Letter: Economy

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The continued financial strain on North Yorkshire County Council is a matter of regret. It must be recognised that responsibility for this state of affairs lies almost exclusively with central Government as they are the providers of most of the council’s cash. All county councils are under great financial pressure as the Government makes vain attempts to balance the country’s books.

As a country, we must acknowledge that we are living beyond our means. We are spending £50bn on HS2, a Government vanity project (involving Carillion) because we want to keep up with continental countries, and we will have to buy the rolling stock from foreign owned companies. All to save 20 minutes London to Birmingham!

We are committing future generations to paying twice the going rate for electricity generated at Hinkley Point because we cannot afford to build it ourselves. Our armed forces are shrinking to vanishing point. We have virtually no maritime protection. We are on the slippery slope to insolvency.

The only solution is for us to increase our revenue. By far the largest chunk of our revenue is financial services which are at risk of serious diminution as we press ahead with Brexit. It would appear, on a national scale, imprudent to jeopardise our best revenue earner on the altar of a political pipe dream. Barring a change of direction by the Government, North Yorkshire County Council can look forward to further cuts in their Government grant next year.

John Laird