Due to a misprint a different column appeared under Gerald s' authorship in the 06/04/16 edition of the Merthyr Express and Rhymney Valley Express.
The recent budget showed yet again how out of touch the Conservatives are with ordinary families and proved that we are most definitely not all in this together. The budget saw the Chancellor initially proposing to make huge cuts to Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for disabled people. After significant opposition the Government backed down, however, it is still unclear what further cuts the Government will make to balance their budget. The message from the Tories is that cuts such as these are necessary to reduce the deficit. Whilst we can all agree on the need to reduce the deficit, the fact is that the Chancellor proposed these cuts for disabled people at the same time as his Government continues to take decisions that benefit the most well-off such as Inheritance Tax breaks and does tax deals with multi-national companies such as Google that many feel are unfair.
There is also concern that the budget may mean further cuts to our local councils and public services that have already been hit hard in recent years. When Council services suffer such as youth clubs and highway maintenance, we must remember that this is as a direct result of Conservative austerity cuts.
I had the pleasure of attending a small community event on 29th March in Treharris to mark the 25th anniversary of the closure of Deep Navigation Colliery. It provided an opportunity to remind ourselves of the contribution that the mining industry made to our valleys. We all recognise the employment that the industry provided but we also had a great sense of community spirit that developed around the pits, a spirit that although weaker than it once was, is still strong in our communities today. This sense of community is something to be proud of and something we should all try to keep alive.
This article was originally published by the Merthyr Express and the Rhymney Valley Express. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised or would like to know more, feel free to contact Gerald using the contact tab above.