The Conservative Flyer - Fact Checked
So the Conservative flyer has arrived, and it trumpets the reasons we should all rush to vote for Gavin Williamson and Boris Johnson’s Conservative/Brexit Party this election. But what about the promises made in this leaflet? How do they stack up? After years of cuts by the government and attempts to "get Brexit Done" how do the bold promises in the document stand up to scrutiny? Let's find out.
£33.9 Billion for the NHS
Nice big numbers on the cover saying that if elected Gavin Williamson and the Conservative party will invest £33.9 billion into our NHS. This sounds like a hefty figure, but when you analyse NHS spending over the last 4 years of Conservative government you find this number is not as big as it sounds. NHS spending power has increased by an average of 4% year on year since it was formed. Under the Conservatives this has increased by just 1.3% on average every year. The £33.9 billion only represents a 3.4% increase every year.
The Liberal Democrats will not only match this spending pledge, but will raise an additional £6 billion (adding just one penny to income tax) to reverse the cuts of this government and boost our ailing mental health services.
20,000 extra police
This seemingly substantial increase in police numbers is somewhat undermined by the fact that this is less than the number of police officers who have left the police, with around 21,000 leaving under the Conservative government. This promise appears to go some way towards fixing the problem, but this doesn't take into account police officers leaving the police, with 9,000 having left between January and March of this year.
The Liberal Democrats will invest in community policing and youth services rather than the more PR friendly (but ultimately less effective) promises of the Conservatives. With targeted investment in the National Crime Agency and in a new online crime portal, we will relieve the burden on our Police force.
More Funding for Every Pupil in Every School
320 of 363 schools in Staffordshire have had funding cuts since 2015. In fact the plans of the Conservatives merely return spending in schools to 2009 levels. This funding also doesn't come in one big pot, but rather in small amounts over the next 3 years. The per pupil funding increase in the West Midlands was the second lowest in the whole country.
The Liberal Democrats will aim to give every child the best possible start in life and throughout their lives, with an extra £10 billion a year for schools (compared to £14 billion over 3 years) and will establish a £10,000 skills wallet for every adult for approved training courses and ongoing education.
Those are the headline promises on the flyer. Our next post will talk about the promises inside and on the back. Come back for the next post to learn the truth behind Gavin Williamson and the Conservatives promises.