Conservative v Labour Manifesto

Part 1: The Tory Manifesto compared, in narrative form :)

Theresa May, true to form, doesn’t know what she’s doing bar placing the impacts related to Brexit in different parts of the manifesto so we don’t relate them. It is all encompassing, and I detest having to sit and read the whole thing, just to find the salient points and worse, have to trawl the web, ONS, IFS and current UK budget data, because May has deliberately left out all the details. In fact, in real terms, there are none!

As with the Labour manifesto, it’s very wordy. Numbers are thrown around randomly and without thought. The main difference between the two is Labour’s “manifesto of death & incompetence” is the devil we know. They have made it abundantly clear that they will increase corporation tax to 26% to fund their proposals, the conservatives are selling thin air.

The Tory manifesto buries figures in detail that you have to crunch and research, and they are hoping you don’t! They don’t want any scrutiny because as we saw this week, they have no idea how they are going to make this work! Indeed, comically:

As a separate issue, Michael Fallon’s position is an idiotic one at that! People have called this “a work of art” for catching him out but in reality this is the position we should be putting politicians through as standard. What is clear, is that he hasn’t looked at the studies and doesn’t want anyone to make the link with foreign policy. I took Andrew Spooner to task on his fake facts on twitter the other day. Especially this set of humdingers (follow full thread).

This couldn’t be more rubbish! The post itself even has a no sequitur right slap bang in the middle of it, that apparently also caught out a doctor!

but I digress. You can find that here.


This is the thing with politics. The Tories are letting Labour tell it how it is, so anything relative to that is “good news” from the Tory party, but that isn’t how it works. They haven’t said anything, so we can’t ever assume it’ll be better, but people do. But returning to the question.

Iddy-bits-of-Brexit

The one-in-two-out rule is spun in exactly the opposite way to how it should be. This likely mean the regulatory burden will be pushed out to the private sector here. We can’t forget that this rule was brought in my the Tories themselves.

The other idiotic thing is this:

So the NHS is not only going to pay £2,400 per foreign employee, it is also going to pay another £1,000 on top of that. Hence, the total bill to maintain the current position in light of Brexit, which, if we use the manifesto’s figures of 140,000 EU workers in the NHS, indeed if they can recruit at all, will cost the government another £476 million, if this is true.

Fisheries

May has confirmed that she intends the UK to withdraw from the London Fisheries accord (or the EEA derivative really, since this was subsumed into EU law on our accession to the EU in 1972). Wa’evs!

Page 30 — The information we’ve been waiting for

Shared Prosperity Fund — This money is going to total a maximum of £7 billion or so, if we leave the EU in 2021 and pay our membership fee until 2020. It’s the amount of the rebate belonging to the last year of our membership in that one context. It isn’t possible for it to be anything other than present in that one specific scenario.

This one line, top of page 36 of the conservative manifesto shows the Conservatives definitely do not know what they’re doing.

Nope. No deal is a bad deal. They’ve still not run the numbers. However, in that same paragraph, we get this ray of sunshine. Swipes Corbyn’s position from right under him. Whether she honours it is of course, another matter.

Law

Basically as it was then. UK judges always have interpreted the law. It has to be UK first. We can’t go to the ECJ without going to the UK courts first. They have to interpret it to make a judgement, before it can go any further.

Copy and Paste will allegedly be addressed here too. Under the Great Repeal Bill, laws will be created which allow the government to scratch this, or fill in that blank will come about. Note, it is not at all clear whether these laws will be subject to consultation, but I suspect not. This will be parliament’s right only, as well as any devolved control (so we could get a provincial-federal legal structure within our own borders, never mind the EU). They intend to remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the next 5 years. So I suspect May is going for a 5 year Brexit roadmap.

Overseas Aid

The plan is for the 0.7% foreign development budget target to be retained. So no, we are not using the foreign aid budget, which mostly loans anyway, to fund Brexit or anything else.

Education

Tonnes here that is stupid as hell! Every aspect from school breakfasts, to school meals. But this one takes the biscuit:

OK, so you allow them in, they get educated, bringing the cash-cow cash with them, one home student doesn’t get an academic place, the foreign student leaves, taking that education with them and you’re one less academic/engineer/doctor in the UK.

