Socialist Worker

Party manifestos signal more misery

Issue No. 2449

Labours manifesto promises more austerity

Labour's manifesto promises more austerity (Pic: University of Nottingham on Flickr)

The Tories are panicking. And they are right to.  They know they are trying to defend what ought to be indefensible.

They want five more years of cuts, racism and reckless inaction over climate change.  

And this is on top of the longest fall in living standards for a century and a half.

The polls suggest that a Cameron government is less likely than it was a month ago. 

That’s why the Tories are producing policies such as letting housing association tenants buy their homes.

It is certain to make the housing shortage worse. It will do nothing for the five million on waiting lists or the millions in private rented housing. 

It will do nothing for the three million people living with their parents because they can’t afford to rent or buy. 

But the Tories gamble that those affected will be generally young and poor—and less likely to vote.  And there’s more.  

After five years of overseeing handouts to the rich, the Tory manifesto promises to hand another £1 billion to the wealthy by cutting inheritance tax.

There will be more nuclear weapons, more attacks on migrants, more powers for police and spies.

The Tories want a nastier, more divided society where the rich can wallow in their wealth.


The only way the Tories can win is if Labour is so uninspiring that people don’t vote.

Labour’s manifesto launch offered some small attacks on the rich. 

It signalled an end to the non-dom status that enables billionaires to avoid tax, a higher tax rate for those grabbing over £150,000 a year and a mansion tax. 

Labour’s leaders know that to win they have to motivate people by promising change.

But the positive pledges were battered aside by the clunking fist of financial “iron discipline”, “not a penny more” of borrowing, and “cuts in the deficit every year”.

That means more attacks on public services, more wage curbs, more jobs lost and a squeeze on health and education.

Labour hopes to woo the bosses and the right wing media—although all the evidence is that these people stick with the Tories. 

But Labour is now so committed to balancing the books that it ludicrously attacks the Tories for “unfunded promises” to spend more on the NHS. 

Ed Miliband will not win by saying the Tories want too much money for health. 

The main parties’ manifesto launches underline that need for a socialist challenge to austerity and racism during the election campaign—and even more afterwards. 

In the three weeks to the vote we urge every reader to be part of the Stand Up to Ukip activities and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition campaigns.

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