A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

The Tories – Surprisingly Irresponsible

money notesThe Conservatives. Supposedly careful with tax-payers’ money. To the point of driving through policies to remove benefits from the genuinely disabled, cut the armed forces and put up VAT to reduce the deficit.

However, during this election campaign they have made a whole series of uncosted spending promises. These are based on ideology rather pragmatic control of spending. Had other parties done the same, the right-wing press would have torn into them.

It really does call into question their priorities and ability to think in the longer term. The “costly” policies that stand out are:

  • Inheritance tax cut –  this would cost £1 billion;
  • Selling Lloyds shares cheap to small investors – The Financial times says the cost to the taxpayer of, “..the giveaway … would depend on the size of the discount and the Lloyds share price at the point of the privatisation.”;
  • Discounted Right to Buy for Housing Association tenants. Offering these houses at a knock-down price is estimated to cost £5.8 billion.

Given there is still a large deficit in government spending and the Tories want £billions of spending cuts, the above policies are irresponsible to say the least.


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