Day 3 of focusing on where the UK’s political parties are going wrong, brings us to the Conservatives. You can read about Labour and UKIP on here and here!
Now I won’t re-hash a lot of old posts on Minimum Alcohol Pricing, or how the Government should drop the NHS bill to replace it with a National Health Insurance Scheme. Please read their respective links! But I’ll chalk that up as two major points. In fact, I’ve talked a lot about where the Conservatives have been going wrong lately, even partly criticising the benefit cap.
So, guess what. I’m going to change the game. Lets see where the Tories are doing well!
Tories on Education
You could be forgiven for thinking we were still living under Tony Blair’s Premiership, the early days of the Government was dominated by one word. “Education, education and education.” And education has been one of the great successes of Conservative Policy so far. Academies and free-schools have taken off, and are often over subscribed. We should be proud to want to the most out of brightest pupils and Michael Gove’s new specialist schools are doing just that. GSCE rates are improving in some academies at twice the rate as state-ran schools. The academies have been a resounding success, and long may they continue to prosper.
Add to this, the fact Apprenticeships have increased by 177,000 and you can see how well the Conservatives have done in this area!
Tories on Benefits
Despite criticising the benefit cap in an earlier post, the overall cap is a good idea, it just needs tinkering with, or an improvement in housing! But one thing the Conservatives have really succeeded with is their idea of Universal Credit. The Universal Credit is set to replace the myriad of benefits we have now and be one streamlined system. It will make benefits easier to claim, but MOST crucially it will make working beneficial from the first pound. Gone will be the days of 95% tapering.
“Universal Credit: welfare that works marks the beginning of a new contract between people who have and people who have not. At its heart, Universal Credit is very simple and will ensure that work always pays and is seen to pay.”
Tories on same-sex marriage
At their 2011 Conference, David Cameron announced that he supported same-sex marriage and that he would begin legislating for it as soon as possible.
“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other.
“So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.”
This debate is almost coming to fruition. Yes there are archaic relics who remained bigoted in the Conservative Party, some in fact who were involved in politics during the horrendous Section 28 days, something that any modern Tory should be ashamed of. But they are in the minority, the new, shiny Conservatives led by David Cameron believe in equal rights, and I hope this bill is passed. Then it will be up to couples and ministers/priests to choose if they want to marry.
Tories on Tough Decisions
Tough decisions are unpopular decisions, that is a matter of fact. Cameron comfortably polls ahead of Ed Miliband in leadership characteristics, such as “decisive”, “sticks to what he believes in” and “likely to make tough decisions.” The Tories have made tough decisions on the economy, and where to wield the axe on public spending. Now the Conservatives have two very tough decisions to make in the next couple of weeks in the run up to the Budget.
Firstly, we should continue on the road to scrap Child Benefit for the top 15% of society, there is no justice in people on £14k p.a. paying towards footballers and politicians (as extremes) benefits. Yes, we would be breaking a pre-election pledge. But it is a tough, pragmatic decision, and one we need to stick to. I think the bill does need some tinkering with, as a single parents are handicapped by the current wording.
Secondly, we NEED to scrap the 50p tax band. It will be unpopular, because it will be seen as “same old Tories, only looking after the rich and screwing over the poor.” But what George Osborne has to make PERFECTLY clear is that the current 50p tax rate is hurting the poor. People are avoiding the 50p tax band, and the Government is actually losing revenue, if they continue to do so, the country will suffer, there will be less taxes to redistribute.
At the same time he should stick to his guns, bring in the £10,000 threshold, a Liberal Democrat policy and avoid a Mansion Tax (another LD policy!)