Warm welcome for Manuela as Lib Dem election campaign gathers pace - The Stratford Observer

Warm welcome for Manuela as Lib Dem election campaign gathers pace

Stratford Editorial 16th Mar, 2024   0

Picture caption: Talking sense: Manuela Perteghella, Liberal Democrats candidate for Stratford District meets local resident Andy Clarke during her tour of Studley.




LAST week’s Budget by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been blasted as ‘fiscal incompetence’ by local Liberal Democrats.

“We have the highest tax burden since the Second World War and yet living standards are falling,” said Manuela Perteghella during a meet and greet session in Studley.

“In 2010 we had the best health service in the world, and now it’s on its knees.

“They’ve has 14 years to create a more just society and look at us now – I call it fiscal incompetence.”

The Lib Dem candidate for Stratford district is building momentum in her battle to defeat Tory Nadhim Zahawi – the man sacked as Conservative party chair over his tax affairs.

And she highlighted the plight of pensioners who, due to Hunt’s decision to freeze income tax, will end up losing on average £1,000 from the pensions.

“In Stratford district, and that includes Studley and Alcester, we’re talking about more than 17,000 pensioners, in neighbouring Redditch it will affect more than 12,000 pensioners,” she said.

“It’s a stealth tax, taking money from people who have worked all their lives and who have put money into the system throughout.

“Not only will our pensioners be worse off, but there was nothing about our environment.

“Then there’s the cut in National Insurance – how is that going to be covered? – by more cuts,” she said.

“Then there’s the stated aim of abolishing National Insurance entirely, but nothing is costed and even now Jeremy Hunt is rowing back from that idea.”

She said that all the Lib Dems spending plans were fully costed, and paid for through a ‘proper’ windfall tax on energy companies and on social media companies.

She acknowledged her party’s aims were modest – to become one again the third largest party in parliament, but the potential of keeping the excesses of Conservatives and Labour in check was enormous.

“It’s looking very positive,” she said.

“I have spoken to so many life-long Conservatives on the doorstep and they are so disillusioned with scandal after scandal, the lack of accountability and the mess they’ve put this great country in.”

And she said the Lib Dems had learnt from their chastening experience in the coalition government of 2010 when they got their fingers badly burned by the Conservatives.

“We are focused on returning as many MPs as possible and if we can achieve that then we will hold fast to our policies and keep the next government firmly on track for the good of all our people.”

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