Jammy Duel
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Manifesto 2015: not yet released
For the time being, I'll leave the 2014 manifesto for the EU elections here: Manifesto 2014

The general idea of this thread is explained here, but the thought is to debate about the party, their policies and their record in government.

The first things I would like to do is just address a few point often made about this party and this government:

-This government has cut taxes for the richest [while raising them for the poorest]

While it is true that the richest have had their taxes cut, so have almost all those in work. I assume that it's in reference to the cut in the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%, which is still higher than 99% of the last Labour government, a move made mere months before the 2010 election, presumably for this exact reason: to say that the top rate's been cut.

-This party is privatising the NHS

Well, by the dodgy definition of "privatisation" I suppose this is true, from 5% to 6%, but then the definition being used is poor; the definition of privatisation is "the transfer of assets from the public sector to the private sector" which simply isn't happening at least not on the scale suggested.

-I had a third but can't remember it right now, will add it when I remember.
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Kittiara
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What do you think about Iain Duncan Smith's record? For example, the fiasco that is Universal Credit?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Kittiara)
What do you think about Iain Duncan Smith's record? For example, the fiasco that is Universal Credit?
He has great ideas but he's largely incapable of implementing things with a great degree of though, for example the lack of a council by council review of spare properties by bedroom for the bedroom tax.

He's one of the least competent secretaries of state I've seen and i'd be surprised if he could organise an orgy in a brothel.
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Kittiara
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(Original post by Rakas21)
He has great ideas but he's largely incapable of implementing things with a great degree of though, for example the lack of a council by council review of spare properties by bedroom for the bedroom tax.

He's one of the least competent secretaries of state I've seen and i'd be surprised if he could organise an orgy in a brothel.
I agree. People downsizing and up-sizing their homes according to need is a good idea, should enough suitable properties be available, and people's individual needs be taken into consideration more (and for the poorest I would also recommend help with moving costs etc, because if someone genuinely cannot afford to move, it would be nonsensical to penalise them for it).

Simplifying benefits is also a good idea in theory, but Universal Credit has proven to be a disaster, and an expensive one at that.

Scrapping the Independent Living Fund makes no sense full stop, because without the ILF, people now being able to enjoy life in their communities will end up in residential care, which will not only affect their quality of life, it will also be more expensive. These are about 18,000 severely disabled people, and we really should provide them with the best living standards that we can.

Contrary to popular belief (on this site, at least) I am not completely anti-Tory, but it's decisions and projects like these that are very off-putting.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Kittiara)
I agree. People downsizing and up-sizing their homes according to need is a good idea, should enough suitable properties be available, and people's individual needs be taken into consideration more (and for the poorest I would also recommend help with moving costs etc, because if someone genuinely cannot afford to move, it would be nonsensical to penalise them for it).

Simplifying benefits is also a good idea in theory, but Universal Credit has proven to be a disaster, and an expensive one at that.

Scrapping the Independent Living Fund makes no sense full stop, because without the ILF, people now being able to enjoy life in their communities will end up in residential care, which will not only affect their quality of life, it will also be more expensive. These are about 18,000 severely disabled people, and we really should provide them with the best living standards that we can.

Contrary to popular belief (on this site, at least) I am not completely anti-Tory, but it's decisions and projects like these that are very off-putting.
I think welfare is very polarising for the electorate too. The concept of welfare cuts and single policies like the benefit cap have been some of the most popular of the coalition and have even forced Labour to concede to us effectively. But the way the spare room subsidy, sanctions and disability review in particular have been implemented have probably done more to cement our nasty party image than any other policy in the areas that cost us in 2010 (north east, scotland, wales).
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illegaltobepoor
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Manifesto 2015: not yet released
For the time being, I'll leave the 2014 manifesto for the EU elections here: Manifesto 2014

The general idea of this thread is explained here, but the thought is to debate about the party, their policies and their record in government.

The first things I would like to do is just address a few point often made about this party and this government:

-This government has cut taxes for the richest [while raising them for the poorest]

While it is true that the richest have had their taxes cut, so have almost all those in work. I assume that it's in reference to the cut in the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%, which is still higher than 99% of the last Labour government, a move made mere months before the 2010 election, presumably for this exact reason: to say that the top rate's been cut.

-This party is privatising the NHS

Well, by the dodgy definition of "privatisation" I suppose this is true, from 5% to 6%, but then the definition being used is poor; the definition of privatisation is "the transfer of assets from the public sector to the private sector" which simply isn't happening at least not on the scale suggested.

-I had a third but can't remember it right now, will add it when I remember.
Why don't we chuck in some more noticable statistics on the Conservatives record.

