Not really better off

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While I read with interest the somewhat subjective letter by Mary Rowntree in which the sweeping statement was made that “any improvements made in this country comes about from a Labour Government” (October 20).

Well I can say that the working man is always worse off under Labour.

However, there are several positive points to be made.

Mary refers to the provision of council houses. Was not Farringdon estate built during the 1950s, under a Conservative Government?

She also refers to industry in the area. Nissan came to Sunderland under a Conservative Government and is now responsible for 34,000 jobs directly and in the supply chain.

Was not the A19 brought to Sunderland under a Conservative Government?

Let us look at more recent benefits. Twenty-six million people have seen their income tax cut with three million lower paid taken out of the tax altogether. Compare this with Labour’s Gordon Brown who doubled the tax burden on the lower paid when he scrapped the 10p tax rate.

This Conservative Government has introduced the new national living wage.

On the state pension this has increased by £18.26 per week since 2010, thanks to the triple lock arrangement. Again compare with Gordon’s paltry 75p per week increase.

One million more pupils are in good or outstanding schools since 2010 and 2.2million apprenticeships have been created.

The North-South divide has been closing since 2010. The per capita public spend in the North East in 2013/2014 is second only to London; with spend in the North East at £9,576 against £9,866 in London.

Mary should note that the gap between the per capita public spend in London compared with the North East has reduced since 2009/2010.

Not as bad as made out by Mary I think.

Peter O’Connor