Monday, 13 April 2015

Election Issue 1: It's the Economy, Stupid

This is the first in a series of election issue blog-posts I am doing. I wanted to set out 4 top economic reasons - based on independently assessed facts - why we in Esher & Walton constituency, and Britain as a whole, are better off with the Conservatives.

First, the Conservative led government has cut the budget deficit by 40%. We inherited the worst public finances since the war, and have turned the economy round. As a result of tough decisions we have had to make on spending, not only have we restored some sanity to the piblic finances, we have also been able to invest more in the NHS and schools whilst retaining confidence in the UK economy. And, if you live in Elmbridge, you pay a disproportionate amount of tax, compared to what we get back in local funding for services. So, we were hit disproportionately hard by Labour's ballooning deficit, and benefit particularly from deficit reduction.

Second, we've seen 1.9million new jobs created since 2010. Contrary to Labour's predictions in 2010, deficit reduction has coincided with record levels of job creation. Last year, Britain was the fastest growing major economy. Youth unemployment is down as well as overall unemployment - so let's not forget that job creation helps some of the most vulnerable in our society too. Labour myth has it that all this job creation has been part-time work. In truth, 75% of new jobs created since 2010 are full time - but flexible working is vital too for many e.g. students, carers and working mums. Here in Elmbridge, we've seen the benefits too: with 1,000 new businesses created each year, and unemployment now below 1%.

Third, because we have taken difficult decision on government spending, we've also been able to cut taxes - including by extending the income tax personal allowance (cutting income tax for 26 million workers - typically over £700 per year); cutting stamp duty (recent changes benefit 80% of home-buyers in Elmbridge); and freezing fuel duty. 

Fourth, we've done it fairly. Contrary to (yet another) myth, the official statistics show that inequality, child poverty, elderly poverty and fuel poverty are all lower than when Labour left office. It is the poorest who have benefitted most from this recovery - which is why if you are earning £10,000 to £15,000 per year, you are paying 53% less income tax than you were under a Labour government in 2010.

The Conservative manifesto will be launched tomorrow. But, already, we have announced plans to continue on this road to recovery - with proposals to make a further £12billion in savings from the welfare budget, a further extension of the income tax personal allowance to £12,500, and changes to ensure the first £1million of a family home can be transferred without paying Inheritance Tax.


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