With 87 days to go until the general election on May 7, voters are fearful. Nobody wants a hung parliament, but it is clear that unless the parties answer the voters’ key questions, that is what we are going to get. Voters are fearful. I understand why.
By Adrian Burbie ~ Editor
|“Yes darling, it’s this big. I call it the deficit.” (Photo: The Guardian)|
|Peter Brookes – 12/12/14|
Tuition fees? This one’s a real vote winner among young people. Ed Miliband wants to cut the tuition fee cap by £3,000, from £9,000 p.a. to £6,000. Nice idea, Ed. Show us the money.
The NHS? Young people say that the NHS is their top priority, with 47% placing it as their number one concern (Opinium). When it comes to the party people think is most likely to be beneficial for the NHS, Labour enjoys an 18-point lead over the Conservatives (Lord Ashcroft). However, I struggle to have faith in any of the parties’ solutions to fix the NHS. Labour’s plan is to just chuck money from the proceeds of their Mansion Tax at it, with the kind of harder, long-term reformist thinking that we saw with the previous Labour government sorely lacking. Pull your socks up, Ed.
|Steve Bell – 2012|
Economic policy? What’s that? *Tumble weed rolls across*
Economic policy? Besides a “wag tax” on luxury handbags and shoes (which they scrapped), Ukip seems to have little in the way of credible economic policy to stimulate growth and cut the deficit. Nigel Farage has said that he wants to cut public spending back to 1997 levels with the loss of two million public sector jobs, as well as merge income tax and national insurance into a flat 31% for all, starting at £11,500. 63% of voters and over a quarter of their own voters don’t know what Ukip’s economic policy is (YouGov). Don’t know about you, but their approach (or rather lack of it) doesn’t inspire confidence in me.
The NHS? Ukip has said that they want to see more of an American-style system where the NHS should be funded through private health insurance. Yet, Ukip has pledged an extra £3 billion a year for the NHS. More clarity here please.
Reality of leaving the EU? The Times on January 27 summed it up pretty aptly: “There are huge gaps in the party’s explanation of what would actually happen if Britain left the EU.” ‘Nuff said.
|“Are you alive and above 18? Great work! Have a sticker and some money.”
(Photo: The Daily Telegraph)
Citizen’s Income? Natalie Bennett, leader of the Greens has pledged that every adult in the UK, whether unemployed or not, should be given a citizen’s income worth more than the current Jobseeker’s Allowance of £72.40 per week. The estimated total cost comes in at £240 billion, which is a pretty conservative estimate. Two questions Natalie: why does EVERYONE need a citizen’s income merely for being alive? And where’s the money?!