As I enter my 98th year, I think it is time to send a letter to add to the scores appearing under my name over the years.
I am thinking of my great-great grandson Oscar, born earlier this year, a happy little chap, who does not know that he will be 37 before the loans Britain has had from the European Investment Bank (EIB) are paid off. All EU countries put in capital to start this bank, in our case 3.6billion euros.
Last year we borrowed ten billion euros for capital projects in such left behind areas as Liverpool and Sunderland. As the EIB has a top three star international credit rating its interest rate is low.
The Conservatives, through what I feel is mis-management of the economy, have lost two stars so we are now a one star state. Added to this, our entrepreneurs have a mixed record and some have been significant failures.
Starting with Northern Rock in 2006, rescued by Labour Chancellors Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, three of our largest banks were in dire trouble by 2008. The top men of Lloyds Group and RSB travelled to Luxembourg on a Friday to go to the finance ministers meeting and meet Alistair Darling to ask for more than £1billion of our money to save both groups from bankruptcy. Alistair Darling scraped the Treasury safe almost bare to save people’s savings and mortgages. Barclays raised a loan from an Arab oil state at high interest rates.
Our captains of industry and commerce also have a mixed reputation. Last year Rolls Royce jet engines lost £4.6bn and the previous year BP lost £3.9bn, so neither company paid any corporation tax. Barrowloads of tax cashback are being wheeled to such companies as Sports Direct as corporation tax has been reduced from 28 to 19 per cent. German firms pay 33 per cent corporation tax and are more efficient and successful than ours.
I fear for Oscar’s future unless there is a radical change of direction.
Charles R. Smith
Yew Tree Drive, Chesterfield