PETE WINSTANLEY poses, and then answers, a specific question (HAS, Nov 25).

Referring to the immediate post-war period he’s asks: "Did the Labour government prescribe a period of savage austerity?"

He answers "No".

I suggest he research Stafford Cripps’ austerity budget of 1947, wage freeze included.

Add to that a multibillion dollar loan from the US that took until 2006 to repay.

Rationing continued in the UK throughout the Atlee administration (it ended in Germany in 1950), which appears pretty austere in its own right.

He goes on to state that the national debt as a percentage of GDP stood at 250 per cent in 1945.

It was actually at 215 per cent in that year, rising to 237 per cent in both 1946 and 1947 (thus the need for the austerity budget).

Mr Winstanley then cites three groups of countries to have free university education, nationalised railways and national investment banks, it would appear that only Norway has two of these benefits, none have all three.

This letter is not about politics, nor is it in support of, or to the detriment of, any party, it is about fairly stating a case.

During this election we have politicians of almost all sides (I say “almost” in fairness to the Liberal Democrats) bandying about wild promises, few of which can be kept without finding a forest of money trees – ie us taxpayers.

Maybe, we contributors to HAS could make a pact to do better than them.

S Guest, Hurworth