Conservative Achievements Since 2010

Quite a few people I have spoken to have complained that the conservative message has been one of doom and gloom. That rather than championing their own achievements and plans they are simply hating on Jeremy Corbyn. In response I’ve written up a number of examples of areas where the Conservatives have a positive record.

Disclaimer: There is a lot more that should probably be written for each section and lots more examples of sucesses but I have limited myself to only writing about things I understand ūüôā

The Deficit:

The steady reduction in the deficit is one of the greatest achievements of the last 7 years. Fiscal responsibility is essential for good government and we’ve seen over the last 7 years the Conservatives being up front about the challenges of debt and deficit and move strongly to bring public spending under control. The deficit in 2010 was 9.9% of GDP and is now down to pre-crash levels at 2.6%.

Whilst originally the target was the eliminated the deficit by 2015 economic realities such as the eurozone crisis forced changes to plans. Theresa May’s conservatives have shown themselves to be more willing to loosen the purse strings and now intend to achieve a balanced budget by the early 2020s.

Labour have opposed or abstained on every measure mean to reduce the deficit since 2010. Jeremy Corbyn thinks the last Labour Government did not spend enough. Current Labour plans would add hugely to the debt and increase the deficit, unraveling all the hard work of the previous 7 years.

The NHS:

The budget has been protected and increased, just as the conservatives promised in 2010. In 2010 the NHS budget was £111.7B and now stands at £122.6B. The current Conservative manifesto mirrors the 2015 manifesto and commits to further increasing the NHS budget by £8B in real terms over the next 5 years. Overall satisfaction with the NHS has remained at historic highs with 63% .

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/18/conservative-manifesto-tories-pledge8bn-rise-nhs-spending/

 

Defence:

The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) weakened the armed forced and reduced its capabilities, however the SDSR 2015 went some way to reverse the damage done. The Conservatives, historically the party of defence, have committed to the delivery of two world beating super carriers, are dealing with Type 45 defaults, committed to the trident renewal program, have improved our Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) abilities, are pressing ahead with construction of the new Type 26 & 31 frigates and have modernised the RFA with the delivers of four Tide Class tankers. The Delivery of new vessel means that whilst the number of hulls will not increase the overall tonnage of the Royal navy will increase.

There is more to be done on defence but the manifesto commitment to always maintain the NATO guideline of 2% GDP on defence as well as increasing the budget ever year by inflation + 0.5% is a strong start.

Corbyn has consistently marked himself out as being anti armed forces and dangerous on defence. From his support of the IRA, calls for more cuts to the military, declaring the Falklands war a “Tory Plot”, refusing to back the trident renewal program, calling for the dismantling of NATO and being wobbly on the sovereignty of Gibraltar and the Falkland islanders.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/12/britain-has-not-fought-just-war-since-1945-says-jeremy-corbyn/

Education:

The Education budget is the only one that has fallen in absolute cash terms, from £88.5B to £86.2B, but this hides a lot of good news. Education reform has worked miracles with education standards and now 89% of pupils attend schools rated good or outstanding, up from just 66% in 2010, amounting to an extra 1.9m children. The introduction of free schools, academies, allowing the expansion of grammar schools and others has given parents more choice when it comes to schools.

The current manifesto also committs to providing every primary school child with a free school meal a well as a free school lunch for those in need. This increases the number of free school meals a child can qualify for from 1 to 2.

Labour’s manifesto proposes charging VAT on private school fees. This policy i based on the idea that those who attend private schools must be wealthy and privileged. As someone who was privately educated I can tell you that this is simply not the case. Not all private schools are the same. My parents came from solid working class backgrounds and worked hard to be able to send me to the school I did attend. Many students attend through bursaries or fee reductions and adding VAT is just another policy designed to hit the supposedly rich that will actually affect the less well off.

 

Counter-Terror and policing.

Despite claims made recently by Jeremy Corbyn the Conservative government has a very strong record on counter terror. There is absolutely no evidence what so ever that austerity or front line policing cuts have in any way contributed to either attack.

The anti terror budget has not just been protected but increased by 30%, there is an ongoing recruitment drive for more armed police, there are ongoing talks to amalgamate armed officer branches to maximise efficiency, government has ensured the Prevent strategy has seen a huge boost in funding (£3.4B) and the armed forces have been restructured over a number of years to focus on threats like these at home and abroad.

The key weapon in the fight against terrorism is information gathering and that is largely down to MI5, MI6, DI, GCHQ and the prevent strategy which have foiled 5 plots since March alone. British intelligence is famed throughout the world for being exceptionally good and a huge part of that is a more than adequate financial and legislative response to counter terrorism from this government and the ones preceding it. Units involved in counter terrorism have been properly funded, provided with the right equipment and given the legal jurisdiction to act appropriately.

Labour’s plan to better our counter terror capability is unclear but given Corbyn’s opposition to all counter terror legislation and the comments made by Labour’s top team (McDonnell and Abbott) towards disbanding Mi5 and Special branch as well as disarming the police, their connections to the IRA and Hamas would suggest that a Labour government wouldn’t be best placed to deliver security from terrorism.

