UKIP's new leader deserves to lose, and lose badly
Upon news UKIP leader and soft-boiled egg Paul Nuttall will be standing in the Stoke-on-Trent Central byelection, voters there might like to know what Nuttall stands for:
- Privatisation of the NHS
First and foremost, Nuttall has repeatedly said he favours more privatisation of the NHS. In 2014 he wrote:
“I would like to thank the coalition government for bringing a whiff of privatisation into the National Health Service. […]
I would argue the very existence of the NHS stifles competition.”
In 2011, he said:
“I believe that the NHS is a monolithic hangover from days gone by and […] quite frankly I would like to see more free market introduced into the health service because this is the way we have to go in the long term.”
In 2015 his party ran on a pro-NHS message. But are voters meant to ignore the new leader’s stated opinions?
2. Tougher benefits cap
On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on December 4, Nuttall said:
“I stood on a manifesto in 2015, a UKIP manifesto which I believe was the best manifesto out of any of the political parties …”
Under ‘welfare’, that manifesto said ‘our common sense approach to benefits includes’:
“Supporting a lower cap on benefits”
It also offered restricting child benefit to ‘new claimant’ parents with two children. How will this go down in Stoke-on-Trent?
3. Tax cuts for the wealthy
His beloved manifesto also backed raising the threshold for the 40 per cent tax rate to £55,000, lifting the personal allowance to £13,000, and the abolition of inheritance tax.
It’s stated ‘longer term aspiration’ was cutting the top rate of tax to 40 per cent, and ‘restoring the personal allowance to those earning over £100,000’.
These policies offer nothing for most voters in Stoke-on-Trent, who are earning around the national average of £20,000. But it would mean less tax money paid by the wealthy minority to fund public services.
(Even scrapping inheritance tax, while popular, benefits only the well-off at the expense of everyone else.)
So there you have it. Nuttall represents the interests of the few against the many – business and the rich against working families and people on benefits. He offers a stick to beat the poor and a carrot to reward the rich.
Couple that with his desire to restrict abortions and bring back the death penalty, the bizarre team he has put together to run UKIP, and of course, his party’s infamous migrant-bashing, and you have a candidate who deserves to lose, and lose badly.
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.