A post here six months ago [UK General Election coming up – a right bonanza in the offing?] warned the voting public that the season of voting bribes was approaching fast – and we are well there now, don’t you think? Another three bumper months to go though, with more goodies, sweeteners & giveaways galore to come, and of course plenty of false promises to boot, without doubt?
The LibDems got here early with last year’s announcement of free school meals for all Primary school kids, despite the possible adverse impacts, no clear idea how it will work out or be funded. Within the state of our current economy, the lack of money going into schools anyway for education, should we really be embarking on a third world type aid feeding programme for young kids who should be fed by the parents who decided to beget them? Can you trust any figures they pullout of the hat on spending cuts, welfare cuts, tax rises, tax avoidance crake-downs, and borrowing (no rise though in national insurance, VAT, nor inheritance tax)? They have ditched Vince Cable as their economic spokesman for the Election – the only one whose judgment stands-up to any scrutiny, so what does that tell you?
They say their plan to end austerity and for the economy, would be less painful than the Conservatives with some thirty-eight billion less cuts – and seventy billion pounds less borrowing than Labour over three years. Does that sound credible to you after their involvement & contribution to the Coalition Government?
The Conservatives have jumped-in again, announcing an extension until after the Election, of their last month’s Pensioner Bonds to woo the older population (because they are traditionally the most reliable regular voters). The scheme will cost our impoverished economy possibly four hundred million pounds, all to the benefit and subsidy of the wealthier savers with £15billion overall to spare, and so giving them a new safe parking place for their money with incredibly generous interest rates – but is that lucrative opportunity, subsidised by the rest of us taxpayers, actually fair? And where is the money going to come from, eh? [The Institute for Economic Affairs, also claim that the scheme is distorting the market].
The Tories are diligently seeking the grey vote by also promising (unlike Labour & LibDems) to protect the rich & high income pensioners’ perks of bus passes, TV licences, and winter fuel payments (even if living abroad), while still cutting welfare for people of working age – are we all in this together or not?
They are also offering business, further attacks on workers’ rights, new tax breaks, and to cut regulation and red tape to save them some £10billion (but we all know where the previous ‘soft touch regulation’ led with the Banks don’t we – our Country’s impoverishment causing bailout, no less?).
But of course Labour was not going to be outdone was it, and have pulled out of the magician’s bag the family friendly rabbit? This of course is added to their popular commitment to freeze energy prices when they get into power.
They think there is some mileage in appealing to fathers particularly; by significantly enhancing paternity leave & state pay (surely this gimmick will do nothing to boost our economy and will tend to damage the smaller outfits?). Perhaps a nice touch but at the wrong time – is this really necessary for families to survive in these difficult times?
Labour announced as well that they would deal with the chronic shortage of childcare places by doubling the number of places available at Sure Start to fifty thousand– and that could be invaluable to working parents, don’t you think?
They have also plan to announce policies to target so called ‘predator’ capitalists – whatever that means?
[We of course still await all promises on Housing problems and Immigration – bet you can’t wait?].