Wednesday 14 April 2010

Join the government of Britain?

The Conservatives have launched their manifesto for the general election with an "invitation to join the government of Britain".

The manifesto contains lots of promises from "Cast Iron" Dave, many of which are watered-down version of UKIP policy and most of which relate to England only (I'll discuss that somewhere else later).

Dave promises to:

  • Reverse Labour's increase in National Insurance for anyone earning under £35k
    UKIP will abolish it
  • Freeze council tax
    In England, it's already frozen in Wales and Scotland
  • Re-introduce tax benefits for married couples
    £150 per year? That's a few weeks of our personal contribution to the EU budget.
  • Increase the retirement age early
    UKIP will use money propping up EU pensions to pay our own pensions
  • Reduce cost of the civil service by cutting quangos
    Many of which were invented by the EU
  • Freeze public sector spending on IT
    Which saves the taxpayer money
  • Freeze public sector recruitment
    More work, less money and less people means worse service
  • Pay companies to employ apprentices
    UKIP will abolish NI and make this unnecessary
  • Put the Bank of England back in charge of banks
    Under an EU regulator
  • Cut corporation tax
    A UKIP policy
  • Allow parents to run schools
    In England only. UKIP will reintroduce grammar schools so bright children get an education that will make the most of their potential.
  • Let patients choose which hospital they want to be treated at
    In England only. UKIP will allow people to opt out of the NHS if they want to.
  • Ban off-licences and shops from selling cheap alcohol as loss leaders
    Labour killed the pub, the Tories want to kill the rest of the alcohol industry
  • Limit non-EU immigration
    UKIP will limit all immigration
  • Reduce the number of MPs by 10%
    England only. UKIP will abolish regional quangos which cost much more than 65 MPs. We will need all our MPs when the EU isn't making 75% of our laws.
  • Stop government paying lobbyists to lobby government
    A sensible idea (there are one or two!)
  • Any public sector spending over £25k to go on a website
    How much will it cost to administer and who will actually look at it other than journalists?
  • Stop tax credits for anyone earning over £50k
    UKIP will take low paid workers out of income tax completely, reducing the need for tax credits
  • New tax on financial services for "social responsibility"
    UKIP will make it easier and cheaper to do business, not harder and more expensive
  • Ban companies from repossessing houses to pay debts under £25k
    This will encourage defaulting on debts and damage businesses who lend money
  • National voluntary service for teenagers
    England only. There will be less unemployed youngsters when business is thriving.
Dave's promises are worthless as we've already seen with his promises on the West Lothian Question and the Lisbon Treaty.  For once I'm glad that he does break his promises, there's very little in the Conservative manifesto that will benefit the economy or society.