Tories Have Kept Half Their 2019 Manifesto Promises

A new report from the billionaire-funded Institute for Government calculates that the Tories have completed or are on track to complete 137 manifesto pledges out of a total 237, with varying degrees of progress made on a further 75 commitments. This despite the effects of coronavirus…

The paper shows that on flagship promises like delivering Brexit, boosting funding for public services, and improving infrastructure, the government has made significant progress since the 2019 election. Brexit is over, an NHS funding rise of 3.1% by 2023/3 has been enshrined in law, and over £100 billion has been allocated for transport over the course of the parliament. The Towns Fund and Levelling Up Fund have also begun rolling out. As promised, Big Government is back…

The pandemic has caused a change of course in a few key places: initial spending plans went out the window, and there are now huge backlogs in the courts and on NHS waiting lists. Foreign aid commitments have been walked back, and a social care deal has been kicked down the road. With the next election rumoured for the end of 2023, there’s still a way to go…

mdi-timer 18 May 2021 @ 13:45 18 May 2021 @ 13:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mogg: Raising Taxes Would Lose Tories the Next Election

Speaking on last week’s MoggCast, the Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg laid down a stark warning to his fellow Cabinet Ministers on tax pledges. Responding to a question of whether breaking the manifesto commitment to spending 0.7% of GNI on foreign aid due to extraordinary circumstances allowed other manifesto commitments to be abandoned, Mogg explained the same logic does not apply to taxation.

“”Read my lips, no new taxes” George Bush Senior said this again, and again, and again. And then when it came to the Gulf War and the economic downturn, he broke his promise and he lost the ensuing election.”

Mogg stressed “public consent” exists in the case of cutting foreign aid (which it does in spades), implying that makes the move more legitimate than the election-losing consequences that might follow hiking taxes. He went on to stress that not raising tax thresholds would breach the manifesto by just as much as directly raising tax rates. “It’s a mistake to think you can follow the letter of a manifesto promise and not the spirit of it…”

mdi-timer 7 December 2020 @ 10:15 7 Dec 2020 @ 10:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Business Questions Budget Plans to Double Capital Gains Taxes for Entrepreneurs

The Conservative Manifesto promised to “unleash Britain”, with the aim of making Britain “the best place to start and grow a business”, promising that this government will “back entrepreneurs”. Yesterday the Sunday Times reported that there are budget plans to double capital gains taxes for entrepreneurs…

Guido has confirmed that the small print in the manifesto about “reforming and reviewing Entrepreneurs’ Relief” is an intention by the Treasury to double capital gains taxes for entrepreneurs selling their business. Treasury spinners have taken to describing it as a loophole. It is not a loophole, it was deliberately designed to encourage entrepreneurs to take risks and build businesses in Britain. George Osborne liked it so much he expanded the relief when he was Chancellor, such that it now enables company founders selling their businesses to pay capital gains tax at a rate of 10% up to £10m. It does not benefit billionaires, it is focused on small businesses.

The Treasury is spinning that Entrepreneurs’ Relief benefits only 5,000 people to the tune of some £100,000 each. This seems deliberately selective, the Federation of Small Business calculates that 38,000 everyday entrepreneurs benefit on average to the tune of £15,000. Last week more than 150 business people, including former trade minister Digby Jones and Luke Johnson, signed a letter to the chancellor calling on him to keep Entrepreneurs’ Relief in place. The letter, written by E2E, a group representing 23,000 entrepreneurs, wanted to know where was the review promised in the manifesto?

The one place that doubling capital gains taxes for British entrepreneurs will be welcomed is in the finance ministries of our EU competitors, where they are jealous that Britain is the tech start-up superpower of Europe. They will welcome new start-ups with open arms.

mdi-timer 2 March 2020 @ 16:58 2 Mar 2020 @ 16:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tories Plan Short Election Manifesto

Despite reports of a rift between Boris and Crosby, it looks like Boris has accepted Crosby’s advice in at least one respect – the next Tory manifesto is set to be a short one. Despite Boris having a better track record of levity than brevity…

Speaking at a Women2Win fringe event late last night, the PM said

“And if you want any evidence – any further evidence – to our commitment to having a wonderful agenda not just for women but for the entire country, I can tell you that we […] already have a Conservative manifesto for the next election (which will be a short and concise… with no hostages to fortune) being drawn up by two particularly brilliant women”

As Tim Shipman detailed in Fallout, Crosby implored May to release a very short manifesto that only covered Brexit, to ensure the election didn’t get derailed by other more contentious policies – the election guru even suggested May didn’t release a manifesto at all. Nick Timothy, however, overruled him, leading to the disastrous 2017 election campaign. Ironically earlier in his speech, Boris got the room to cheer May – however for her work on Women2Win, not her election tactics…

mdi-timer 30 September 2019 @ 13:30 30 Sep 2019 @ 13:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
6 Tory Policies in Peril

Worth looking at which of David Cameron’s policies Theresa May is going to ditch. Her manifesto is in danger of looking a lot softer than Dave’s on the deficit and immigration. Here are the 2015 Tory policies which could go…

  • Eliminate deficit and run surplus by 2020: A promise Hammond has already said he will break.
  • Net migration to tens of thousands: Cabinet minister Karen Bradley said this morning that immigration is “not about numbers”. Could the target be ditched, or at the very least, further fudged?
  • Pensions triple lock: Damian Green has hinted the promise to guarantee pension rises could go. Most wonks hate it. Old people vote Conservative…
  • 0.7% aid target: Downing Street say “We are meeting our commitments now. In terms of the future manifesto, that’s something which you’ll have to wait for the manifesto for”.
  • No VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax rises: Surely this will go after Hammond’s NICs nightmare. Taxpayers’ Alliance to the barricades
  • Stay in the single market: Well, duh.

Ministers at the moment have no idea which of their current policies will survive. How weak will May be on the deficit and immigration?

UPDATE: May says the “tens of thousands” immigration target will stay. A promise made to be broken…

mdi-timer 20 April 2017 @ 14:11 20 Apr 2017 @ 14:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments