Friday 19 May 2017

From Fake News to Fake Politics

Faithful to the Conservative Party Central Office line, the Daily Express trumpeted the Tory Manifesto as a charter for Fairness for All – but read what the Manifesto actually says and it’s clear the reality is quite different. The issue is not just about grabbing money for hot free school dinners to plug school budgets and creating new selective grammar schools. The big hitters are ending the triple lock on state pensions and deliberately denying the NHS and social care the means to keep up with the demands of an ageing population. In 1979, the basic pension reached 26% of earnings, but in 1980 Mrs Thatcher ended the automatic link to the growth in pay and by 20o8, this ratio had fallen to around 16%. The triple lock (which was introduced in 2010 and guarantees a 2.5% annual increase in real terms), should mean that pensions reach 24% of earnings by 2020, but then, according to the Tory Manifesto, the triple lock will end. Beyond that, the prospects for people who are elderly and poor look grim.