October 2, 2014 10.36 am This story is over 83 months old

Invest for the “many not the few”

Infrastructure conundrum: UKIP’s Nick Smith argues roads in Lincoln are a more important issue than rail links, as more people use them.

David Cameron offered up lots of promises at the party’s conference this week if you vote for a Conservative government in 2015, but did you notice that all the proposed tax cuts will not come into force until 2017/18? Basically, he is trying to get elected twice with the same tax cuts, as by the time some of his promises come into effect we will be getting ready to tackle the 2020 General Election.

Of course, UKIP has costed out tax proposals, like scrapping inheritance tax, with further tax cuts coming in as soon as Britain leaves the EU. Unlike the Conservatives, we can start our program straight after the 2015 election as our funding comes from the savings by leaving the EU and reducing drastically the Foreign Aid budget. This will be available year on year, and not just making savings out of the existing budgets and waiting for growth, which seems to be the Conservatives and Labour’s big plan.

Mr Cameron’s tough stance on the EU is a little less tough when you hear what the EU commissioners have said in the past about the free movement of people within the union. Claims by the PM that a future Conservative government could restrict the numbers of immigrants coming to Britain from the European Union were dismissed today by the new European Commissioner in charge of employment and labour mobility, who said she is “not prepared” to consider giving Britain back control of its borders or allow Britain to restrict the access of EU immigrants to Britain.

Here in Lincoln, we have the sad news that the Lib Dems are having to start again with their Parliamentary selection after David Harding-Price has withdrawn his candidacy, and with Karl McCartney and Lucy Rigby using their columns to claim the prize of ‘who wants to have the best train set in Lincolnshire’, I would like to point out that in times when the country’s funds are limited, this is a policy for the few not the many.

I would like to see rail improvement only when we are flush with cash. I believe that a future MP for Lincoln should be aiming to get any scant government resources for road improvements. My plan if elected will be to gain some extra funds to give to Lincolnshire County Council to dual carriage our proposed Eastern Bypass, as it will have to be upgraded at a later stage anyway as Lincoln grows. It is false economy to have it built as a single carriageway.

Secondly, I’ll push for funds to be allocated for upgrading the A15 in parts to a dual carriageway. This would save lives and would attract more businesses to Lincolnshire and ergo more jobs for the people of Lincoln.

Remember that not a single item of goods comes in or out of Lincoln by train. Goods travel through Lincoln yes, but every single thing we have in our fine city comes in and out by road. At least 80% of the people of Lincoln will use our road network either by bus or car many times a week. I would wager that it is less than 5% of our population uses the railway on a regular basis.

Every pound invested in roads is a pound used for the many not the few.

To clarify, I am not against investment in rail, as it is important, but it cannot be our top priority for the city. If Labour and the Conservatives dream comes to fruition and the London to Lincoln rail link is made quick and easy, then Lincoln will become a commuter destination, so house prices will rise, and we already have a major problem with the disparity between house prices and wages in this city. Let’s not make things worse for our struggling prospective homeowners.

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Nick Smith is the UKIP candidate for Lincoln MP and the Chairman of UKIP Lincoln Constituency Association.