It is not a country that works for all

Rye and Battle Observer letters
Rye and Battle Observer letters

From: Chris Stevens, George Hill, Robertsbridge

There have been comments made about UK exports in recent letters but it was surprising why the author did not understand why UK exports are not doing that well.

Although a weaker pound makes exports more competitive, it is a double-edged sword. Any values obtained from a falling pound are offset against increased input costs that UK companies bear due to higher than anticipated inflation rate rises.

So the gentleman that asked what is stopping the UK from exporting more, the answer lies partly in inflation.

Equally problematic is the call for neo-liberal competitiveness. The UK has devalued the pound from $4,80 in 1945 to $1.35 in 2017 as a way of maintaining competition in the EU market. Add the differences in pound to Euro in terms of investor confidence due to the atrocious negotiations with the EU over Brexit. The questionable legality of the senior negotiators Barnier, Verhofstadt &Weyand insisting that progress be made on key issues before trade term negotiations can be discussed is debatable.

Worryingly, there appears to be nothing in the EU Constitution or Article 50 which allows one side to set the agenda with a specific order. This faltering is causing investors to be nervous of long term investment in the UK for the next four years.

Having heard the coughing and spluttering that is the Tory conference in Manchester, it is worrying that the current ideology seems as strong as ever. May has made it clear her support of the free market even though in the next breath she states she is planning to cap energy prices.

How state intervention represents a free market, that is a market system which is open and between producers and consumers without any regulation or interference from monopolies or governments, is anyone’s guess.

I don’t think there has ever been a free market economy operating. Again, the disingenuous idea of EU free trade is lamentable as the UK pays into the club for access to the single market without tariffs. The UK is the second largest contributor to EU funds behind Germany.

Strong lobbying in both the UK and EU is a frightening reality where the agendas of lobby groups’ clients are pushed above the din of the electorate.

The corporatisation of UK and EU governments perpetuates untruths and good old fashioned spin.

Much derision has been levelled at the idea of stopping PFI deals and buying out the contracts which it has been purported is nonsense by certain sectors in the lobby industry. Yet In 2014, Northumberland NHS foundation Trust borrowed money from the local authority to buy out a group called Catalyst, because the original terms of the contract were so gastronomically expensive. By 2017, it was announced the Trust were still saving £3.5 million per year. Who signed off these contracts can only be surmised by those MPs and Lords who passed the Health & Social Care Act in 2012.

If we as a society continue to be bamboozled by lobby groups and people solely benefitting from this lobby trade, namely MPs, Lords and story-hungry journalists, who it is estimated only provide between 10-15 per cent of their own material. The holding to ransom of society and the failing social care and security now in evidence will continue unabated and those trying to stop it will be marginalised further.

“A Country that works for everyone” is May’s continuing mantra. This has not been enacted in any Tory policy since this announcement was made. Yet it has been announced the Tories are to continue with the disastrous Universal Credit system which leaves desperate recipients waiting for more than six weeks to receive any vital support.

As a result of internal concerns at the DWP and the numerous charities who have stated to the DWP the system isn’t working, Mrs May’s mantra is shrill and tuneless.

It is not “a country that works for all” but trade that benefits all in society regardless of their worthiness of state safety nets that now have more holes within them than Swiss cheese.

It is not only exports that are suffering.