I SHARE Matthew McEwan’s frustration (Craven Herald Letters,January 13) with the current government but only voting them out or any of their representatives will ease the cost of living crisis for millions of ordinary people.

We have all seen how the Conservatives callously look after themselves, their families and their cronies at the expense of the rest of us.

The National Insurance increase in April is unnecessary. As money expert Paul Lewis wrote: “NI contributions will be going up by an average of 15 per cent for around six million people in April. The lower the earnings the bigger the percentage rise”. While most of us pay NI at 13.25 per cent, salaries over £50,268 will only pay 3.25 per cent NI (up from a measly 2 per cent at the moment). Charging the well paid the same rate for what they earn over £50k would raise a few billion pounds.

The UK was a world leader in renewable energy in the 1980s but costly, polluting nuclear power has been prioritised e.g. Theresa May (unfortunately supported by Labour and Lib Dems) signed a deal with the Chinese government and the French firm EDF to supply nuclear electricity from Hinckley Point.

The total projected (it’s way over schedule) £26 billion cost should have been spent on insulating the housing stock, starting with the most vulnerable, those in fuel poverty living in cold draughty, poorly insulated homes. When you think about how that would have reduced energy bills, imagine how your bill will rise because every Hinckley nuclear kilowatt will cost three times as much as one from an off-shore wind turbine.

The Green Party have long advocated powering down our energy use and research shows that we could reduce energy demand from heating, and thereby our bills, by half. As part of a Green New Deal, new homes should only be built if they generate more energy than they consume but we’re still building problems that will have to be dealt with in the future. We could reduce our carbon footprint and live in more comfortable homes that are permanently cheaper to run, never mind cutting government expenditure on power stations that we don’t need and nuclear waste that nobody knows what to do with.

As for the increasing cost of living, the UK voted for it, narrowly. We are now suffering the economic downturn that all the experts predicted. A senior Tory said at the time ‘Brexit would tear the country apart, not doing Brexit would tear the Tory party apart’. We know which they chose. Bad news is, our inept prime minister is embarrassing the Tories. The new trade deals with Australia and NZ will be economically disastrous for our farming communities. But the experts, including the president of the World Trade Organisation, predicted all of this.

Until we have Proportional Representation to elect the parliament in Westminster the UK will continue to be dominated by minorities for their own narrow selfish interests. PR will likely lead to coalition governments but as countries like Germany show at regional and national level, grown-ups from different parties sit down and agree policies that work for the vast majority of the population.

Supporting the Make Votes Matter campaign is something we can all do.

Cllr David Noland

Skipton (Green Party)