Daily Mail

Is there ANY difference between the Tories and Labour?


Well, who’d have thought it? After years spent searching for the legendary magic money tree, it seems the Conservati­ves have finally found it. And lo! it turns out to be the British taxpayer.

As the nation’s salary slaves wearily roll up their sleeves in anticipati­on of offering yet another vein for HMrC to bleed dry, the public sector waits for its cash transfusio­n.

Top of the prime Minister’s priority for handouts in this Thursday’s Autumn statement? Why, welfare payments, of course. After all, we must keep the long-term economical­ly inactive in the style to which they have become accustomed.

There are around 1.23 million job vacancies, yet no one seems to want to fill them. According to the office for national statistics, the number of people off work permanentl­y due to ‘long-term’ sickness has risen by 402,000 since the pandemic started.

in some parts of the country, unemployme­nt is around 20 per cent. But that’s not because of a shortage of jobs. it’s because … well, why bother if you don’t have to?

As ever, it’s the squeezed middle who are being asked to bridge the gap. Which might not be such a bad thing in itself. After all, many of us are willing to chip in more in times of need. it’s just that we seem to be getting less and less in return.

Forsome reason, all this Government seems to want to do is throw good money after bad. Take the suella Braverman deal with the French. We’ve agreed to hand Mr Macron another £8 million of taxpayers’ cash ( on top of the £54 million a year we already give him) without, as far as i can see, attaching any conditions. no targets or obligation­s on the part of the French, just a vague entente cordiale.

And since the sums we have donated so far seem not to have motivated them to do anything — indeed, migrant numbers have shot up — what’s to suggest a few million more will make any difference? Basically, all it will achieve is ensuring the British taxpayer pays for the French police. Which demonstrat­es spectacula­r incompeten­ce.

As for the nHs, where to begin? Gp appointmen­ts are as rare as hen’s teeth, nHs dentists even more so. There are 7.1 million people waiting for treatment, including hip replacemen­ts and cataract surgery.

Waiting times in A&e can be more than 12 hours.

And yet most recent figures show an increase in nHs budgets from £123.7 billion to £151.8 billion. The money just seems to be evaporatin­g. But when you read that some agency nurses are being paid up to £2,500 a shift, is it any surprise?

The NHS is riddled with waste and incompeten­ce, and badly needs reforming. Yet is there any sign that such reform might be on the cards? of course not. The Government is too scared to even mention it. Just throw more taxpayers’ money at it and hope this will all go away.

But it’s not going away, is it? The Conservati­ves are digging themselves into a tax-and-spend hole that they show no signs of even wanting to get out of.

What happened to that bold reforming agenda? Because that was the point of the Conservati­ves, as the opposite of labour. They were about efficiency and taxpayer value-for-money; growing the economy by encouragin­g and rewarding an industriou­s workforce. Ambition, aspiration, achievemen­t.

There’s none of that now. Why bother working hard for that promotion or pay rise if the taxman is just going to claw back any gains and chuck them into yet another giant public sector black hole?

if you want businesses and individual­s to bust a gut to get the economy going, you must offer them something in return. And from where i’m sitting, it’s not clear that they are offering them anything at all.

nor is it clear, for that matter, what the difference between voting Conservati­ve or labour at the next election will be.

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