UK Conservative manifesto outlines stepped up austerity and militarism : World Socialist Web Site

The Guardian described the manifesto of the ruling Conservative Party as a “break with Thatcherism,” while the Financial Times declared that it “rejected Thatcherite free-market economics.”

The manifesto proclaims that Tory leader and Prime Minister Theresa May will oversee “the world’s Great Meritocracy.”

These are transparent lies. Despite its many references to the plight of “working people” and “working families” being hardest hit by the crisis, the manifesto is centred on its commitment to Britain exiting the European Union (EU) and becoming a “global nation that is competitive, outward-looking and open for business.”

This is a pledge to intensify austerity and attacks on the working class carried out over the last decade. None of the austerity measures planned by May’s predecessor, David Cameron and his Chancellor, George Osborne, are reversed, with £9 billion in brutal welfare cuts to come. This is on top of a freeze on working age welfare benefits, which is retained in the manifesto, which will cost the most deprived more than £7 billion over four years.

The manifesto states that the next “Conservative government will continue the difficult but necessary work of restoring our public finances.”

Unprecedented attacks are to be imposed on pensioners—including ending the “triple lock” on pensions. This meant the state pension rose in line with earnings or inflation based on whichever was higher, underpinned by a pledge from Cameron guaranteeing an annual pension increase of at least 2.5 percent. This latter condition is to be removed.

Up to £3 billion annually will be slashed from public spending, with an estimated 10 million people to lose their winter fuel allowance, which will now be means tested. Paid to help with additional heating costs during the winter, it is worth up to £300 to some households. According to research by the Resolution Foundation, just 2 million pensioners will continue to receive the payment.



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