Date: Thu 4th November 2010
Last week’s Spending Review was delivered with the general support of the public who recognise that the country has to make cuts in expenditure. The controversies are over how, when and where those cuts are made.
As with credit card debts, overspends cannot continue unchecked and one of the responsibilities of Government is to tackle national debt so that we can all enjoy a brighter, more prosperous future. Two important areas of spending have been protected: schools and the NHS
In Dartford we have not escaped the financial pain. Readers will know that I have long campaigned to scrap the Dartford tolls. That campaign continues. The Government has decided to consult on increasingthe toll charges by fifty pence in 2011 and another fifty pence in 2012. The money raised will go towards a feasibility study on easing congestion and removing the toll booths completely by 2012 and introducing free flow charging and to pay for the lost revenue when the barriers are raised at times of heavy congestion. The rises will also pave the way for a future Thames crossing.
I am relieved that there will be no privatisation of the Crossing. I am also pleased that the removal of the booths is targeted for 2012. I do not though welcome the proposed toll increases.
My policy at the General Election was that I would never vote for the tolls on the Dartford Crossing to remain, I would only vote to scrap them and that remains my position today.