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Is HS2 the answer to link us to London via Birmingham
OVER the last few months we have heard a lot propaganda over the proposed high speed railway link between Birmingham and London,and eventually linking Manchester, Liverpool, and all points north until we reach Scotland.
Now you can pick which survey you want as to the cost,which varies from £40 billion to as much as £90 billion, which equates to thousands of pounds to every household in the land.
But I think I can safely predict that David Cameron will pull the plug on this ill thought out scheme before the general election for maximum political gain, and will at a stroke become a hero to his own MPs.
This could also secure the votes of Middle England and of course the Shire counties which traditionally is the bedrock of the Tory party and will use this as the launch pad for his re-election.
Now if I was the Labour party, they could say they would use only a fraction of the billions saved from HS.2 and launch an ambitious social housing building programme set at 100,000 assorted units built every year over a decade this would at a stroke ease the pressure on local authorities to provide badly needed housing, and could be built on derelict brown field sites, which could re-vitalise those areas,which have been neglected for so long.
The other advantages of going down this path is it will provide badly needed employment, as building needs to utilise every trade from plumbers,to joiners,bricklayers and many more.
It is a fact that for every pound spent on such a project up to 80p in one way or another finds it way back into the Exchequer by the way of reduced benefits, VAT receipts, and the sundries that are needed for new housing will also help hundreds of businesses who supply bathroom fittings, kitchens and lighting systems... the list goes on.
They in turn will also need extra workers so the knock-on effects are very positive, and could be a good for the economy, as housing tends not need very much in the way of imported material.
For people already on long housing lists this sort of scheme is long overdue and offers some hope for the future, and is the mark of a civilised society.
It is a much better use of our resources than shaving a few minutes off a train journey, as the benefit to the north of the UK is negligible, the only benefit as far as I can see would be, as it always is, to London.
Maybe Ed Milliband who seems to have been lacking in any ideas during the long summer recess should start coming forward with policies such as this to combat the lack of any activity from the shadow benches, as the way things are going his party could be sat there for some time to come.
Harry Bradbury, Loughrigg Avenue, St Helens
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