Jobs:

Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 we have seen a Jobs miracle that flies in the face of the predictions of economists. Unemployment had fallen from 8% to just 4.6%, the lowest it ha been since 1975. The employment rate has risen to 75%, the highest it has been since comparable records began in 1971. This has come about because there are now 2.9 million more people in employment than there were in in the three months preceding the 2010 election.

Between 2010 and 2015 (possibly is still the case) the United Kingdom created more jobs than the entirety of the UK put together. in 2014 Birmingham alone created more jobs than France. The vast majority of these jobs are either Full time employed or full time self employed. Not zero hour contracts as many like to claim.

These facts and figures may appear impersonal but each job is another person moving away from benefits and nother person able to support themselves. This is my favorite success of the last 7 years. It truly is an amazing achievement.

https://fullfact.org/economy/conservative-manifesto-2017-employment/

 

Minimum Wage:

Despite historic opposition to the Minimum wage the Conservatives raised the minimum wage from £5.93 in 2010 to £7.50 today, with the introduction of the Living Wage in 2015. Current plans are to increase it further so the NLW reaches 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020

Labour’s proposal to increase the Living Age to ¬£10 is actually a worse deal than what the Conservatives are proposing because it’s simply going too far too fast and to pay for it businesses will simply lay people off. Conservative proposals are a sustainable approach to pay.

Tax:

Over the last 7 years million of the lowest payed have been taken out of tax completely by the Conservatives who have increased the tax free personal allowance to £11,500, up from £6,475 in 2010, with plans to increase it further to £12,500.

The Tax burden has shifted even more from the poorest to the richest under the Conservatives who have also continued to close tax loopholes and crack down an aggressive tax avoidance. The top 1% of earners now pay 27% of all income tax, three times that of the lowest 50%, despite only making up 11% share of national income.

Corporation Tax has been lowered from 28% in 2010 to 19% today, with plans to reduce it to 17% by 2020. We already have one of the most competitive corporation tax rates of any developed economy, making the UK even more attractive to businesses, and actually helping to increase corp tax receipts with current receipts (approx £57B) a record high.

The top rate of tax has been lowered from 50% to 45% and the exchequer has seen an increase in tax receipts. A fairer tax rate, coupled with a competitive corporate tax rate, has proven attractive with lonodn particularly attracting French tax exiles.

Labour’s plans to hike Corp tax to 26% at a time when most of our competitors are reducing it would make us stick out like a sore thumb and send completely the wrong message. The Eurozone average is 24%, the EU average 22.5% and the international trend is to reduce corporation tax so not only would we stick out like a sore thumb as a place for businesses not to come to there’s actually an awful lot of other places for companies to go. In the G20 alone Increasing corp tax to 26% would move us above China, Indonesia, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Russia and Turkey. In Europe itself we’d move down 17 places. Having a competitive economy is vital for service based economies like ours and business taxes play an important part in that. It’s also a bad idea because the majority of corporation tax filters through to price increases and companies laying people off. Rather than the rich paying more it just ends up hitting ordinary people.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3694719/david-beckham-and-gary-lineker-lose-court-bid-to-overturn-700million-tax-bill/

 

Welfare:

The coalition government capped benefits at £26,000 and the following Conservative majority reduced this to weekly caps of £384.62pw for a couple (with or without children) and £257.69pw for a single person without o not living with children. these cap are raised to £442.31pw and £296.35pw for London. The number of workless households had plummeted. Making the benefits system work by ensuring it remains a safety net for those in need whilst encouraging employment was a key pledge in 2010 and can be counted as something of a success.

The benefits budget which ballooned under Labour has been reigned in and has grown fr slower than it has in previous years.

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/housing_benefit/what_is_the_benefit_cap

Transport:

The budget is up from £23B to £28.3B and onto this we can include huge infrastructure investment with the tens of Billions being sunk into HS2 as well as Crossrail and motorway expansion. Freezes to fuel duty and the millions in funding given to councils to help combat potholes also helps motorists by not adding to rises in fuel costs and limiting the possibility of damage by pothole, estimated at millions of £ a year.

The Environment

The Conservative government helped negotiate and signed up to the Paris climate accord. In 2016 UK Co2 emissions reached a 120 year low, driven by a reduction in the use of coal and increase in Gas. The Conservative manifesto commits Britain to building on environmental achievements by using its Overseas Territories to create a network of maritime national parks.

The Union

The Conservatives delivered and fought the 2014 independence referendum, delivered on the pledge to increase devolved powers not just to Scotland but to local authorities through the new metro Mayors. and continue to defend the Union. The Conservative manifesto contains a pledge to block the SNP’s second independence referendum until after Brexit and until Scottish public opinion.

Labour in Scotland and Westminster has repeatedly made overtures to the SNP offering talks on a second referendum for support In a potential coalition. i.e selling out the Scottish people.

Thursday the 8th June

‘Our future prosperity, our place in the world and our standard of living all depend on getting the Brexit deal and the next 5 years right.’¬†This is why i’m voting Conservative on Thursday. The Conservatives are the only party offering a realistic approach to the economy, to taxation, to defense, to counter terror and most importantly to Brexit. They have a solid record in government and deserve 5 more years!

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