We note that all of the current Tory party leader candidates are promising tax cuts. Our concern is that tax is needed by the government to pay for the services we have come to expect such as the NHS, access to GPs, social care, access to all aspects of education, transport, the Civil Service, the provision of benefits and pensions to name but a few.

We wonder how having an extra, let’s say, £2.50 a week from tax cuts is going to do us any good if we can’t get a timely ambulance should we fall ill? There are horrendous problems in our country that highlight the inequality and deprivation largely brought about by ten years of Tory austerity and the resulting swingeing cuts to all of our public services. The threatened summer of strikes is happening because public sector workers can no longer accept the paltry pay rises offered to them. We now live in a country where nurse are using food banks, teachers are leaving in their droves and children are stealing food from schools and missing lessons as they cannot afford the bus fare to get there. (Report in The Guardian, 15/7/22 on evidence submitted to the all-party parliamentary group on social mobility).

Good quality and effective public services that keep people mentally and physically healthy, providing the workforce and citizens of the future are a hallmark of a civilised society and enable us to create wealth. Public services have been derided and downgraded over the tenure of this Tory government and we are now feeling the devastating effects of this. The current band of Tory candidates talk about a “shrinking of the state” and “individual responsibility”, shorthand for cuts to public services and having to take out private health insurance. A trip to America to experience their private health system will soon persuade you how utterly divisive, expensive and inequitable this proves to be.

Whilst the Tory candidates debate how deep and how wide they can make these tax cuts to appeal to the electorate, Rome is well and truly burning.

Helen and Mark Gunn, St Owens Cross