Public services in this country are in a dire state. We have crises in the NHS, in our schools, in social care, in housing, in public transport, in water supply and sewage treatment, in the court system and in the processing of asylum applications (and more) – not wholly but in large part because of under-funding.

Libraries are closing, youth centres hardly exist any more, food banks and hospices rely on charity and are struggling to cope, roads are riddled with potholes. Local authorities are going bust as a result of a decade of cuts in central government financial support. (Stroud, thanks to prudent management, is in better shape than many.) Not to mention the national debt, which Conservatives often tell us needs to be reduced.

And yet the chancellor says he can afford tax cuts. Of course, this is a blatant attempt to bribe us to vote again for the party that has brought us to this state of impoverishment. If the country was not falling apart, if public services were well-funded, and if government was running a surplus, perhaps he would have a case. But as it is, surely few of us will fall for it.

Martin Brown

Green Party District Councillor