You Deserve Better

More Tory Lies

We are only a few short hours into the General Election campaign and the Conservatives are already lying to you.  Their central campaign team has produced a flyer which is rife with misrepresentations and outright lies.  Here’s my take on it, complete with my marking for each of the claims:

Tackled inflation, cut workers’ taxes and increased the  state pension

The idea that the  government has tackled inflation in any meanningful sense is an egregious lie.  All they have done is wait for the highs of 2022 to fall out of the  current inflation figure, which looks at the change between now and a  year ago.  If you look at the  cumulative impact of inflation over the last 5 years you see a rather different story:

This shows that an average bundle of goods as represented by CPI is close to 25% more expensive now than it was 5 years ago.  Frankly this is an absurdly high level of inflation, so being proud that they have slowed it down to “only” going up by 2.3% now shows just how little they have to be proud of.

The workers’ tax claim refers to the National Insurance cuts announced this year and last.  For someone earning £35,000, the cuts this year amounted to around £450, or less than £10 per week. Certainly not enough to offset  the mammoth increase in costs due to inflation.

The state pension has been “triple locked” for decades, meaning it grows at the highest of price inflation, average earnings inflation or 2.5%. The Conservatives have maintained that triple lock, but claiming credit for this  is essentially claiming credit for not doing away with a long-standing guarantee – hardly worthy of inclusion at the top of their  supposed achievements.

Reduced taxes on investments

This is simple not true unless you are a landlord, where the capital gains tax rate has been reduced by 4 percentage points.  For anyone investing normally in anything other than property, the rates are unchanged.

Record amounts of funding into our NHS

This one is misleading rather than an outright lie.  In pounds and pence terms, more money has been paid into the NHS, but this includes things like the PPE contracts that wasted huge amounts of taxpayer money, and ignores the fact that the NHS is still critically underfunded for what we need it to do as a country.

It is also worth remembering that the Conservatives promised 40 new hospitals, none of which has materialised.

Reformed education

Genuinely not sure what reforms they are boasting about here. Most of these recent “reforms” have been to ban certain forms of sex education, but that largely seems to have been to appease the anti-trans movement more than anything. Aside from that, there have been a few changes in labelling, but no major reforms to education as a whole.

Prioritised energy security and family finances in our approach to Net Zero

Considering their “approach to Net Zero” has largely been to pretend that there’s no need for Net Zero, this is an utterly laughable claim.  Coupled with the fact that renewable energy is currently cheaper than fossil fuels to produce, the idea that they have prioritised energy security and family finances would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious a problem.

Full funded increase in defence spending to 2.5% of GDP

Questions must be raised as to why such spending was below 2.5% to begin with.  The answer is that the Tories lowered the amount of defence spending, so this return to 2.5% is nothing to boast about, just undoing the cuts they imposed for years.

Invested more in local transport

There may be isolated exampled where this is true, but there is not a single additional bus route near where I live or work that could be attributed to this supposed investment.  I wonder where you would have to go to actually find one.

Set out a comprehensive plan to reform our welfare system

This is nonsense. They have demonised disabled people and reformed the system such that non-doctors would have the power to make decisions as to whether someone is fit to work or not, but this is not positive reform, it is just a barbaric attack on those who already struggle in society.

Immigration

Immigration might be coming down in a very specific short-term measure, but in reality there are more immigrants than ever before and still a huge number of Channel crossings, many of which  end inn loss of life because our government has been too callous to  open up asylum application centres in France.

Ensured the next generation grows up smoke-free

I’ve marked this one as questionable, because the policy likely won’t achieve that result.  People too young to buy cigarettes legally will likely do so illegally rather than stopping smoking, so this ban on purchases is very unlikely to create a smoke-free UK. In addition, this says nothing about people living in a house where someone is legally able to continue buying cigarettes.  In such a case, that individual can still be subjected to a large quantity of second-hand smoke even if they do not partake themselves.

This policy is oddly restrictive of personal liberties for the Conservatives, but it is clear that it will not achieve the stated aim of ensuring that the next generation grows up smoke free.  If they wanted to do that, they would need to ban  smoking  altogether and find a way to enforce the ban, which would itself require a vast investment into the police and justice services that they have assiduously avoided.