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Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Conservative manifesto "Forward, Together", does not create a "Fairer Britain".

Tory manifesto: more elderly people will have to pay for own social care.

Theresa May unveils ‘difficult but necessary’ measures

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In complete contrast to the hysterical outbursts from the the larger part of the media, marking the launch of the Labour party manifesto, Theresa May today (18th May) launches the conservative party manifesto, "Forward, Together": Our plan for a stronger Britain and a prosperous future", for the coming election (At least she used the words our plan instead of my plan).The manifesto has has already had an initial preview by the press, when the "embargo" was lifted last night to ensure that the morning papers had time to prepare their headlines generally in support, or at least not critical, of the measures proposed as conservative policy for the next parliament. In this they were not disappointed as the party faithful were able to enjoy their toast, marmalade and coffee while perusing their morning "Vote conservative" propaganda, led by the Express banner headline of "May's Plan for a fairer Britain" and the Daily Mail trumpeting that "You won't have to sell your home to pay for your care".
However, not all the papers are as enthusiastic as Theresa May and presumably Conservative Central Office, might have hoped for. In what amounts to a great gamble, the Prime Minister has announced a number of measures which will clearly not be popular with many voters, particularly amongst pensioners. The Times announces "Thousands hit by new care costs" adding that elderly property owners will have to pay more for their care.

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In other parts of the press, we learn that the "triple lock" on pensions will be abandoned, winter fuel payments will be means tested, effectively ending that benefit for all but the very poor, free school lunches will be scrapped but will offer free breakfasts across the primary years. The Conservative manifesto will no doubt be analysed over the coming days as more people come to realise the detrimental effect that "Forward together" will have on their everyday lives. The party that only recently, claimed that the Labour party had "deserted the working class" and that "the conservatives are the true workers party" , are now exposed as the party that will raise income tax and National Insurance, scrap the triple-lock on the state pension, means test social care and winter fuel payments,cut corporation tax to 17%, no commitment to build more housing, but a plan to halve rough sleeping over the course of the next parliament. 

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The conservatives again ensure that the vast majority of people in this country have nothing to look forward to other than more years of austerity, more cuts to welfare, continuing decline of our NHS, introduction of means testing for many welfare payments and there will be no increase in the level of VAT, albeit that VAT may be applied to current zero rated goods and services.
Theresa May wants us to believe that she is a different kind of Tory. A Tory who is capable of running a government for the benefit of all the people and not just a few. A Tory who promised to present a manifesto that would boost the rights of workers and would contain the greatest family friendly policies ever presented to the British people by a conservative party going into a general election. In this aspiration and with this promise she has failed miserably and we still have three weeks to go before polling day.
As we  look at these conservative proposals,one thought keeps coming to mind. Why is it that "May's plan for a fairer Britain" only emerges 3 weeks before a general election. The conservatives have had seven years to create a fairer Britain and have done nothing during that time but to inflict more austerity and more cuts. You may be excused for detecting political opportunism tinged with severe cynicism.