Sunday, 3 May 2015

Tory tax promises are a smokescreen for an all out attack on welfare and public services.

As the election campaign moves into its final week Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged that if returned to office a Conservative government would pass legislation guaranteeing there would be no rises in income tax, national insurance or VAT before 2020.

Mr Cameron said a Tory government would be able to make the 'difficult decisions' needed to balance the public finances through spending cuts, reducing waste and clamping down on tax avoidance without 'reaching into the pockets of hard-working people and taking their money.'

He added that 'as the economy recovers' he wants people to be able to keep more of their money 'to spend as you choose.'

No tax rises for five years, it sounds good; too good to be true.

Detail regarding how a government bound by such legislation would be able to respond to the a volatile world economy was notable absent from his statement.

He was also noticeably vague as to how the policy would be funded, many governments promise to reduce waste, few manage to actually do so and this one has been decidedly toothless when it comes to clamping down on tax avoidance by large corporations.

The burden of making this policy work would fall on spending cuts, which is exactly where Mr Cameron wants it to. This isn't an act of generosity aimed at helping 'hard-working people'; it is a smokescreen that would allow the continuance of the assault on public services and the benefits depended on by many families to make ends meet that began in 2010.

The Green Party believe things do not have to be like that, there is another and much better way of organising our society and economy.

We believe in bringing an end to austerity and restoring our country's battered pubic services, in doing so creating one million jobs that pay at least the living wage. Scrapping tuition fees and investing in further education to give people the skills for tomorrow's economy. A publicly funded National Heath Service that is free at the point of use and in which there is no place for privatisation.

By 2019 this would be paid for by raising £30 billion annually through cracking down on tax dodging by big corporations, using a 2% wealth tax on people worth over £ 3 million to raise £25 billion per year and raising another £20 billion a year through a 'Robin Hood' tax on bank transactions.

The Green Party believe it is possible to create a political system that 'puts the public first' and an economy that 'gives everyone their fair share', having a tax system that ensures everyone pays their fair share towards the services on which we all depend is a vital part of that.

Adam Colclough is the Green Party candidate for Springfields and Trent Vale.

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