8 April 2015

Benjamin's Blog Backs The Conservatives

This election is going to be between two people. Despite all the fuss and furore from the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the SNP, and the Greens, the Prime Minister will be David Cameron or Ed Miliband. The only way, therefore, to stop Ed Miliband from becoming Prime Minister is to vote Conservative.

Why?

A 2012 poll of Liberal Democrat members says that the Liberal Democrats would be more likely to do a deal with Labour than the Conservatives. So if you vote Liberal Democrat, you'll back up Labour. Well, it will be all too easy for Labour to concede a referendum to UKIP and get them on board, and Nigel Farage has said "we could do a deal with Ed Miliband". He has ruled out one with David Cameron. So if you vote UKIP, you'll back up Labour. The Scottish Nationalists, despite fighting Labour in Scotland, have said that they will make Ed Miliband Prime Minister if they hold the balance of power. So if you vote SNP, you'll back up Labour. The Greens are on the Left of Labour, and it doesn't take an electoral genius to realise that hell will freeze over before the Greens do a deal with the Conservatives. So if you vote Green, you'll back up Labour.

Seems as if the opinion of the parties is for Labour. So why don't you vote for them? This is why. Their main policy is unrealistic: "Cut the deficit every year, no extra borrowing for manifesto commitments." But it looks likely that there will be an SNP/Labour coalition, and Nicola Sturgeon has said she would force Labour into making spending rises. So the Scottish Nationalists will run the economy.

This leads me onto the next point, which is why? Why does our deficit need to be cut? This is why. The budget deficit is the minimum amount we have to borrow every year. This money is added, with interest, to the National Debt, which is the amount we owe other countries. Dealing with our debt is the only way to get back to a strong economy. To do this, we need to practically stop borrowing altogether. Hence, we need to get our deficit into a surplus. Now, when the coalition came to power, the deficit stood at 10.5% of GDP. The coalition have cut this to just 4% of GDP, a decrease of 62%. Now, let's finish the job, enhance our long-term economic plan, look for competence not chaos, and build a northern powerhouse (giving you a full house on "Tory Catchphrase Bingo").

To save some of this money, it is my belief that we need to completely reform how benefits are "chosen" and distributed. We need to give power back to local communities: this means that we should be able to give local authorities more power. I believe that we should therefore pass the responsibility of benefit handouts to local councils, enabling government departments to cut down on bureaucracy and therefore spending. Furthermore, contacting the "handouters" will be more accessible to any one individual. Yes, there is one drawback, which is that the governmental grants to councils need to be correct all the time, but this surely wouldn't be too hard.

Margaret Thatcher's oft-quoted "there is no such thing as society" is taken out of context. Indeed, when rephrased, it got me a waft of marks in a Philosophy exam recently. What she means is that people do not act as one. People are individuals and they do not have the same thoughts. Therefore, it is wrong to say that "society tells us that...", because it doesn't. There is no such thing in that context. What society should mean, however, is, according to the ODO, "the aggregate of people living together". In other words, it's a substitute for community. Therefore, there is such a thing as society in its proper definition. But it's not the same as what Mrs Thatcher meant. Hence, we move to a "big society", or as I tend to think of it, power to the local communities.

If income and wealth inequality are to be looked at, then taxing the rich extortionate amounts is incorrect. What the Labour Party are effectively saying is that they wouldn't mind it if the poor stayed where they were and the rich fell down. In other words, they would rather the poor were poorer in real terms, provided the rich were less rich. So to reduce inequality we must boost the poor. The coalition have already done this by raising the personal tax allowance from £6,475 to £10,600. And a Conservative government will go further, raising it to £12,500 by 2020. This means that you get to keep more of your own money if you are poor or on a middle income. Contrast that with Labour's Harriet Harman, who says that "people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes". But we've thought of that one too. A Conservative government will raise the 40% threshold from £41,500 to £50,000, meaning, again, that if you're on a middle income, you can keep more of your own money. 

This election is about the economy. It's about a long-term economic plan versus tax and spend. It's why you must vote Conservative on 7 May.

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