Yvette Cooper is only half-right. Cameron certainly lied to win the election – but Labour failed to beat him because Labour did not effectively answer those lies.
Labour’s five-year-long failure to deny the claim that it had spent too much while in government is the perhaps the most obvious example.
But Cooper has chosen to highlight promises that were made to the people of the UK, which have been broken in the very short time since.
David Cameron won the general election on the basis of a series of lies, Yvette Cooper said on Thursday, as she highlighted a series of broken promises by the Conservatives.
In a sharpening of her rhetoric against the Tories, the Labour leadership contender accused Cameron of ripping up nine pre-election promises. She said he had changed tack on areas ranging from child tax credits to housing and rail electrification.
Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: “We may have our own leadership election going on, but Labour can’t allow David Cameron to get away with this and carry on like nothing has happened – he is taking the British public for fools. We have to confront him directly on every lie and broken promise – that’s exactly what I plan to do in parliament and across the country.
The nine areas identified by Cooper are:
- Cuts in child tax credits. Cooper said Cameron denied during the election that he would cut child tax credits. She said Osborne, the chancellor, unveiled £4.5bn of cuts to child tax credits in the budget which would hit women twice as hard as men.
- Cuts to child benefit after Cameron said during the election there would be no cuts beyond a two-year freeze. Cooper says it will now be subject to a four-year freeze.
- Cancellation of rail electrification plans.
- Downgrading of the number of affordable homes due to be built. The Office for Budget Responsibility has said 14,000 fewer homes will be built.
- Delaying of a decision on a new airport runway in south-east England. Downing Street says it is standing by its commitment to reach a decision by the end of this year.
- Delay in the introduction of tax-free childcare from 2015 to 2017.
- Shelving of an election pledge to give public officials three days off work to take part in volunteering.
- Delay until 2020 in the introduction of the social care cap.
- Reversal of pledge for greater government transparency after launch of review into freedom of information.
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