Theresa May’s ideas on austerity and acting in the national interest | Letters

Readers react with some scepticism to the prime minister’s claims to the Tory conference

So “austerity is over” (Back me on Brexit and I will end decade of austerity, pledges May, 4 October). Who is Theresa May kidding? For millions of adults and children living at or below the poverty line because of the savage cuts of the past few years, for those on NHS waiting lists that daily grow longer, for those in substandard housing or who cannot even get on the housing ladder, it will be a permanent legacy of Tory government callousness and indifference to their plight, while rich donors and multinationals get away with tax dodging on a truly stupendous scale.

My county council (like many others), having cut £145m over recent years, cutting services to the elderly, underfunding schools, closing waste tips for two days a week, failing with pothole repairs, is now having to look at another £145m of cuts over the next few years, as the government grant reduces to zero. Ceasing altogether to provide housing support to vulnerable groups, leading potentially to more homelessness and NHS demand, and slashing support to troubled children and families are just two of the cuts being considered, with inevitable consequences.

Mrs May needs to listen to local councils who provide essential services that continuing austerity is starving to death, before our social fabric breaks down entirely.
Dr James Walsh
Liberal Democrat group leader, West Sussex county council

• How nice that Mrs May has announced the end to austerity. Does that mean that we in Northumberland will now get back our bus services, libraries, post offices, jobcentres, old folks’ nursing homes, youth clubs, magistrates courts, day centres, council offices and officers, local hospitals, police stations, tourist information centres etc?
Wendy Bond
Greenhead, Northumberland

• A lot more publicly funded housing is to be built when austerity finishes, Mrs May promised. However, she also promised to keep low- and middle-earning immigrants out of the UK. Many of the Poles and other craftsmen have already left. Who does she imagine will build these homes?
Juliet Solomon
Frome, Somerset

• Theresa May accused “the Jeremy Corbyn party” of rejecting “the common values that once bridged our political divide” by failing to back her action against Russia for poisoning the Skripals on our territory.

There was no mention of Russia poisoning our democracy with its interference in the EU referendum. Instead May insists we have to respect the tainted referendum result.

We have to continue with the ruinous route that is Brexit because that is the only way her party can survive. That is May’s way of acting “in the national interest”.
Nigel de Gruchy
Orpington, Kent

• “Leadership is doing what you believe to be right and having the courage and determination to see it through,” Theresa May asserted in her speech to the Tory conference, “and that’s what I’ve been doing on Brexit.” Does she not remember the poll tax debacle, or the disastrous invasion of Iraq? Both resulted from leaders who similarly behaved as conviction politicians. But personal conviction is often a very poor guide to the right or best course of action. To determine this you need first to interrogate the evidence, before then, collectively, setting the policy.
John Boaler
Calne, Wiltshire

• If there were Oscars for political commentators, Marina Hyde should be awarded a solid gold one for her brilliant piece around the Conservative conference, her observations of the main players and bit players (Quick, say something stupid!, G2, 4 October). I would urge all to read it, for its wittiness, awful truthfulness and a damning paragraph of how Labour are just not getting it. Labour should be many more points ahead against one of the worst governments ever.
Catherine Roome
Staplehurst, Kent

• Interesting to note that the litany of former Labour politicians to whom Theresa May paid tribute in contrast to Corbyn (May’s eyes firmly fixed on voters as she sets out stall, 4 October), did not include Nye Bevan. I wonder why.
Frank Jackson
Harlow, Essex

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