UKIP have proved what we all know: you vote UKIP, you get the Tories.
At their Spring Conference, UKIP have announced that they back the Tories’ spending plans for the next Parliament. Nigel Farage said: “What George Osborne will do is put before the next Parliament another ambitious programme for deficit reduction. What we are saying is, if we are in a position of influence, we will do our very best to make sure this time it actually happens.”
The Tories’ spending plans are risky and extreme. They would take public spending back to a share of national income last seen in the 1930s, before there was an NHS.
The Tories plan to cut public services by over £50 billion in the next parliament. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has reiterated this point saying that the Government is now planning “cuts on a colossal scale”.
Anyone who cares about living standards and public services would reject these plans, but Nigel Farage has embraced them because UKIP are more Tory than the Tories themselves.
Tory spending plans are just the latest in a long line of Tory policies for which UKIP have voiced their support.
UKIP want higher bonuses for bankers, claiming there is no need for any official cap. UKIP want to give the wealthiest another tax break, while raising taxes for you and your family. They want to scrap the top rate of income tax so millionaires would pay the same rate of tax as working families.
UKIP want to abolish your rights as a worker, including parental leave, maternity pay, holiday pay, sick pay, and even redundancy pay, and they want to go further than the Tories in cutting the services you rely on.
On the NHS, UKIP want to go even further than David Cameron to increase privatisation, have deeper cuts and even charges for you to see your GP. UKIP have congratulated the Government on ‘bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service’. A senior UKIP official compared the NHS to “the Reichstag bunker”, only to be backed by Nigel Farage. The UKIP leader has said that privatisation is his real belief and wants to see a US-style insurance system of healthcare.
The fallacy that UKIP stand for working people is exposed by any scrutiny of their policy positions. A single speech, or a weekend away will not change a longstanding record of backing Tory positions.
UKIP are a party of Tory people and Tory money as well as Tory policies. More than half of UKIP’s leadership has previously been involved in the Conservative party and UKIP have now taken over £5 million from donors who previously funded the Tories.
Labour, by contrast, has a better plan for working families. We will cut the deficit every year, get the budget into surplus and national debt falling as soon as possible in the next Parliament. We will get the deficit down fairly, for example by reversing the Tory tax cut for millionaires and changing our economy so we earn out way to sustained rises in living standard for all. This is the only way to balance the books in a fair way while protecting the NHS. Labour will ensure that the recovery reaches kitchen tables across Britain, because we know that when working people succeed, our economy succeeds too.
UKIP and the Tories don’t understand this, which is why only Labour has a better plan for a better future.