Manifestos : The Conservative Party

Rah, rah – big fanfare – wheel out the cabinet big guns – bring on the PM to tell us how wonderful everything is going to be! Yes, it’s the Conservatives turn to roll out the manifesto…

Cameron looked composed and confident although Teresa May seemed a little nervous on the occasion, but the basic message is that the economy is growing, they’ve turned round the mess inherited from Labour, we need to stick to the plan, give me another five years to finish the job, blah blah blah!

To be fair, Cameron has a point. The deficit has reduced, inflation is down to the point of deflation, there are more people in work, taxes for the lowest paid have reduced and we are doing quite well as a country – especially if you compare us to the rest of the EU. We now have the second fastest growing economy in Europe after the Germans.

The problem is that people don’t necessarily feel it in their pockets yet and are probably more than a little pissed off at the thought of more austerity and spending cuts even if they are necessary. This makes ‘give us 5 more years of the same’ an unappealing prospect.

Let’s look at what the Tories are offering :

  • Extension of the right-to-buy scheme to housing association tenants in England – this might appeal to tenants but the housing people hate it!
  • Plans to build 200,000 starter homes – using money released from getting councils to sell off their most expensive properties and using the money released.
  • Removing all people who work 30 hours per week on the minimum wage from income tax liabilities – basically by linking the increase in personal allowance to the increase in the minimum wage
  • Increasing the inheritance tax threshold on family homes to £1m by 2017 – actually this is misreported. What they’ve said is that you get an extra £175,000 allowance to be used on the value of your home. And the £1m is per married couple not each.
  • No above-inflation rises in rail fares until 2020 – easily promised if the RPI and CPI are going down
  • An extra £8bn a year for the NHS by 2020 – Labour poo-poo this but they’re saying exactly the same
  • Opening 500 more free schools – which will be need if they reduce class sizes. Labour seem to think they can reduce class sizes without increasing classrooms
  • An EU referendum by 2017 – Yeah, well I’ll believe that one when I see it!
  • No rise in VAT, national insurance contributions or income tax – In fact they’re reducing income tax by increasing the personal allowance to £12,500 and raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000.
  • A crackdown on tax evasion and the “aggressive” avoidance of tax – Means nothing. Heard it all before from both the major parties!
  • Creating a “Northern Powerhouse” through investment – Roll out the old buzz words!
  • Achieve full employment by helping businesses create 2 million extra jobs over the course of the next Parliament – Full employment is a socialist utopian myth. There’s not such thing so I’ll settle for a commitment to reduce unemployment
  • Requiring 40% of those entitled to take part in strike ballots to vote for a strike before industrial action can be held – About bloody time!
  • Increasing the minimum wage to £6.70 by the autumn and to £8 by the end of the decade – matching the Labour commitment
  • Giving working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds 30 hours of free childcare a week – again matching Labour
And then there’s the undeliverables :
  • Negotiating new EU rules so people will have to be earning in the UK for four years before they can claim tax credits and child benefits
  • Introducing a four year residency requirement for social housing for EU migrants
  • Ending ability of EU jobseekers to claim any job-seeking benefits
  • Requiring jobseekers who have not found a job within six months to leave
All the above are illegal under EU rules and will never get implemented because the other EU  countries will simply vote us down. Cameron needs to get real on this because the only way he can possibly achieve it is to leave the EU.
Labour are making much of the fact that none of this has been explained in terms of where the money is coming from. Osborne and Cameron say that it’s all achievable with a growing economy. More people in work = more tax coming and less benefits going out. Fair enough, but it’s a bit vague. Having said that, he stands on his five year record in government and says we’ve managed it so far so why not again?
So the choice seems to me to be between ‘costed’ proposals from Labour that are unachievable and ‘uncosted’ proposals from the Tories that may or may not be achievable.
Not much of a choice is it?

17 responses to “Manifestos : The Conservative Party

  1. Like I said yesterday, not worth the paper they're printed on. To be fair, when you argue that the last four points are unachievable because the proposals would be illegal under EU rules, I say “so what”. People break the law on a daily basis. Just tell the EU to fuck off in the same way that most of the other member states do. When the EU tries to impose fines, simply refuse to pay. What can the EU do about it? How do you fine a country anyway? The only reason the EU can pull it off is because our government rolls over every time. It's time we had a government with a full set of balls, and no, I do not mean Ed and Yvette.
    The only other point I'd like to raise is this obsession with lower class sizes. For God's sake the nation managed very well to turn out better educated young people when the average class size was around 40 and some children were leaving school at 14. The fact is that teaching standards have fallen and discipline has gone to hell in a hand basket, mainly due to the imbecilic laissez-faire policies introduced by left wing governments of both the main parties.

