Unlike the Tory manifesto, Labour’s manifesto is fully costed – it is a programme that is radical and responsible, argues DIANE ABBOTT
Theresa May unveiled her general election manifesto this week, two days after Labour outlined our vision for a better Britain.
The Tory manifesto is document of so-called “promises” to the British people.
But we know — after seven years of broken promises — that we can’t trust a word they say. They make promises they don’t plan to keep to try deal with the problems they created.
Take taxation for example. The tax guarantee they made in 2015 — and that Philip Hammond wanted to break in the last budget — has gone. While they now want to further extend their tax giveaways to the very wealthiest and giant multinationals by pledging Corporation Tax will fall to 17p they’re dropping the promise not to raise income tax and national insurance contributions, raising the spectre of tax rises on lower and middle incomes.
Only Labour has promised to protect low and middle earners from any tax rises.
When it comes to living standards and the economy, at the last general election the Tories promised to raise living standards, but working families are set to be on average over £1,400 a year worse off.
With real wages set to fall and living standards being squeezed, is it any wonder that the Tories have dropped their previous promise — indeed, the phrase “living standards” doesn’t appear at all in their manifesto.
For our public services — slashed back by seven years of ideologically driven Tory austerity that have made our economy weaker not stronger — there’s nothing but insecurity in the Tory plans.
They have broken their promise to protect policing in this parliament and have slashed funding for our fire and rescue service.
They’ve failed to match Labour’s commitment on education funding and there’s no detail other than a vague promise on giving the NHS funding.
We know from the NHS crisis this winter that the Tories simply can’t be trusted with it — it’s a promise they made in the past and broke.
And as Jeremy Corbyn said this week: “Millions of pensioners are betrayed by May’s manifesto. She is hitting older people with a classic Nasty Party triple whammy — scrapping the triple lock on pensions, removing the winter fuel allowance and forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes.”
Labour is not letting the Tories’ empty promises go unchallenged.
In contrast to the Tory politics of fear and division, Labour is running a strong campaign of hope. Hope in a better Britain — that makes all of us richer rather than being run solely in the interests of the very rich.
As this election campaign has gone on, it has become clear that only Corbyn and Labour have the capacity to bring Britain together and genuinely protect jobs and communities, while the Tories continue to pursue a hard-right agenda that apes Ukip, not least with their continual scapegoating of migrants for Britain’s woes.
Earlier this week Labour presented the British public with a fantastic message of hope — our manifesto.
It’s full of real solutions to problems created by the Tories and outlines how Labour’s policies will transform Britain and ensure economic growth through investment.
It is a programme that is radical and responsible. Unlike the Tory manifesto, Labour manifesto is fully costed.
The Tories will say things have to be this way and that the only way to pay for social care, for example, is to rob Peter by ending millions of pensioners’ winter fuel allowances, to pay Paul.
Where the Tories have held Britain back, Labour will move Britain forward with ambitious plans to unlock the country’s potential.
Whatever the Tories supporters in some parts of the media say, Labour’s policies — a real living wage of £10 per hour, decent homes for all — with a million new homes to rent or buy, free education and an end to university tuition fees, moving towards universal childcare by expanding free provision for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds, social care and the NHS properly funded and pensions protected are not utopian ideas. Indeed, they are mainstream policies in other European economies.
The Tories don’t want a debate with Corbyn because they don’t have answers to the economic and social problems their own policies have created and know their record of broken promises doesn’t hold up to sustained scrutiny.
With our manifesto for the many not the few Labour has shown how we can make a better Britain a reality. The Tories in contrast will continue to only stand up for few at the very top.
Please get on the campaign trail over these next weeks and get the message out as widely out as you can.