May’s conservatism is a social one, a form of conservatism which is willing to wreck and ruin people’s living standards, people’s prospects, and our nation's prosperity in order to fit into a narrow minded ideology. A vision for a nation good, however the Conservative Manifesto has blinkers on. May seems to busy trying to right the wrongs that happened in her time as home secretary to see the economic calamity that is on it’s way.
In Halifax today, Theresa May presented her manifesto to the electorate, for the general election on June 8th. Despite Labour being on the rise in the polls, the PM is seen as all but sure to continue being the Prime Minister after the election.
Her manifesto marked a clear separation from the conservatism of David Cameron, and even the conservatism of John Major and Margaret Thatcher. With leading policies on extra funding for social care, education and NHS, May’s economic platform seemed more Milibandian than anything, as the Spectator rightly pointed out.
On immigration, we see another significant pivot from May’s Conservatives. Whilst many were expecting May to use a change in leadership to depart from Cameron’s flawed and impractical policy of migration being decreased to the tens of thousands, May decides to double down. Immigration is again pledged to be decreased to the tens of thousands, with a commitment to “bear down on immigration from outside the EU”, with a doubling of the skills charge to employ non-EU workers, and refusal to remove students from the immigration statistics.
Whilst a commitment to get immigration into a five figure number is flawed, a refusal to remove students from immigration numbers is down right stupid. With the average cost of living for a student in the UK being £12,000, and international students tuition fees ranging from £10,000 to £35,000, international students are unquestionably contributors to the UK economy. And what benefits of the UK do international students get after some spend over thousands of pounds every year over the course of their degree? Many are asked to leave within two weeks of graduating. That is, unless they can find a graduate scheme that pays over £30,000. Despite this injection of money into the UK economy, Theresa May refused to scrap the policy. Pragmatic, she is not.
Another depart from recent Conservatism is the the move away from the tax triple lock. The Sun has reported that the Conservatives will scrap the trip lock that promised not to raise VAT, Income Tax or national insurance. At least this means, after all the attacks during the Cameron government, we’ll finally see the UK return to budget surplus? Wrong. In 2010, we were told a surplus by 2014. By 2014, we were told we’d see a surplus by 2017. In 2017, we’re now told a surplus is unforeseeable before 2026.
Today’s manifesto also confirms Britain will be leaving the single market. Whilst anticipated, it must be recognised the conservatives are presenting a lethal cocktail to many in business. Under Theresa May, Britain will leave the Single Market, fine businesses £2,000 per year for every foreign worker they employ, and have presented an untried, untested and uncosted manifesto that presents an unprecedented amount of danger to the UK economy.
May’s conservatism isn’t an economic one, that encourages financial prudency, or a governmental one, that encourages individualism and the pursuit of aspiration. May’s conservatism is a social one, a form of conservatism which is willing to wreck and ruin people’s living standards, people’s prospects, and our nation's prosperity in order to fit into a narrow minded ideology. A vision for a nation good, however the Conservative Manifesto has blinkers on. May seems to busy trying to right the wrongs that happened in her time as home secretary to see the economic calamity that is on it’s way.