Please explain

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THERE are times that, when watching or listening to the news or reading the newspapers, I begin to wonder if I am still on the same planet I was born on.

We have the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust asking for voluntary redundancies as they need to save £13.5m in this financial year.

Yet the same unelected board of the trust is pushing for the new hospital to be built at Wynyard using PFI.

The cost of paying the interest alone, depending on what interest rate they can secure (not yet published), could be in the region of £20m a year.

This money comes from the trust’s funds.

On top of this will be the repayment of the loan itself.

If over 30 years this will be another £10m a year.

On top of this are the other costs associated with PFI.

Total cost over 30 years perhaps £1bn. Could someone explain please?

The redundancy/severance payments will only cover five years’ service, which means someone who has 20 or 30 years’ service will only receive five years’ worth of redundancy/severance money.

Where are the unions in all of this? Could someone explain please?

Then we have the elected MP in his column (Mail, January 27) headlined “Town will be poorer for loss of library services”.

Well here’s a bit of news headlines for him. Town will be a whole lot poorer with the loss of the hospital – the same hospital that he promised would not close if he was elected.

The same man who championed the new hospital and led the debate with the health secretary, about the withdrawal of public funding, knowing full well that if Labour had got back in, PFI would have had to be used anyway, as for the previous 12 years under Labour, PFI has been used for building new hospitals.

Could someone explain please?

Then we have the unions promising action over the cuts imposed by the new Government, the same unions who stood side by side with the MP and the Labour leadership hopefuls at the rally in Victory Square, supporting the new hospital, knowing full well that 300-plus of their members would lose their jobs.

Could someone explain please?

Then we have apparently Hartlepool Borough Council voting to have the tall ships back.

The last lot cost us over £2m.

Jobs are going to be lost, services lost and yet they want the tall ships back.

Could someone please explain, just so I know where I am?

Mike Hanley,

Bruce Crescent,