Dear Sir, I’m writing in response to Miss K Beetham in the last edition of the Newton News (dated 9th December). May I remind Miss Beetham even though Tony Blair is no longer Labour leader, his damaging legacy is still very much alive today in the form of uncontrolled immigration and the effects are being seen in the state of our NHS, housing sector and welfare. Whilst there will always be a need for foreign workers in the UK we do need to import more skilled workers and workers not reliant upon inwork benefits such as working tax credits, child tax credits. On the subject of the NHS, this new forward looking, honest and fair ‘New Labour’ marked the start of the transition of the NHS from a public sector provider to include the private sector under the guise of choice and competition and it was the Labour Party which paved the way for privatisation in the form of PFI (Private Finance Initiative).

Between 1997 – 2010 the Labour Government committed to more than 100 PFI contracts worth more than £79bn and through these contracts the government are committed to paying back £267bn over the life time of the contracts, saddling the UK taxpayer with huge debt owing to Labour misrule. And it is Labour health spokesmen that want to charge people to see their GP – not UKIPs. In March 2014, Lord Warner, Labour’s former Minister of State at the Department of Health, said that NHS users should pay £10 a month and £20 for every night in hospital. In August 2014, the Labour peer Lord Winston said that patients should be charged £200 to see their GPs so that Buy Out PFI Contracts they would ‘learn to appreciate the NHS’. UKIPs policy on the NHS at the last General Election and is still current policy to keep the NHS free at the point of delivery and invest a further £3bn, UKIP will ensure that visitors and migrants have approved private health insurance as a condition of entry to the UK, saving the NHS £2bn a year. UKIP will also stop further use of PFI in the NHS and encourage local authorities to buy out their PFI contracts early. John Grant, UKIP Sedgefield