Government must repay debt burden

EDITOR – One of the great burdens that this generation and the ones following will have to bear is the great load of government debt.

Simply put: this must be paid for, whether sooner or later. Yet we are still borrowing in order to spend more.

It’s a popular but obvious tack for a new government to blame the old government for the level of government debt and spending, but the Coalition has been in charge for two years now and the planned spending cuts from 2010 to 2015 will amount to only three per cent of government spending.

And they still expect to borrow a staggering £126 billion this year in order to fund the budget.

So much government waste comes down to the micro-management of benefits.

The great thing about child benefit is its simplicity: there is no fraud, error, or means-testing to it, so it works well and is popular.

I believe in child benefit as we have always understood it. Many middle-class people are under tremendous financial burdens and we should recognise through the benefits system the cost of bearing children, who are the future of Lincolnshire, Britain, and the world. (Though as a father of six myself, I have an obvious interest in this).

Our high level of spending will ultimately be paid for by British businesses, families, and individuals through the tax system.

But even our method of collecting taxes, duties, and levies is extraordinarily wasteful and complicated to administer.

I try to point out again and again to those in government that our tax code – the largest in the world – is inherently biased against small businesses and ordinary working families and individuals because its level of complexity can easily be navigated by large corporations with the funds to hire the teams of accountants that we lack.

Unfortunately, as I said in the Commons recently, we are introducing more and more complexity into the system.

For example, the new charge on child benefits for high earners must be paid by the higher earner of the two parents, who might not be claiming child benefit when the lower earner is, even though the lower earner is not legally obliged to inform the higher earner whether he or she is claiming child benefit. This is an absurdity obvious to any observer.

Even then, the taxes collected are used to subsidise inefficient and inherently unsustainable wind farms.

Such subsidies take money from the hard-working productive sector and give it to large energy companies and the lucky landowners willing to reap the government windfall at the expense of their neighbours’ hatred.

I very much hope that the Coalition Government’s plans for localising the planning process will allow more communities like ours to say “No!” to the plague of onshore wind turbines blighting our landscape, especially those planned for near Corringham in our little corner of the world.

We in Lincolnshire must be ever vigilant in fighting to preserve our natural inheritance so we can pass its beauty on to the next generation.

EDWARD LEIGH

MP for Gainsborough