High speed link will not create utopia

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Sir,

Those banging on about ‘more infrastructure and housing to boost the economy’ are either electioneering career politicians or developers who believe tax-payers owe them a living! Despite Richard Tilden Smith’s electioneering final paragraphs (18/10/13), the suppressed KPMG HS2 report reveals fallacies in Government claims of high-speed rail economic Utopia.

Government regional aid and infrastructure spending merely relocates jobs from depressed areas: the Midlands and North are still as deserving of regional funds as Britain’s self-imposed overcrowded (neglected, Richard?) South East.

While Concorde usefully saved 3 hours flying to the USA (still Britain’s largest export destination), today’s webcams and ‘virtual meetings’ make business needs for HS2/Concorde obsolete, so what tangible evidence, beyond dubious government claims, has Richard that high speed rail boosts Britain’s economy? It likely benefits rich London commuters, but is largely irrelevant to business: indeed Rye and Hastings were thriving, self-supporting towns in the 1960s/70s despite their antiquated ‘infrastructure’. The late 1960s transformed Hastings into a London overspill with government funded relocation, but ‘new’ local jobs were at the expense of those in areas from where businesses and workers had moved. Within 10 years, consumers were choosing cheaper, low-wage rate imports forcing businesses to adopt competitive economies of scale through redundancies from labour-saving production processes or outsourcing. Government regulations and overheads forced more jobs abroad and as each business closed, at least one small local supporting business also closed, transforming Hastings into today’s depressed area... yes, even under Labour.

Entrepreneurs and consumers create Britain’s wealth and jobs - not Governments! Entrepreneurs built our railways (Mountfield Halt!), steel mills, trunk roads, canals, gas and electricity supplies - each nationalised by Labour and run at huge cost to tax-payers! Sustainable economies come through education systems which engender industrious work cultures and cash-flow through supporting our local businesses and jobs - not those Swindon super internet-stores! The last thing Britain’s economy needs is more job-destroying regulations, taxes on jobs, crippling business rates, tax-payer subsidised utopian EU flag-waving trans-European high speed rail and wind-farms and 10% ‘Green energy tax’ levies - the latter destroyed our huge aluminium smelting industry.

Barry M Jones, Beckley.