Theresa May’s pledges on ‘workers’ rights’ just completely fell apart live on the BBC [VIDEO]

Theresa May Workers
Support us and go ad-free

On Monday 15 May, Theresa May laid out the Conservative Party’s proposals on workers’ rights for the general election. But in a matter of hours, her pledges were lying in tatters. A senior Tory fell apart live on the BBC and admitted all the party’s plans were uncosted.

The wheels on the bus… completely fall off

Kwasi Kwarteng, who is defending the seat of Spelthorne in Surrey, was being interviewed about May’s policy proposals on BBC Daily Politics. He was discussing new employment policies, such as a pledge to allow workers a year off, unpaid, for caring duties.

Kwarteng, when host Jo Coburn probed him about where the money would come from, tried to twist the interview towards the usual Tory attack of Labour making unfunded pledges:

When Labour make specific spending commitments… to have, say, 10,000 extra policemen, they don’t actually know the numbers…

Much of Labour’s leaked manifesto is costed, though. Specifically, the 10,000 extra police will be paid for by reversing cuts to Capital Gains tax. Or like putting a 45p rate of tax on earnings over £80,000 to pay for an extra £7.4bn for the NHS each year. Unlike the Tories’ policies. Because Kwarteng then said, without a hint of irony, that regarding the new regulations:

We don’t know how many people are going to use those rights…

Wait, what?

Coburn continued to press him on whether it was “fully costed”. At first, he said it was and that they had done a full impact assessment. But Coburn kept pushing Kwarteng about where the money would come from. And he floundered:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

May made several policy announcements about workers’ rights. Hailing them as “the greatest expansion in workers’ rights by any Conservative government in history”, they included:

  • One year unpaid carer’s leave.
  • Statutory leave for parents after the death of a child.
  • Workers’ representation in company boardrooms.
  • Pension protection.
  • New protection for people working in the ‘gig economy’.
  • A guarantee that current EU workers’ rights would be protected after Brexit.

Labour bad?

But according to Kwarteng, the Tories don’t have any idea how they will pay for these, apart from having a “plan to balance the budget”. Nor do they have any idea about how many people will take up new statutory rights like carer’s and bereavement leave. So they have no idea how much any of it will cost.

This is yet more peak hypocrisy from the Tories. May has repeatedly claimed that Labour would “trash the economy and destroy jobs”; at one point saying it would “waste your money”, while releasing headline-grabbing ideas for which they don’t know the cost. And there’s nothing strong and stable about promising things to the electorate that you simply cannot deliver.

Get Involved!

– Register to vote in the 8 June general election.

– 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

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed