UK Snap Elections: The Manifesto

by Our London Correspondent

( May 19, 2017, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) What is and what is not mentioned in the Election Manifestos of the parties contesting the General Election in Britain on 8 June 2017 became public today 18 May 2017 as the Labour Party was the first to release its Manifesto followed by the Lib Dems and the Conservatives later.

What is mentioned:

“The Conservative Party Manifesto identifies five great challenges: Maintaining economic growth, ensuring an orderly Brexit, remaining and staying a united nation, building a new “Great Meritocracy,” coping with an Ageing Society, while being fair to the young and harnessing the power of fast changing technology while maintaining security and privacy.”

The Labour Party’s Manifesto “For the Many, Not the Few” says it will go into the General Election pledging to nationalise key industries. Perhaps, go back to the “good old days” of the 1970’s. Labour will take under public control, energy, railways, Buses and Royal Mail. It will abolish tuition fees at Universities and re-introduce maintenance grants. It will provide more than £30 billion of extra funding for the NHS through increased Income Tax for the top 5% earners. Zero hours contracts outlawed. It will stop employers only recruiting from overseas, reduce pay inequality through legislation and build 1 million new homes including 100,000 Council homes by end of the next Parliament, 4000 homes for people with history of rough sleeping. It will seek infrastructure borrowing to invest £25 billion over 10 years on energy, transport and digital infrastructure. But it will renew Trident Nuclear weapons. Ban fox hunting and seek 10,000 more Police officers for Community Beats.

The Liberal Party Manifesto is the only manifesto to keep Britain’s place in Europe, Save NHS and Care services, Put Children first, spending £7 billion, start free Child Care for all 2 year olds, Votes for 16-17 year olds. Look after the Environment by helping to make the Air we breathe cleaner and say no to “fracking”. It plans to build 300,000 homes a year by 2022.

What is not mentioned:

The Conservative Manifesto is a break from the Conservatism since 1970, rejecting the “Cult of Individualism,” ditching and burying David Cameron’s policies on Social Care Costs, including the “Triple Lock” promise not to increase Income Tax, VAT or National Insurance, which is now regarded as unaffordable. It also has rejected the ideology of “Free Thatcherism.” There is no mention of any Thatcherite privatisations in next 5 years. No mention of air pollution or the 2015 pledge to fund £12 billion to NHS from Welfare Savings. There is further no Conservative “Costing Section” in the Conservative Manifesto. It says nothing about how plans will be funded.

The Labour Party has unlike in the past gone to great lengths to show its spending commitments were funded.

Never has the Conservative Party entered a General Election campaign, according to the “The Spectator” more confident of victory. Much of that confidence is due, it says to the “abject weakness of the Opposition”, particularly the Labour Party, but much is also due to Theresa May.

This was witnessed in the Leaders TV Debate this evening.

The first proper Leaders’ Debate of the election was televised by ITV at 8 p.m. 18 May 2017, with five party leaders, Nicola Sturgeon, Leader, Scottish National Party and Scottish First Minister, Tim Farron, Liberal Democratic Party leader, Leanne Wood, Leader Plaid Cymru (Welsh) Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader, Green Party and Paul Nuttall, UKIP Leader.

Labour Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn would not participate as Theresa May, Conservative Party refused the TV debate, but meet the Press individually in Radio and TV shows earlier.

Polls and most research are conducted by consulting the average voter to gauge voting intention, but the gap in opinion polls is shortening according to IPSOS Mori.

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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