  2. Yes, smaller class sizes mean more classes. It also means more teachers, or Assistants. Given that the teachers nowadays are mainly thick, (my view), how is this going to help? Interesting piece in the Telegraph this morning. Most teenagers don't know what a Welder or Glazier does for a living! My point is get honest hard working tradesmen in to schools and let them see that there are jobs around if they do a bit of graft!

  3. The French ignore the EU rules all the time, but we Brits like rules don't we. Unfortunately it's imbedded in our psyche.

    I wouldn't tell them no, I'd just never get round to it. 'These things take time, you know” as they're fond of saying in Paris…

  4. Cameron can get all he want vis-a-vis the EU, (Single Market, but no political union), by simply invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. No other satrapy of the EU can stop it because the negotiation is with the European Commission only. Yes, Dioclese, we do play by the rules, but that is because any dispute between one person and another was dealt with according to the law, so that fair and equitable outcome was assured. Sadly today, our judiciary, in fact pretty much all our institutions are corrupt. The marxist “march through the institutions” has seen to that.

    As for the rest of the manifesto – its an exercise in self-delusion.

  5. XX Ending ability of EU jobseekers to claim any job-seeking benefits
    Requiring jobseekers who have not found a job within six months to leave

    All the above are illegal under EU rules XX

    Where do you GET this shite?

    From the Land Sachesn web sit, but applying to all Germany:

    < < Freedom of movement Freedom of movement applies to any EU citizen in the first three months of their stay,

    persons holding permanent residence permits, and their families.

    If you have maintained your legal, permanent place of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany for five years, you will be given an unlimited residence permit, which is not subject to the aforementioned requirements.

    Unemployed EU citizens are only entitled to free movement if they have health insurance and sufficient resources to finance themselves and their families for the entire duration of their stay.

    NOTE!!! Sufficient funding means they do not need to claim social welfare. >>

    ALSO NOTE! THAT is only in the first three months! After that get a job or fuck off!

  6. Spot on!

  7. Absolutely right – I fully agree!

    BTW Dioclese these image captcha things are getting beyond a joke.

  8. I've seen the image capture stuff on other sites but as far as I was aware it was still working on word entry. I don't see what it does on my own blog of course. I'll look into it. I put it on because taking it off meant the blog filled up with Chinese spam shite.

    Thanks for telling me tho' and I'll see what I can do because I don't like it either!

  9. Thanks Dioclese, the things I'm on about are where you have to select images that are the same as the sample image. For example, today I was presented with, pizzas, pasta, cakes and sushi. Hope that helps. Wonder if any other commenters have had similar?

  10. Not sure. Be interested to know if everybody sees the same thing.

    It used to be simple type in a word stuff so maybe it varies by browser? Anyhow, I've taken it off to see what happens but if I get a load of spam then I might have to put it back again!

  11. “Negotiating new EU rules so people will have to be earning in the UK for four years before they can claim tax credits and child benefits
    Introducing a four year residency requirement for social housing for EU migrants
    Ending ability of EU jobseekers to claim any job-seeking benefits”

    Remove all reference to EU migrants or job seekers by making it a requirement for any person, including native born, to be unable to claim any benefits until they have been in-country for four years.

  12. Always wondered about this Captcha thing. It sais it is switched on, but I have never been asked to enter one.

    Not here, any way.

  13. You also have not answered why you think Britain can not do what the rest of Europe already does.

  14. Wasn't aware that this was so. But then the Germans never play by the rules do they?…

    I think Captcha only cuts in if your not registered on the site and I believe you are FT? I thank you for that.

  15. It is not just the Germans. The same in France, Holland, Sweden, and Italy, that I know of.

  16. Considering Europes greatest problem are Turks, and now arabs, in Germany, morrocans in France, and Italy, Eritrians plus the rest of the list in Belgium, General North Africans in Scandinavia, I think keeping harking on about “E.U citizens,” is missing the point.

    Most of those causing the problems are NOT “E.U citizens.”