Our panel responds to the Conservatives' bold election proposalsby Prospect Team / April 14, 2015 / Leave a comment
Read our panel’s responses to the Labour manifesto launch
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David Cameron delivered a stirring speech at a Swindon school today to launch his party’s manifesto, which he said was best summed up in one phrase: “a brighter, more secure future for you and your family.”
The full document is available to read here, but below we’ve drawn out some key points and gathered snap responses from our expert panel.
What are the Tories promising?
“My advice to Cameron is to pick up urgently some of the lessons from… tough times, and staple them to ideas about a more optimistic—and yes, compassionate—conservatism that he was once well placed to offer voters.” So wrote the Conservative commentator and activist Tim Mongtomerie in a recent piece for Prospect, and today Cameron did just that. The Conservative manifesto, titled Strong Leadership, a Clear Economic Plan, a Brighter, More Secure Future treads a careful path between insisting that there is still “work to be done” on reducing the deficit and securing economic stability, while allowing itself to be optimistic about the future with some big offers—an extension of the “right to buy,” no tax on the minimum wage by 2020, 30 hours of free childcare—for the ordinary working voters who often view the Tories with suspicion and mistrust.
Six key pledges
Here are six things that caught our eye in the manifesto:
Extension of the “right to buy” for housing association tenants. Right to buy is a legacy of the Thatcher years; it allows people living in council housing to buy their homes at a discount. Today, the Conservatives pledged to extend that right to 1.3m people living in homes owned by housing associations. The policy also requires Housing Associations to sell off their most expensive homes and use the money to build more affordable ones. In the past, though, successive governments have had a poor record of using right to buy money to fund housebuilding.
30 hours of free childcare per week Families in which both parents are working are already entitled…