Remember Labour’s spin machine? Do you remember when our country was run by the likes of Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson? It’s back in fine form, with outright lies and disgusting false accusations, this time over spending on the disabled.
I’ll outline some facts first, followed by some opinion and a likely outcome.
Most importantly, spending on the disabled is not being cut. Categorically, not even in nominal terms (ie before inflation) is spending on the disabled being cut. This is a blatant outright lie.
Currently spending on the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) is £16.2 billion. This was expected to reach £18.2 billion by 2021. The new proposals are for it to increase by £1 billion, rather than £2 billion, over the next 5 years – hence the proposed “cuts” of circa £4.2 billion that the Corbyn press are alleging.
This is a 6.2% increase. Even taking into account inflation expectations, this is an increase.
INCREASE! Nothing is being cut. Spending is simply proposed not to increase as much as previously suggested. For those still struggling to understand, that is like deciding to increase your food shopping budget from £50 to £60 a week next year, but then closer to the time, deciding only to increase it to £55. That is still an increase in what you are spending.
Secondly, since 2010, this below graph shows how spending on disability benefits has continued to increase under the Conservatives, from short of £12 billion, to the new proposal of £17.2 billion. This is a huge increase given the exceptionally precarious financial situation inherited (I’m really fed up of reminding people how shaky the UK government finances were in 2010 but it seems that the Labour spin machine are still trying to pretend it was nothing to do with them).
These are absolute outrageous lies from the Labour Party. The same party that brought you the greatest recession for around a century, and lied to you about the Iraq War (granted the current leadership were against that). This is absolutely disgraceful.
I can promise you now that this will not go through as proposed. I’ll happily bet a month’s salary that these proposals do not go through parliament and the eventual 2021 figure will be close to the original £18.2 billion figure.
Some of you will scoff, but the Conservatives are the most compassionate political party around. We are historically the party that runs the economy sensibly and paying down the debt, along with reducing the deficit is what will allow us to look after those in need in 2-3 decades time.
Governing for the people is more than just giving away money. It is more than just spending lots. It is much more than what is going on now.
Even so, the more liberal and social wing of the Conservative party will rise up against these lower spending increases, like we did tax credits, and George Osborne will have to stick to the original plan. I would suggest a small increase in fuel duty – surely no driver can argue against a small increase to help pay for disabled care. Surely that is compassion mixed with sensible economics.
If you agree with increasing fuel duty to pay for further increased spending on the disabled – there is a petition that you can sign.
For me, the three most important actions, in order of priority, that a government should be taking are as follows:
1. Protection of democracy.
2. Encouraging economic growth – allowing business to flourish, employment to grow, minimising regulation, etc.
3. Looking after those truly in need, not only in the short-term and not only by increasing spending.
These three reasons are why I vote Conservative and am proud to be a Conservative.
The proposal to increase disability benefits to £17.2 billion, instead of £18.2 billion does not meet the criteria set out in point 3.
I urge the chancellor to reconsider. Urgently.
I have written to my MP to ask him to kindly represent my thoughts.