Well, that ‘s the first big one out of the way. Ed Miliband yesterday launched his plan to make him
President Prime Minister…
To be fair, it was a fairly impressive performance even if he was using an autocue, but I did feel it went downhill a little when he went of script to take questions. Plus the three interviews that Ed Balls gave on breakfast telly of all flavours lacked any sort of such panache.
But back to the Labour manifesto. I actually take the time to read these things which probably means I’m a little sad and short of things to do – but I have an interest in politics and like to give a fair shake to all colours of the political spectrum.
To me, the whole thing banged on about the same old dross that the Labour Party has been banging on about for the last 100 years – namely redistribution of wealth, taxing the rich, slagging off the Conservative Party and standing up for the good old downtrodden working classes. I was particularly impressed my Martin Daubney who was reviewing the papers on Sky News this morning and was given the chance to tackle Ed Balls. He said that he was a working class miners son who was born Labour and would probably die Labour, but no he had done well for himself he felt that Labour had rebranded him and that he was going to be victimised by Labours tax the rich policies. He has a good point. He’s no longer ‘working class’ but then these days not many people are, are they?
Miliband made much of being trusted with the economy, but when question refused to answer direct questions on tax and spend, as Balls had done earlier in the day. He wants to restore the 10p lower rate tax band but ignores the fact the allowance increase to £10,000 has made it irrelevant.
He wants to remove the winter fuel payment from higher rate taxpayers. It sounds good to the core vote, but it raises bugger all.
He want to introduce a mansion tax (an idea nicked from the Lib Dems) and a bankers’ bonus tax. Again they sound good but he won’t give us specifics. And let’s look at some of the other key points :
- Raise the minimum wage – this costs nothing as it’s paid for by business
- Cut and freeze business rates – sounds good but actually is cancelled out by cancelling Conservative plans to reduce Corporation Tax
- Abolish the Non Doms – likely to be at best tax neutral
- Freeze energy bills – kills investment in generating plants and paid for by business
- Cap school class sizes – where are the extra teachers and classrooms coming from?
- Guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours – how exactly?
- Stop migrant benefits for the first two years – illegal under EU law
- Lower the voting age – because youngsters tend to vote Labour
- Reform the EU – how? We’ll just get outvoted
- More nurses, doctors and midwives – presumably magiced up from thin air? Will Labour never learn that you can’t solve the problems of the NHS by simply throwing money at it?
From my point of view, Mr Miliband can protest all he likes about economic credibility because he just doesn’t have it. I found it interesting that one of the first polls taken after the manifesto launch gave the Conservatives a 6 point lead. Mind you, we all know how reliable polls are, don’t we?
I’m afraid that it’s all designed to sound good whilst stealth taxing business. Presumably this is something that Balls learned from his old master Gordon Brown. Let’s remember that Balls worked for Brown at the treasury when he was Chancellor.
And lest we forget….