Letter: Funding opera

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The Independent Online
backs on most of what they believe in". I am at a loss to understand what you think we believe in.

We have believed since the Forster Education Act of 1870 in properly funded public services as a means to equality of opportunity and to freedom from fear.

We cannot reconcile tuition fees for students with equality of opportunity, nor can we reconcile funding levels which lead to the slow death of the NHS, with freedom from fear.

Our party constitution commits us to defending those enslaved by poverty. We cannot reconcile this with cuts in benefits for single parents nor with further restrictions on asylum seekers.

We will no more turn our backs on these beliefs than we will turn our backs on our belief in constitutional reform or on Europe. Our present policy of constructive opposition is the only possible point of equilibrium.

EARL RUSSELL

House of Lords

London SW1

The writer is Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Social Security

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