Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner has nailed exactly why many people in Britain see the Conservative Party as a ‘party of the elites’. And the statistics seem to back her up.
The rich get richer…
The Sunday Times Rich List – due for release on 7 May – reportedly reveals a £3.4bn increase in the fortune of the UK’s 10 wealthiest husbands and wives. In just the last 12 months. And together, these couples are worth £39.9bn.
Most of the people on the list are far from household names. But under Conservative Party rule, they have managed to increase their wealth by more in one year than the vast majority of hard-working Brits could hope to earn in a lifetime.
This is a particular kick in the groin for ordinary citizens who’ve already been hit hard in recent years by the Tories’ failed austerity agenda. And with the new rich list in mind, Labour’s Angela Rayner took to Twitter and tore apart previous Conservative slogans like “we’re all in this together”:
I thought Tory austerity hit everybody? We were all in this together nonsense? More of this if Tories get re-elected https://t.co/TQMACQUuoI
— Angela Rayner MP (@AngelaRayner) May 2, 2017
In short, if Britain elects the Tories again on 8 June, we can expect more pain for ordinary working people and even greater fortunes for society’s richest.
And if anyone’s in any doubt about that, a quick look at the Conservatives’ record in power should clear things up.
Ruling for the rich
Since 2010, the Tories have:
- Scrapped inheritance tax for all homes up to the value of £650,000.
- Slashed corporation tax to 17% by 2020. 11% lower than in 2008.
- Allowed the bill for avoided, evaded and unpaid tax to sit at around £120bn per year. And done little to tackle it.
- Paid £8bn a year in NHS money to private companies.
- Privatised a record £26.4bn worth of public assets in 2015.
- Lowered the top rate of tax from 50% to 45%. Giving Tory donors a tax break of £15m.
- Allowed fracking to begin. Because it benefits Tory donors.
- Failed to introduce a Mansion Tax. But instead introduced the Bedroom Tax.
Ruling against the poor
At the same time, the Tories have presided over:
- A 54% rise in homelessness.
- Cuts to disabled people’s benefits that have led the UN to say in two reports that their human rights have been “gravely” and “systematically” violated by the government.
- Capping [paywall] the pay rises of doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and all other public sector staff at just 1%. While pocketing pay increases themselves of more than £12,000.
- An increase in children living in poverty to 4 million.
- Food bank use rising, with over half a million people reliant [paywall] on just the Trussell Trust for food packages. That’s an increase of 2,792% since 2010.
- National debt increasing by more than 50%.
- Cutting the number of people getting social care by 26%. And cutting £50m from children’s mental health services.
- Allowing 9,000 people each winter to die of fuel poverty.
We know what to expect. And we shouldn’t accept it.
So Angela Rayner is right. Tory austerity does not hit everyone, and we were never ‘all in this together’. Under the Conservative Party, ordinary citizens have been hit hard while the wealthiest people have got even wealthier. The pattern is clear. And we can expect much more of this if the Tories get re-elected on 8 June.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a 5-minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
Featured image via Screengrab/YouTube