benefit, campaign, cap, Conservative, contract, David Cameron, debate, debt, deficit, election, EU, european union, fiscal, general, IFS, Income Tax, Institute, ITV, jobs, Labour, Leader, referendum, SNP, Studies, television, Tories, Tory, TV, zero hour
Vox Political is grateful to the spy who provided the above information on Cameron’s talking-points for the televised leader debate this evening.
From 8pm, he’ll be trying to present these as facts – but are they? Let’s see:
Firstly, governments don’t create jobs. Ideally, they create the conditions in which employers create jobs and in that respect, Cameron’s effort has been lousy. We have 800,000 more zero-hours jobs than in 2010 – a total of 1,800,000 people with no job security, who cannot claim holiday pay or sick pay. That’s brilliant for employers like Duncan Bannatyne and the other goons who put their name to CCHQ’s letter in yesterday’s Torygraph – and a living hell for you.
Next, the claim that the deficit has been halved was only ever accurate as a percentage of GDP, which has been increasing through no design of the Conservative Party’s. It seems our economy hit its lowest point somewhere in 2013 and then started bouncing back in the right direction of its own accord. That’s what the economic cycle does, you see. So what happens if we hit another downturn? Well, then the deficit grows and the claim that it has been halved can no longer be made. In numerical terms, it hasn’t happened at all; George Osborne inherited a deficit of around £130-140 billion and cut it to around £90-100 billion.
Capping benefits is no way to ensure that work always pays. Increasing wages is the way to do that. Cutting income tax helps the rich more than the poor. Tories don’t like you to think about that, though – they want you to concentrate on the slight improvement to your pittance.
The claim that Labour will create more taxes and more debt has been debunked – comprehensively and in a most damning fashion – by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It is foolish nonsense. And why is Cameron keen to talk about Labour’s plans? Is it because he refuses to explain where the Conservatives will make £12 billion in cuts to benefit payments?
The claim that Labour will ally with the SNP is a dream shared by David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon. Labour currently has no intention of making any such alliance. Why is David Cameron keen to discuss what Labour will do in a Hung Parliament, rather than what the Conservatives will do? The polls currently indicate he has no hope of achieving a Parliamentary majority and this writer would rather know how David Cameron intends to stay in office – not how he thinks Ed Miliband would take over.
Finally, the question of a referendum on membership of the European Union is a non-starter with most of the electorate. UKIP has made a lot of noise, but less than one-fifth of the voting public want anything to do with that party. Cameron wants a referendum because it will keep the Eurosceptics in his own party quiet – that’s all. It’s nothing to do with what you want.
And that’s all he has to offer today. Not a lot, is it?
Let’s see how many he manages to mention – and how the others shoot him down.
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