Food bank use increasing 22 times.
Disabled hate crime increased by 213%.
Sanctions proportionally hitting the mentally handicapped disabled?
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illegaltobepoor
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(Original post by Kittiara)
What do you think about Iain Duncan Smith's record? For example, the fiasco that is Universal Credit?
IDS is doing a great job. I think he is really a Labour member in disguise. Must be getting some under the table pay offs.
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@_Nick_Mahoney
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(Original post by illegaltobepoor)
IDS is doing a great job. I think he is really a Labour member in disguise. Must be getting some under the table pay offs.
IDS is screwing over the welfare system!!
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viddy9
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
The first things I would like to do is just address a few point often made about this party and this government:

-This government has cut taxes for the richest [while raising them for the poorest]

While it is true that the richest have had their taxes cut, so have almost all those in work. I assume that it's in reference to the cut in the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%, which is still higher than 99% of the last Labour government, a move made mere months before the 2010 election, presumably for this exact reason: to say that the top rate's been cut.
Pure spin.

Since the Conservatives took power in May 2010:

* The poorest income groups lost the biggest share of their incomes on average (and those in the bottom half of incomes lost overall).


* In contrast, those in the top half of incomes gained from direct tax cuts.

* Those at the very top benefitted from the Conservative tax cut for those with incomes over £150,000 a year.

As for the future: the Conservatives plan to raise the 40p tax threshold from £42,500 to £50,000, giving a tax cut to those in the top 15% of incomes. Meanwhile, many low earners will not benefit from the increase in the tax free allowance, because they earn under the current threshold. The net impact on the poorest will be even higher seeing as the money to pay for the tax cuts will most likely be saved by cutting benefits or services. Furthermore, the Conservatives plan to freeze the incomes of the working poor via the welfare system.

Overall, as the Institute for Fiscal Studies has stated:

* Just 15% of the Tories' massive bribery campaign will go to the poorest income families.

* 69% will go to high income families.

* 16% will go to mostly wealthy pensioners.

The Conservative Party, thus, has presided over the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top yet again, and plans to continue doing so.

They represent a lot of what is wrong with our world: inequality and greed.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Kittiara)
What do you think about Iain Duncan Smith's record? For example, the fiasco that is Universal Credit?
IDS clearly has a moral vision and that has been necessary to make it clear that welfare changes have not been about slash and burn. It appears he has been quite successful in fighting off Treasury demands that would have done nothing for welfare dependency but brought short term savings.

However he is the worst sort of manager because he doesn't get out and about. He only listens to what the sycophants tell him. Tractor production is always increasing.

He hasn't been equipped with a great ministerial team and they have been organised poorly. He has a banker, an economist, an accountant and a barrister on his books but nobody with any experience of managing anything.

The bedroom tax was a national solution to a localised problem. The annoying thing is that the DWP had a precedent for doing this properly. In the 1980s there was a problem with the young unemployed moving to the seaside and staying in B & Bs. The government put caps on the number of weeks for which claimants could claim board and lodgings. For big cities it was 8 weeks, for most of the country it was 4. However for places that were attracting Dole-on-Sea tourists it was 2. There is no reason why the bedroom tax could not have been applied selectively to places where there was under-occupation, a significant housing shortage and a supply of smaller properties.

The regulations are here:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1...chedule/6/made
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username878267
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Going to write a fairly lengthy post on just a few points on why I would never vote for the Conservatives.

1.) Inequality of opportunity
The main factor for someone's success is the family someone was born into. The children of Cameron, Osbourne or a weltlhy businessman or banker already have everything on a plate for them. When they grow up, they'll go into daddies business or take over it, or they'll get amazing internships purely because of who they know. They've done nothing to deserve this, they haven't worked any harder than he average person so why should they get a life of luxury and ease whilst people born into poorer families through no fault of their own have to struggle?
I, myself was born into a wealthy family, I've had a life of luxury and i've done nothing to deserve it, I just happened to be born into the right place. I work hard, but i've been given every advantage.
The lack of equality between rich and poor is staggering.
How can we have an equal society when the wealthiest few go to the best schools, the best universities and end up leading the country? Why can't we make things easier for the poor and disadvantaged?
Sure, sometimes someone from a poorer background breaks through but this is rare.


2.) The idea that the rich deserve to be rich and the poor haven't worked hard enough

Often trotted out, that if someone is rich they've earnt it and if someone is poor they haven't worked hard enough. How about nurses, midwives or social workers, they work incredibly stressful jobs and incredibly long hours and get paid very little. I mean look at all the British nurses who've been out in Africa fighting off Ebola, preventing it spreading and saving lives, a rich city banker will earn in a day what they do in 6 months.
What about binmen who work really unsavoury hours or cleaners etc, there seems to be a notion that if you don't earn a lot you haven't worked hard enough, it's simply not true and we'd miss nurses and midwives far more than we ever would lawyers and bankers.

