Once again the Tories have been caught out taking credit for something they didn’t do

Theresa May
Sam Woolfe

When you pay for something with a debit or credit card, you will no longer face any extra charges. The Conservatives have claimed that they devised this ban. The reality is they didn’t.

Taking undeserved credit

The EU is responsible for the new measure, which will help millions avoid being charged for paying by card. The European Commission tweeted:

But both Theresa May and Ross Thomson, Conservative MP for Aberdeen South, tried to take credit for the move:

People were quick to react to the dishonesty. Reporter Grant White replied to May:

This isn’t the first time… 

The Conservative Party has previously tried to take credit for other beneficial EU measures. Just recently, May announced that all small shops in England would be required to charge 5p for plastic bags. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said he was intent on tackling “the throwaway culture that plastics encapsulate”. Yet as EUobserver reports:

But while the news is framed as the Conservative government showing its greener side, other motives are at play as well.

What has gone mostly unreported in the UK is that the plastic bag charge is needed to fulfil a requirement in an EU directive.

In 2015, the EU brought in a measure which meant member states had two options: stop shops from giving away free plastic bags, or take other steps to reduce their use. It didn’t make any comment about the size of the shop. And the UK introduced legislation [pdf] requiring that only large shops charge 5p for bags. But as EUobserver points out, the bill “does not even mention the EU or the directive”.

Dishonesty

The government may paint these measures to save us money and protect the environment as its own, but they’re not. In fact, there is ample evidence that the Conservatives care little about either. They have cheered pay cuts to public sector workers and failed to tackle illegal levels of air pollution in the country.

This dishonest and seemingly desperate attempt to gain popularity isn’t going to work. And it’s precisely these sorts of tactics that cause people’s trust in the government to crumble away.

Get Involved!

Join us so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via David Mirzoeff

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed