The Labour Party’s Leaked Manifesto — Bad Maths and Bad Ideas

The Labour Party’s leaked manifesto provides us with an insight into the chaos and confusion that would come with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister. What struck me when reading it is how detached it seems from both reality and rationality. Talk of a rigged system and a suffering economy sound similar to Donald Trump and completely ignore the fact that this Conservative Government has reduced the deficit by two-thirds, increased employment to record levels and ensured we are one of the fastest growing economies in the G7.

In examining the detail though, it does not surprise me that the rhetoric makes little sense. The Labour Party don’t even get their facts right. They claim that inequality has ballooned, poverty is rising and people earn less than they did 10 years ago. The truth, according to the ONS, is that inequality is at its lowest point since the 80s (lower than at any point under Tony Blair), average weekly earnings were £76 higher in 2016 than they were in 2007 and poverty has fallen.

Not only do the Labour party seem to get their facts wrong, they don’t even bother offering us an explanation on how they want to fund their policy ideas. They want to create a National Investment Bank with up to £250 billion of public money, renationalise rail, energy utilities and royal mail, scrap tuition fees, build 1 million new homes, recruit 10,000 new policeman, 3,000 prison officers, guarantee the triple lock, commit to EU spending on R+D as well as a new £1 billion culture fund. And how do they intend to do this, an increase in tax on high earners and an increase in corporation tax. Unfortunately, neither of these tax proposals are likely to bring close to enough money. In fact reducing taxes for businesses and high earners, will drive businesses abroad and is shown to reduce total tax revenue.

Not only were the policy proposals unfunded, they were utterly uninspiring for someone like me who cares deeply about social justice. Labour’s policy on welfare was a return to the dark days of an uncontrollable entitlement system that didn’t put hard work at its core. On education, Labour want to abolish technical colleges! And there was nothing on supporting families or special measures to help people suffering from addiction. The Conservatives alternatively have a social justice track record we can be proud of; 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools, 31 million people in work (a record for this country), the introduction of the national living wage and cutting all income tax for those under £11,500, a homelessness bill passed just last month, crime down by more than a third and £2 billion in funding of better social care.

Overall, this leaked Labour manifesto confirms our worst fears, bad ideas rooted in maths that do not add up. An economy under Labour would see unemployment skyrocket, the deficit explode and growth disappear. Why is that important, because without jobs, growth and sound finances, we cannot support our the public services we want. Without an economy that grows, tax revenues wont go up, the deficit wont fall and our public service sector wont get the money it needs. Only with Theresa May and the Conservative Party will you get that strong economy.