurances that, on your behalf, I seek.