On his Monday 8 May LBC show, presenter James O’Brien posed one very simple question. But in doing so, he summed up what voters need to be asking themselves on 8 June. Because seven years of Conservative rule have brought the UK to a tipping point. And we have a stark choice to make.
A stark election question
O’Brien is known criticising government policy and sticking up for the underdog in the UK. And his latest attack on the Tories was no different. He simply asked:
How can anybody be in support of a cut to disability benefit but be opposed to a tax rise for someone earning £100,000 a year? Or does that just make me sound horribly naive?
A perfect answer
In essence, O’Brien was saying ‘how can anyone vote Tory?’
But Jeremy Corbyn perhaps best answers the presenter’s question. Because the Labour leader recently said that:
The Conservatives are strong against the weak and weak against the strong.
And the statistics merely compound both O’Brien and Corbyn’s arguments.
Strong against the weak
Since coming to power in 2010, 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. And left millions destitute.
- 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.
- Allowing 9,000 people each winter to die of fuel poverty.
Weak against the strong
But also 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.
- Lowered the top rate of tax from 50% to 45%. Giving Tory donors a tax break of £15m.
- Failed to introduce a Mansion Tax. But instead introduced the Bedroom Tax.
Your vote. Your choice
A recent study showed that the poorest in UK society are now paying more tax than the richest. Those with the least money pay around 42% out in tax, while the rich pay 34%. And if the Tories have their way, the issue will only be compounded, as they are considering raising VAT by 2.5%. This will again hit the poorest the hardest, as they pay 12.5% of their money on this tax, while the rich only pay 5%. If this is Theresa May’s “country that works for everyone“, it would be worrying to see what her government would actually do if it was being honest about attacking the poorest.
There can be no question about who the Conservative Party governs for. Its record alone shows that it is the party of the elite; the rich; the ‘haves’. So on 8 June people face a choice. Either vote for May’s Tories for more of the same; vote for another party in the hope of things improving, or spoil your ballot to protest at the system entirely. But, whatever people decide, we all should just vote. Because in this election every voice matters.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, call on 0300 200 3500 to get one.
– 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
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