The PM is not equipping voters to make tough choices
Theresa May called this election with the sole purpose of gaining a massive majority in the House of Commons.
However, despite the fact that she is requesting essentially unchecked power from the electorate, details on May’s programme for government are scarce in the manifesto she launched today.
Headline proposals — the new social care plans, the immigration target, school breakfasts — are not costed in the manifesto, despite the fact that the Conservatives have derided Labour’s costings document. The fiscal rule has been reiterated, but the Tories have pushed the deadline for budget balance to 2025, giving themselves a great deal of wiggle room.
And although she promises, once again, a ‘smooth and orderly Brexit’, May offers no more information about how she will approach the negotiations, expecting voters to accept that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ even though her government has failed to calculate the costs of either outcome.
In her speech in Halifax, May leaned heavily on rhetoric about tough choices, saying:
“It is the responsibility of leadership to be upfront and straight with people about the challenges ahead, about the difficult decisions and trade-offs that need to be made, and the hard work required to overcome the obstacles in our way. That is what this Manifesto does.”
However, beyond telling people that there are difficult decisions to be made, May does not equip people to weigh up different options because her manifesto does not offer any facts and figures.
Once more, the prime minister is brazenly asking voters for a blank cheque. And they should be extremely wary about giving it to her.
Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Find her on Twitter.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.