Nurses this year got a 1% pay rise, CEO's got a 21% pay rise.

3.) Targeting abuse at the bottom but supporting abuse at the top
This more than anything grinds my gears. They'll go on about how people at the bottom abuse the system and harp on about the need to reduced benefits and for people to be responsible. Yet they ignore huge issues of tax avoidance and tax evasion. It's not relevant that tax avoidance is technically legal, it's purposely finding and exploiting a loophole to avoid paying tax so we get less schools and less hospitals so these men can have their moat cleaned a couple more times a week.
Tax avoidance costs this country over 100 billion. Benefit fraud 1 billion. Why do we target the latter? Oh yeah, that's because benefit fraudsters aren't donating to the Tory party buying influence....
Just this week revelations have come out about the Tories accepting donations from tax avoiders... But that's okay because these guys are 'wealth creators' so as long as they do a little good they can massively abuse the system.

Arguing that something should be allowed because it's legal is also illogical. The whole argument is that it should be illegal so saying that it's legal as a justification does not work. It's like saying that weed is bad because it's illegal. It's a circular argument.

4.) Materialism
As it says on the tin.The notion amongst the Conservatives and their supporters that money is everything. That your whole worth as a person is based on how much money you have. It promotes greed, selfishness and a lack of compassion. A real dog eat dog, every man for himself culture. And it promotes people thinking 'i'm fine why should I care about anyone else?'
Even going back to Thatcher who proudly stated 'there is no such thing as society'

I never understand this, there is such a thing as society. Why can't we live in a country where people look out for each other? Where we have services that everyone can use and no matter how poor you are, you're looked after and given a safety net to help you get back up? Why would we want to be like America? Do you need to be that wealthy, is it not better to be comfortable and happy rather than making money for the sake of it?
There's nothing wrong with wanting to make money and support a family, but there is something wrong when people want to make money for the sake of it and will sh*t on everyone below them and piss on their own mother's grave to claw their way to the top.

Some people hate 'benefit culture' or public services but to me they're fantastic, they separate us from countries like the USA where 40 million people can't afford healthcare and if you're ill you have to sell your home for treatment.

Like i've said, inequality is like salt, you want a little bit to spice things up and give a bit of flavor, but too much and the whole thing is ruined.

Finally i'm not a Labour party spokesperson so don't come back at me with ' yeah but Labour did this.., Labour bankrupt the country.. Labour had ....' etc etc.
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democracyforum
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Giving people a hand up, not a hand out

A long term economic plan

Not just challenging the EU, but changing it

Not footing the 1.7 billion bill, but halving it

Not just preserving the NHS, but enhancing it

An in out referendum, you decide.
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(Original post by democracyforum)
Giving people a hand up, not a hand out
How do they give people a hand up? By taking everything from them and making life harder? By reducing benefits?
Often the way to give people a hand up is by welfare. I know someone for example who when she had a child needed welfare so she could go out and get a job and this help meant that when she had a second child, she didn't need welfare anymore to support it.

Giving people enough so they have a bit of stability initially is a great way of allowing them a foot on the ladder. Had it not been for child support and child services she would never have made it.

One day you may be unfortunate enough to lose your job, you may have an accident, encounter financial instability or some other difficulty. Then you'll be happy there is a welfare system to stop you losing your home and help you get back on your feet.


A long term economic plan
Really? For what? making the poor richer, making more people homeless? Making more people need foodbanks? Creating a bigger rich-poor divide?



Not just preserving the NHS, but enhancing it
The conservatives enhancing the NHS? Do me a favour. Longest waiting times in history and back door privatization more like. Just how are they enhancing it?

An in out referendum, you decide.
Going out of Europe is a stupid idea which will cost us thousands of jobs and makes no economic sense. Why do we need a referendum?
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Bornblue)
How do they give people a hand up? By taking everything from them and making life harder? By reducing benefits?
Often the way to give people a hand up is by welfare. I know someone for example who when she had a child needed welfare so she could go out and get a job and this help meant that when she had a second child, she didn't need welfare anymore to support it.

Giving people enough so they have a bit of stability initially is a great way of allowing them a foot on the ladder. Had it not been for child support and child services she would never have made it.

