Are you a fan of lists? The Tories have been making one, covering the policies they want you to associate with them. Here’s Tory mouthpiece the BBC carrying on about it:
The Conservatives are delivering on manifesto pledges on childcare, home ownership and skills training, David Cameron has argued as he set out the “progress” made since the election.
Among new initiatives he announced include:
- Allowing people who part-own, part-rent properties through shared ownership schemes to “trade up”
- Setting aside £8m for councils to prepare land for new starter homes
- Giving childcare providers the right to use unused school facilities, subject to a consultation
- New targets for the number of apprentices in the public sector
- Powers to tackle failing and coasting schools to be expanded to cover academies
However, some of us prefer to remember the promises that haven’t come true in the past – promises that would have delivered much more to the people of the UK than the rather pitiful list above. Here’s the Daily Mirror with that side of the story:
Ten years ago the Tories picked a leader who would change the course of his party – and the country. But how many of the PM’s promises in his bold victory speech came true?
1. He promised to end Punch and Judy politics
Prime Minister’s Questions remains just as rowdy as ever, with schoolboy MPs roaring at each other across the green benches. In the last few months it’s Tory MPs who have been responsible for shouting down Jeremy Corbyn, despite the Labour leader’s vow to create a ‘new kind of politics’.
2. He promised never to play politics with terrorism
While the PM insists he is doing what’s right for Britain, there’s been a heavy air of politics over his decision to bomb Syria. He refused to apologise for calling anti-war MPs ‘terrorist sympathisers’ in a cheap shot at the past remarks of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Tory MPs were whipped into supporting bombing Syria, unlike Labour which (eventually) gave MPs a free vote.
3. He promised to end under-representation of women
68 women are now Tory MPs compared to 17 in 2005. While that’s a massive improvement, it’s hardly representative of society – women Tories are still outnumbered by men four-to-one. The figure is better in Labour, where 43% of MPs are female (99 out of 232).
4. He promised to put climate change first
The PM’s husky-hugging, glacier-loving credentials raised eyebrows when we revealed a gas-guzzling car was following his bike ride to carry his shoes . The U-turn was complete when he told colleagues it was time to cut the ‘green crap’ , prompting outrage from environmental groups. Tariffs for solar energy have been slashed and the Green Investment Bank is being sold off.
5. He promised no ‘policies for newspaper headlines’
The Tories have repeatedly been accused of ‘headline grabbing’ with their plans to scrap the Human Rights Act. The move came after a string of lurid news stories about terror suspects abusing the law. Campaigners argue these are rare and it would be dangerous to deprive honest Brits of their rights just to appear tough on terror. More than 200,000 people signed an online petition demanding the issue goes to a national vote.
6. He promised ‘well-paid jobs’ for 18-year-olds
The number of under-25s unemployed for more than a year soared under David Cameron to its highest rate since 1993 . Housing benefit has also been stripped back for young people and under-25s will not be allowed to earn the new National Living Wage . University tuition fees tripled, and the universities themselves are under strain as the government cuts the teaching grant by £120m .
7. He promised to improve public services
Councils will have faced astonishing 79% budget cuts between 2010 and 2020, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies . Local chiefs from all parties warn vital services like libraries and community centres have been hit. The NHS budget may be protected, but it too is having to make £22bn in savings.
8. He promised ‘we are all in this together’
Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis shows Universal Credit cuts will hit the poorest families hardest – and exactly as badly as tax credit cuts would’ve done. The hardest-hit will be couples who work on low incomes, own their homes and have children – people George Osborne has vowed to help.
9. He promised what would become the Big Society
Taxpayer-supported charities were set to lose £1.7bn in funding over seven years, a 2013 report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations claimed. The Tories’ Big Society idea was quietly dropped behind the sofa and in January a think tank found it had failed , with voluntary groups having less influence than they did before.
10. He promised to stop inner-city decline
Once the man who’d hug a hoodie, David Cameron has now been accused of ‘social cleansing’ in inner cities by imposing a £23,000-a-year benefits cap . Housing associations and Jeremy Corbyn warn this will hit people in London, where rents are sky-high and many benefits go straight to landlords. With nowhere else to cut back, tenants will be forced to leave neighbourhoods they’ve lived in for years.
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