Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson: Tories are out of date a

Bill Esterson



Far from offering anything new, the Tories are the last gasp of the old ways which don’t work for most people and benefit only a privileged few.

A year ago, the Tories gathered for their conference as a party of government for the first time since 1996.

They may not have won the election but they were in confident mood. Despite having announced cuts which went further and faster than those the last government had planned, the economy was still growing and unemployment was still falling.

Britain, they told us, was out of the danger zone. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

This year, the world looks very different . The doubt about whether David Cameron and George Osborne are following the right path is beginning to surface  - not only among their coalition allies -  but even in the minds of some Conservatives.

Stock markets around the world are falling, people in Britain are losing their jobs, consumer confidence has been wrecked by the cuts, economic crisis is threatening to return, the austerity programme is failing and the government is beginning to wobble.

Families across Britain are worried about how they will make ends meet, anxious about what the future holds for their children and disgusted by the way irresponsibility is tolerated across our society.

But the Conservatives have no idea about how to restore growth in the economy and dogmatically refuse to consider a Plan B. Instead, cuts that go too far, too fast are choking off the economic recovery with the consequence of flatline growth and more unemployment.

Their priorities are clear from the way they are cutting corporation tax for the banks while trebling tuition fees for young people dreaming of a better future. This government is further restricting opportunities for the next generation by slashing back support for training and job opportunities.

The Tories won’t help families who face a cost of living crisis by standing up to vested interests.Middle-income families are being squeezed but there is no action on energy bills and rail fares rise. Instead, they are cutting childcare support and raising VAT.

The Tories won’t tackle irresponsibility at the top because they promise “business as usual” to a minority of company executives pursuing the fast buck and damaging the long term health of the economy.

Nor will they help tackle irresponsibility in the welfare system because they are punishing people who do the right thing and seek work.

The Tories are out of date; they are of the past. They are out of touch; they are for the few.