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A government that listens to local people

In his letter of September 14, Councillor Tom Smith gives full vent to DUP 'little-Ulster' nationalism. Anyone with an ounce of concern for the UK's national finances realises that the current government has steered our economy away from disaster.

We need only look to the ailing countries of the Eurozone to see what happens when governments refuse to take action on spiralling debts. Thank goodness the UK government has taken a more responsible approach. George Osborne cut public spending, while protecting important public services and maintaining the 50% tax rate for higher earners, which Labour introduced.

The 50% band was always intended to be a temporary measure and there is mounting evidence it could act as a disincentive to growth, as the economy recovers.

Northern Ireland is quite properly being asked to do its bit, but we've been protected from the worst cuts by a very favourable settlement on our block grant.

Conservatives in government have also resolved the PMS crisis, saved the coastguard in Bangor and are driving initiatives to grow our local economy. This is a government which listens carefully to Northern Ireland and is determined to deliver for the people.

Irwin Armstrong

Chairman Northern Ireland Conservatives

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