The Conservative manifesto: a progressive perspective

The Conservative party manifesto will not include any of Left Foot Forward readers' top five manifesto ideas. There overall green strategy has received some praise.

As with yesterday’s coverage of Labour’s manifesto, Left Foot Forward today offers a progressive perspective on the Conservative manifesto, ‘Invitation to Join the Government of Britain’. We’ve already looked today in detail at the Tories’ policies on education, social care, and Northern Ireland, and have held them up against “twelve tests” set by the Demos ‘progressive conservative’ project.

Against our readers’ five manifesto priorities, the Conservative party:

Says nothing about the living wage but do pledge to “keep the minimum wage”. This reflects a key battle lost by Tory reformer Steve Hilton who had reportedly pushed for a Whitehall living wage, a policy adopted yesterday by Labour.

• Like the Labour manifesto, does not mention a ‘Green new deal’ by name but does prioritise “a new green investment bank help create new jobs, wealth and growth” but Labour pointed out that no new money would be available for it. Greenpeace’s John Sauven said:

“By ruling out a third runway at Heathrow and committing to new standards for coal plants that would limit their emissions, he’s addressing two of the big climate change challenges. But although the Tory manifesto looks good on the headline issues, it lacks a recognition that the market needs a jump-start if it’s to deliver the scale of the change Britain needs. If David Cameron wins he’ll have to be bold and face down those in his party who would cut investment on clean green technologies and threaten Britain’s competitiveness.”

Andy Atkins of Friends of the Earth said: “The Conservative party may have a vision for a greener future, but its manifesto lacks the clarity and ambition urgently needed to ensure the UK meets the enormous challenge of tackling climate change.”

• Have previously ruled out a Robin Hood Tax but they do pledge to “put in place a levy on banks” and are prepared to “act unilaterally if necessary”.

• Make no reference at all to tax avoidance or evasion.

• Make no reference to water or rail ownership.

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