After 5 years of a CONDEM coalition, what have they left in their wake for the people of Britain?
During these five years of supposedly ‘unavoidable’ austerity, we have seen food bank use increase at a yearly average of 19%, with latest reports showing that over half a million people currently depend on food banks in Britain – that’s more than the population of Manchester. The income bracket for the 20p and 40p tax band has been lowered meaning that many low earners have had to pay more tax. The number of people sleeping rough has increased by an astounding 55%, with an increase of homeless applications of 27% between the first quarters of 2010 and 2014. In 2010 the population of Britain was 62.7 million, in 2015 it is now 64.9 million, which is an increase of 3.5%. Home ownership in 2010 stood at 137,410 and most recent estimates show that it is currently 140,880, a 2.5% increase. These statistics show us that population growth has itself outgrown construction rates, despite the fact that population growth between these points has been slower than the previous years. The average waiting times in A&E and average time between admission and being moved to a ward have also increased, with the latter increasingly significantly. The number of people on exploitative and insecure zero-hours contracts has risen to 1.4m. Welfare has been cut by approximately a billion, average household energy bills have increased by 20% due to lack of regulation, and university tuition fees have increased by £6000 per student. The list goes on.
But we were in a recession right? We all had to make sacrifices for the greater good, the long term. Statistics seem to tell another story though. Oddly enough, during the same time-frame, the top rate of tax fell by 5%, and corporation tax fell by 7%. I guess it must just have been part of their ‘economic stimulus plan’, those Tories, they really are great with their money aren’t they?
All jokes aside however, those two numbers tell a much darker story, and tell us all we need to know about the Conservative Party of Britain, our leaders for the last five years. The ones who supposedly rescued us from the brink of ruin, who said that tough decisions would have to be made that would affect everyone.
Austerity has been meted out, but not on equal terms. We supposedly live in an egalitarian society, where each of our lives is meant to count for something, to be valued equally and be given an equal chance at fulfillment. It would seem however that David Cameron and his loyal band of merry-men take quite a different view of justice.
Tomorrow is an important day, a defining moment for our future. We have a choice, it may not be the ideal choice but it is a choice worth making, and worth thinking about comprehensively.
There will be a lot of questions that you will have to ask yourself come tomorrow when you near the polling booth and pick up that fateful pen. What do you really value and give importance to in your life? Who do you think best represents you? Do you believe everything that you’ve been told? Have you seen good change in the last five years?
Finally, there are two clips that I feel really summarize the choice you have to make tomorrow and show where the two main party leader’s priorities lie. The first is David Cameron, your magnificent leader, making a Freudian slip and giving an insight into his true motives. The second is of Ed Miliband, as a fresh-faced 19 year-old at university, protesting against unfair rent prices.
Who would you rather represent your interests for the next five years? Well that’s entirely up to you.