Apparently the Conservatives have released yet another poster filled with lies. As before, I have marked the claims with red crosses to show where there are either factual errors or misleading statements. This doesn’t leave a lot of content on the poster which is both factually accurate and a fair representation of those facts. These Conservative lies make us all worse off, and as a result I wanted to dissect their claims.
I will address each of their claims below under their own headings. Once again, it is disappointing that the Conservatives reach for such outright lies after 12 years of government. Their record is frankly atrocious, and one they should be ashamed of. The only thing they could do as a consequence right now is to call for a general election in the hope of letting someone more competent and less ideologically-driven run the country, as their policies have made life worse for everyone but the ultra-wealthy.
The Conservative Party’s latest work of fiction.
Saving £900 off energy bills
What the Energy price cap actually means
This is a genuinely bizarre claim to make. Yes, the government introduced a cap on energy costs, but that same government also presided over unprecedented increases in costs for energy. In fact, the £900 saving mentioned here only partially offsets the increase that we have seen to our household energy bills.
As you can see from the chart here, the expected energy price is due to skyrocket from £1,138 to an estimated £3,615 from next month. Compared to this, an annual saving of £900 is meaningless. On top of that, this annual saving isn’t a gift, it’s merely a deferment of cost to future years, meaning the Conservative “gift” is actually just a debt to be repaid in future years. This is one of the Conservative lies that negatively impacts us all.
Increasing NHS funding
This is an outrageous misrepresentation of the truth. Yes, the Conservatives have technically increased the funding this year, but the reality is that this increase in funding is well behind the increasing costs due to inflation. On top of that, we already know that nurses and paramedics are currently striking for fairer pay, with junior doctors likely to join them in 2023. As such, we know already that the NHS is not being properly funded.
Nurses striking, courtesy of the BBC
What does £6.5bn look like to the NHS? Well, the annual NHS and social care budget is around £180bn, including care costs. Of that, some £153bn is passed to the NHS. Simplistically, that £6.5bn therefore represents 4.2% of the annual budget. Worse yet, this is spread over 3 years, so the actual annual increase is under 1.5%. Considering the current rate if inflation is likely over 10%, this represents a real loss of value of over 8.5% each year.
Calling this an increase to NHS funding is frankly an insult to our intelligence as voters and to the staff of the NHS currently struggling to make ends meet because of Conservative incompetence.
Recruiting 20,000 police officers
This was a pledge, not an actual delivered target. That said, with three months to go before the deadline, the government has made steps in the right direction, recruiting some 15,000 new officers. Unfortunately for them:
- This figure was only ever selected because it would undo the damage caused during austerity, where we lost around 20,000 police staff.
- Of the 15,000 new officers recruited, at least 1,837 have already resigned.
As such, this claim can be restated as “we have nearly undone the damage that we caused earlier during our tenure”. Not exactly something to brag about, in my opinion.
Boosting school budgets
Similar to the NHS claim above, it is useful to look at what this means in real terms. In terms of education funding, the budget is around £116bn, the increase in budget announced by Jeremy Hunt was £2.3bn next year and a further £2.3bn the year after that. For next year, that means the increase in budget is anticipated to be 2.0%, which again represents a huge real-value loss compared to an inflation rate of over 10%.
Once again, this poster is filled with Conservative lies and misrepresentations despite being pretty short. The fact that this is all they have to show for over a decade in power is genuinely pathetic, and any Conservative supports reading this blog should ask themselves why on Earth they support such blatant incompetence and dishonestly.