Election 2017: meet the candidates - Andrew Garcarz - The Solihull Observer

Election 2017: meet the candidates - Andrew Garcarz

Solihull Editorial 11th May, 2017   0


Rumours of the death of UKIP are greatly exaggerated. With a Conservative landslide victory predicted in the General Election, the health of British democracy needs coherent opposition and UKIP patriotic, centre-ground, common-sense policies in Westminster.

I am the son of a Polish migrant who came to fight for Britain and freedom in World War II and made the West Midlands his home.

An NHS employee for over 25 years, I am passionate about our unique NHS. Labour has choked the lifeblood from the NHS through its scandalous PFI [Public/Private Finance] deals that have added £60 billion of crippling debt onto our already struggling service.

It is unsustainable to keep cutting hospital services while we have a growing and ageing population. If elected I will fight to protect services at Solihull Hospital and to end hospital parking charges.

In 1986, Margaret Thatcher dissolved the failed West Midlands County Council however this Conservative government has forced the unwanted West Midlands Combined Authority and Metro Mayor on the residents of the region. They do not seem to understand that you cannot repeat the same mistake and expect a different outcome.

The WMCA will add supplements to our Council Tax and business Rates next year. We can expect more road fines, airport charges and other revenue raising to support unsustainable borrowing of £13 for each £1 raised in tax.

Worse than this, services are being “devolved” by the Government to the WMCA without the tax revenue to pay for them. Mark Rogers of Birmingham City Council estimates that the Combined Authority will have an annual £28.2 billion spending deficit by the time that the local NHS is devolved to it.

Borrowing for vanity schemes such as buying the worn-out M6 Toll for twice what it cost to build as a new road will plunge us into debt for generations.

Any fool can create jobs by borrowing money and there are no shortage of those among leaders and in Council chambers of the West Midlands.

Enormous cuts to the NHS are planned (equivalent to 3 hospitals in the region plus £1 billion of other identified cuts). There will be a wholesale review and cuts to other essential public services.

If elected I will do my utmost to ensure that Solihull hospital is not one of those three hospitals.

Only UKIP oppose the WMCA and the new Metro Mayor who was endorsed by just 11.1% of the electorate last week.

HS2 will be a social and ecological disaster for Solihull and Meriden bringing London overflow to disrupt our communities, concrete over our green fields, pressure on housing, public services and bring congestion and pollution to our roads. Only UKIP is committed to stop HS2.

General elections are traditionally won or lost on the economy however after two decades of disastrous Labour and Tory government they are silent because their gross mismanagement has left most people worse off in real terms now than they were 20 years ago.

Public debt rose by £650 billion under 13 years of Labour government (£23,500 per household) but to be fair they had a banking crisis to deal with. In just seven years of Conservative blundering public debt has risen by ANOTHER £23,500 per household on top of which there have been huge cuts to the police and other essential public services.

Controlling our borders to stop open door migration undercutting British jobs and pay is essential to create wealth. A mild labour shortage would turn many part time jobs into full time work, make employers pay the “rate for the job” to fill their vacancies and encourage businesses to invest in training and productivity.

Only by controlling borders can we rebuild prosperity by increasing skills and pay of British workers with the resulting increase in tax revenues to pay for the public services that we want.

The Conservative Manifesto for the third time will pledge to reduce net migration to “tens of thousands” however Home Secretary Amber Rudd poured doubt on this on BBC Radio 5Live on Sunday and said that immigration is an “absolute positive” for the UK.

At best it will be an “aspiration” not a policy. Only UKIP can be trusted on immigration.

UKIP will cut waste and corruption from the foreign aid budget, “white elephant” projects such as HS2 and use the money to fund our public services.

I will prioritise housing and jobs for local people and improvement of brown field sites over concreting our fields and our green spaces. Vote UKIP on 8th June.

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