Honeyball’s Weekly Round-up

The election is gathering pace as we head into the last few weeks and now the manifestos are being introduced. Today the Labour Party has published its manifesto which you can read here.

One of its most important pledges is its economic promise. The Labour Party guarantees that each of its policies will be fully funded and require no additional borrowing.

The party manifesto also promises:
 A £2.5bn fund for the NHS paid for largely by a mansion tax on properties valued at over £2m
 Twenty-five hours of childcare for working parents of three and four-year olds, paid for by increasing the banking levy by £800m
 Freezing gas and electricity bills until 2017, so they can only fall not rise
 Banning zero-hour contracts and raising the minimum wage to £8
 Scrapping winter fuel payments for the richest pensioners, capping child benefit rises and cutting ministers’ pay by five per cent
 A 50p tax rate on incomes over £150,000 a year and abolishing non-dom status

In an interview with Andrew Marr yesterday the party’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, brilliantly set out Labour’s plan.

During the interview with Marr she said, Labour is not talking to the Liberal Democrats behind the scenes about a partnership after the election and stated the Tory NHS funding pledge is ‘illusory’. She also criticised the Conservatives’ negative campaigning which she said was undermining the economy and “it just turns people off”.

Meanwhile, The Guardian’s Zoe Williams popped down to South Thanet to follow the campaign which Nigel Farage is fighting.

Among the many observations she made concerned Ukip’s local polices which she described as “disjointed and petty.”

“Its three main promises are first, the compulsory purchase of Manston airport to protect its aviation use, even though pretty much nobody round here has their own plane. Secondly, it wants to redraft the local housing plan to stop new houses being built, while at the same time offering “jobs for local people” (how a construction freeze will achieve this is unclear). Thirdly, Ukip will introduce an on-the-spot fine if you let your dog foul a path. Come on: dog shit? It’s come to something when the new politics makes the old stuff look ambitious,” she wrote.

Just a week ago, Williams points out that Ukip was accused of burying a poll it commissioned that showed its support dropping off rapidly in Thanet.

The reality is that there are two simple choices people can make in this election. They can choose to vote for a Conservative government which protects the interests of the few. A Conservative government will make further cuts and has already announced unfunded policy pledges such as its £8 billion promise for the NHS…where the funding is coming from is anyone’s guess.

The alternative is a Labour government, a progressive party which is fair, protects the most vulnerable but which creates opportunity and encourages business to flourish.

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