I recently received your letter to residents announcing your intention to stand again for the Hayes & Harlington constituency in the General Election.
In your letter, you raise the issues of the NHS and the local housing crisis – Both are extremely important issues and you are quite right to highlight them.
Having read the letter, I would like to raise the following points.
1 – The NHS
You state that you fear a Conservative win at the next General Election will lead to the NHS being privatised and sold off. Whilst I share that fear, you appear to overlook the fact that your party (Labour) in government started the privatisation of the NHS and indeed introduced more privatisation to the service than the Coalition have done since taking power in 2010.
Your use of PFI (Private Funding Initiative) contracts to build new infrastructure has loaded nearly £300 billion of debt on to the service whilst enriching the private investors who have charged the kind of interest rates to the taxpayer that would shame a pay day loans company.
Labour’s introduction of ‘choice and competition’ in to the service in 1999 was highlighted by health campaigner Kailash Chand OBE as part of the start of the transition of the NHS from a public sector to private contracted model, whilst the decision to make GP surgeries self-contained units that bill the central NHS for services has led to shorter opening hours and more administrative red tape. Doctors now spend as much time in practice meetings to manage their surgeries as they do treating patients.
In our constituency, your Labour colleague and GLA member Dr Onkar Sahota met with residents in Heathrow Villages and refused to open a surgery there as it was, in his own words. ‘not viable’ – Meaning that in his opinion having a surgery with less than 2000 patients won’t make his practice profitable enough (I have challenged him on Twitter about this and received an evasive and unsatisfactory reply)
Yet another example of a Labour politician putting profits before the needs of the people of our area.
Labour in government introduced the private company ATOS Medical to carry out assessments of disability, a company whose role has since been expanded by The Coalition. ATOS have caused untold misery to genuinely disabled people, even passing as ‘fit for work’ people with terminal illnesses – Here is the latest example
I have seen the effects of this first hand within our community and have worked with UKIP colleagues (Including our disabilities spokesman, Star Etheridge) to assist those wrongly persecuted for their medical conditions.
Finally, I find it hard to trust your party with the NHS when it has been in charge of NHS Wales since 1999 and its performance rates consistently below that of NHS England in patient care according to a House of commons library survey. That is to say nothing of the Mid Staffs scandal that happened on the watch of the last Labour government.
Your party have consistently put out leaflets misrepresenting UKIP NHS policy, so let’s clear this up once and for all.
UKIP would keep the NHS free at the point of need for UK citizens (Your Labour colleagues, Lords Winston and Warner, want to charge for GP visits)
We would inject an additional £3 billion in to front line services and axe the Care Quality Commission and Monitor quangoes to be replaced by local health boards made up of medical professionals (This would save money and put our local hospital in the hands of those who understand its unique issues)
We would also stop any further PFI schemes that your party was so keen on in power and encourage local authorities to buy out existing schemes where affordable to minimise the crippling interest rates payable.
Full UKIP health policy can be viewed here which I trust will put an end to your disingenuous leafleting campaign
2 – The Housing Crisis
You say that we need a Labour government to build more council houses.
Under your last government, building of such properties plunged to new lows whilst continuing the sell off of existing property under the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme. Social housing stock fell by 421,000 homes in the Blair/Brown years of 1997-2010.
In addition, your open door immigration policies piled unbearable pressures on to housing stock driving the huge price increases in both the purchase and rental sectors that you bemoan in your letter.
We have also seen the double whammy of people being driven from Central London due to rising prices being forced to move to areas such as Hillingdon, which a recent report shows has had the largest population increase of any London Borough over the last 50 years. It is a basic law of supply and demand that when that demand outstrips supply then prices increase rapidly.
Only by putting local people first in allocation of social and affordable housing and controlling the numbers coming to our area via migration can the supply of new housing keep up with the demand – Labour in government failed in both areas.
UKIP would prioritise those with family links to the borough for affordable housing and introduce a fair, Australian style points system for immigration that would allow the housing crisis to be brought under control. Last year, net migration was 298,000 people, a city the size of Hull – We simply can’t build enough new homes to keep up with the stream of newcomers, let alone deal with the waiting lists already in existence when the population is growing this quickly.
3- Your local candidate
Finally, you say that you are the only candidate that lives in the area. Unlike yourself, I was born and brought up in Hillingdon and have worked here for most of my adult life.
My family had to move to Uxbridge 2 years ago from Hayes because of the prices in the private rentals sector that is a part of the housing crisis. This is not the first time this has happened to us and is a common discussion with other private rental residents as I speak with people on the doorstep.
Because I am a family man and my wife also works, we are a low priority for the Council and the steady drain on finances to pay increasing rents mean we have no chance of saving enough for a deposit to buy our own home.
This was one of the reasons why I became politically active and am standing for UKIP in this election – It is time that Hayes had representation from somebody with real links to the area and who understands the issues rather than from somebody parachuted in on a Trade Union ticket from Liverpool who is more interested in advancing his political dogma than listening to the problems of the community in his adopted home.
Only UKIP have a coherent and credible vision for Hayes and the policies and belief to carry it out.
UKIP Parliamentary Candidate – Hayes & Harlington Constituency