By Sarah Bates
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2911

Manifestos mean more cuts to public services

The lack of detail in election manifestos may mean further cuts to public services, warns the Institute for Fiscal Studies
Issue 2911
Unison union fighting back against ongoing cuts to public services (Photo: Nick Efford)

Unison union fighting back against ongoing cuts to public services (Photo: Nick Efford)

You can bet we’ll have to fight cuts whoever wins the election. Public services are going to be for the chop after 5 July, a major think tank has warned.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) said on Monday there was a “toxic mix” of increased national debt, growing welfare budgets, higher military spending and energy price rises. 

“Spending on many public services will likely need to be cut over the next five years if government debt is not to ratchet ever upwards or unless taxes are increased further.”

Yet the think tank said a “conspiracy of silence” has been adopted by all the parties as the issue is not addressed in their manifestos.

The IFS warned that whoever is in Number 10 will have to raise taxes or slash public services—to the tune of “somewhere between £10 and £20 billion a year”.

The IFS has said that both Tories and Labour will not make any “serious new policies to raise tax”.

Instead, the “manifestos told us much more about what they wouldn’t do than what they would”.

“On the big issues over which governments have direct control—on how they will change tax, welfare, public spending—the manifestos of the main parties provide thin gruel indeed.

“On 4 July we will be voting in a knowledge vacuum.”

The IFS puts forward its criticism based on mainstream assumptions about tax and spending.

The alternative to years more of austerity and attacks on workers is an assault on the rich and the system they profit from.

As they head for the exit—and the Lords or corporate positions—Conservative top bods are reminding us of their corruption. 

Already four senior Tories are under investigation because they placed bets on the date of the general election.

There are likely to be more investigations coming.

The party’s chief data officer Nick Mason allegedly placed dozens of bets, potentially pocketing thousands of pounds in the process.

The Gambling Commission is looking into four Tories, including one of Rishi Sunak’s closest aides, Craig Williams.

And a police officer working as part of the prime minister’s close protection team has been arrested following a similar allegation.

It is the latest example of elitism from the same government which has been forever tainted by the stench of Partygate and years of corruption and cronyism.

And it’s such an act of naked contempt for democracy that even Tories felt compelled to distance themselves from it.

Housing secretary Michael Gove said, “It looks like one rule for them and one rule for us.”

Gove is right—but that’s because there is precisely one rule for them and us, as evidenced by the hypocrisy that has plagued Tory rule for the last 14 years.

Demand trans+ rights

The Labour Party is claiming to “modernise, simplify and reform” the gender recognition process.

Currently, trans+ people have to live two years as their chosen gender and get a gender dysphoria diagnosis from a panel of doctors and lawyers to change their gender.

Labour announced that individuals would instead have to complete a two year “reflection” period and receive a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a specialist doctor.

Spousal approval wouldn’t be required in the new system. But Labour has also refused to say that it will scrap Tory guidance that stops gender identity being taught in schools. And Keir Starmer has pushed Labour away from a “self-recognition” process that would make it easier for trans+ people to live as their desired gender.

And Labour’s lack of commitment to NHS funding means trans+ healthcare will see little improvement.

Labour’s weak improvements to the transphobia implicit in the Tory policies shows how Labour has no serious commitment to improve trans+ lives.

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