Plus anyway, this is contradicted by the statements on page 55:

This is 100% total hypocrisy. The highlighted statement above it shows that it isn’t true, let alone what they do when in power.

Other Notable Entrants/Numbers

Military Spend

This is because May is promising a four fold increase in the defence budget. Note, she deliberately avoids giving the numbers, so she can claim in public that Corbyn’s manifesto doesn’t make sense. So note, she didn’t provide the numbers. I’ll dig them out for your convenience.

Current defence spending is £45.6 billion. That means the defence budget is going to £178 billion! Where the heck are the funds from a 4 fold increase going to come from? Even if we got the whole of the membership fee, we can’t come close to paying for one year of that in 15 years!

Prison Modernisation 
£1 billion (inc 10,000 new places).

Schooling
“Increase” funding by £4 billion by 2022, plus “free” school breakfasts, which we saw this week will cost about £160–£174 million a year, not the £60m the Conservatives claim, which means one of two things:

  1. Not every child will be allowed a free school breakfast
  2. Not every child who is eligible for a free school breakfast will be allowed to take it up

What is even worse, is that the IFS tweeted this week that May’s manifesto plans aren’t a step change in funding and they’re right! They are a continuation of an inflationary rise in funding they started previously, which as we’ve seen has been unable to keep up with demand to the point of the per-pupil spend going down.

Mental Health
Extra £1 billion between now and 2020/2021. Current levels are at £11.4bn. Note, this doesn’t mean that in 2021 the spend will be £12.4 bn. This means that the spend across the 5 years will increase by some value, say £250 million a year for each of those 4 years. In essence, an increase of 2.1%. That’s it. Note, the increase the year 2015/16 was 8.4%. So this commitment of 2.1% is actually a drop on that value. It’s in essence, almost like an inflation target.

NHS 
General health spending increases — £8 billion

Social Care
Council tax pays for social care. The problem is, councils have lost central government funding. Manchester and Liverpool, amongst many others are being told to cut at least £30 million this year. Social care is a time-bomb. However, extracting that level of funding from every council is a massive cost! Council tax simply can’t rise to cover the shortfall and the extra £2 bn injected is a one off.

Inheritance
That’s gone! All but £100,000 will be subject to paying for social care needs in old age. Furthermore, deferred payment systems allow private companies to sell the property on behalf of a subsequently deceased person, to recoup the costs of care. This means that social care finance providers may make a fortune but crucially, this has huge ramifications for the housing market.

Inheritance keeps a house within a family. It doesn’t necessarily liquidate immediately. Moving to that will create a spike in the supply of housing which will create a corresponding drop in the value of homes due to demand. This will cause a fire sale of these houses, which will make them more affordable, assuming that people can find deposits, which without an inheritance, they may not. So this has huge ramifications for the main thing in the basket of goods, which in turn has ramification for banking. It won’t make it as good as it could for front-line workers and indeed, the IFS claim it will be worse.

Conservative Summary

Aggregate increases in investment from all these alone is — £200 billion. Where is this money coming from? Taxation and the older people’s “stealth tax” through their homes. This I need to crunch.

Immigration
Anything that mentions cutting immigration completely misses the point. They’re chasing shadows and sure enough, it mentions immigration.

NHS waiting targets — Hunt removed them, yet in the manifesto, page 69:

Say that again? Didn’t Hunt get… rid…

Media
Cancelling the Levison enquiry. This means Rupert Murdoch has now won. He can continue to feed lies to everyone in the UK with impunity, unchallenged unless you have the money for a civil suit. So they can phone hack, pursue sensitive information and violate people’s privacy and can’t be held accountable for abhorrent breaches of privacy.

Framework for data — Here the whole manifesto shows it’s complete and utter ignorance of digital technology. In short, welcome to North Korea. We’re in part already here.

The issue is that the UK will not have the jurisdictional power of enforcement. Unless they agree extradition treaties with Europe during negotiation and also write those into UK law, this is unequivocally unenforceable. So if they leave the EU with no deal, they are not going to have the power to do this across borders, which is where the vast majority of such cyber-crime originates.

There’s more of this to come! Labour don’t exactly cover themselves in glory, but Labour’s Manifesto is by far the more realistic and achievable one, albeit that it carries very significant risks of it’s own.

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