One day you may be unfortunate enough to lose your job, you may have an accident, encounter financial instability or some other difficulty. Then you'll be happy there is a welfare system to stop you losing your home and help you get back on your feet.
Sounds like you're suggesting it's all the benefits or none of the benefits, IDS wrote in the Telegraph today defending universal credits, I suggest you go take a look, the system is inherently broken if you can be better off by either not working or not increasing your number of hours


The conservatives enhancing the NHS? Do me a favour. Longest waiting times in history and back door privatization more like. Just how are they enhancing it?
I suggest you do two things
1. Go back to OP and
2. Get out a dictionary and look up "privatisation"


Going out of Europe is a stupid idea which will cost us thousands of jobs and makes no economic sense. Why do we need a referendum?
Well, nobody can really know what the impact will be, but regardless of that there is this thing called democracy


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username878267
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Sounds like you're suggesting it's all the benefits or none of the benefits, IDS wrote in the Telegraph today defending universal credits, I suggest you go take a look, the system is inherently broken if you can be better off by either not working or not increasing your number of hours
The systetm's also inherently broken when tax avoiders donate huge amounts to the Conservatives and then get favourable legislation in return or when nurses only get a 1% pay rise, or when employees can now effectively strip workers of their rights by putting them on a zero hour contract.
The fact you can be better off by not working means that wages are too low, not that benefits are too high. When you are not well off for example, someone else doing worse than you doesn't improve your situation, what does is if you earn more money. Merely taking benefits away won't do anything to help the lowly paid.

I suggest you do two things
1. Go back to OP and
2. Get out a dictionary and look up "privatisation"
Without getting too technical, it lets private companies into the NHS and the service provided suffers.

Well, nobody can really know what the impact will be, but regardless of that there is this thing called democracy
We have indirect democracy where we elect people to make such decisions. If not then why not have a referendum on everything?


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democracyforum
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(Original post by Bornblue)


Going out of Europe is a stupid idea which will cost us thousands of jobs and makes no economic sense. Why do we need a referendum?
So that will be a no vote.

Let's see what the other voters think.
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democracyforum
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(Original post by Bornblue)

We have indirect democracy where we elect people to make such decisions. If not then why not have a referendum on everything?

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Some things are more important than others.

However, if there is a very low turnout - it could nullify the vote.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Bornblue)
The systetm's also inherently broken when tax avoiders donate huge amounts to the Conservatives and then get favourable legislation in return or when nurses only get a 1% pay rise, or when employees can now effectively strip workers of their rights by putting them on a zero hour contract.
It's not unique to the conservatives though, Miliband has used tax loopholes to minimise his taxes, Labour have defended their accepting of donations in such a way as to minimise tax and one of their new donors has been accused of tax avoidance. Labour are preaching one rule for everybody else while having a separate rule for themselves.

The fact you can be better off by not working means that wages are too low, not that benefits are too high.
They aren't mutually exclusive

When you are not well off for example, someone else doing worse than you doesn't improve your situation, what does is if you earn more money. Merely taking benefits away won't do anything to help the lowly paid.
Questionable as to strictly how true this is


Without getting too technical, it lets private companies into the NHS and the service provided suffers.
Service suffering is questionable, otherwise see figures in OP


We have indirect democracy where we elect people to make such decisions. If not then why not have a referendum on everything?
Some matters are far more important than others, constitutional matters, such as independence of constituents of the union, membership of the EU etc are generally put to a referendum, direct democracy for the most important of decisions.

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username878267
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
It's not unique to the conservatives though, Miliband has used tax loopholes to minimise his taxes, Labour have defended their accepting of donations in such a way as to minimise tax and one of their new donors has been accused of tax avoidance. Labour are preaching one rule for everybody else while having a separate rule for themselves.
Again I have never claimed to be a Labour party spokesperson or justify their every action. However the Conservatives do it to a far greater extent and saying 'yeah well Labour do it too' is not a justification in any way, shape or form.

They aren't mutually exclusive


Questionable as to strictly how true this is
I would say they are. If a lowly paid worker can't afford enough to buy food, taking someone elses benefits away in no way helps them. That's a tactic of the Conservatives, make people hate and blame each other, rather than them. Benefits aren't too high, wages are far too low.
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(Original post by Bornblue)
The systetm's also inherently broken when tax avoiders donate huge amounts to the Conservatives and then get favourable legislation in return or when nurses only get a 1% pay rise, or when employees can now effectively strip workers of their rights by putting them on a zero hour contract.
The fact you can be better off by not working means that wages are too low, not that benefits are too high. When you are not well off for example, someone else doing worse than you doesn't improve your situation, what does is if you earn more money. Merely taking benefits away won't do anything to help the lowly paid.


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Rich people giving money to a party,

because they think that party will make Britain a better country.

Nothing wrong with it.
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