We now have both labour and Theresa May's manifestos published and comparable.
This I will try to do across some of the main areas, but the Tory manifesto is less a statement of facts and numbers and more a marketing brochure. It's a bit light on actual numbers and heavy on promises of intentions.
These are general points, I'm not including details. I've gone with things that were of interest to me. Read them and compare them yourselves for full details.
Also trying to be balanced here. My personal views of the entire manifestos at the bottom.
Download and read if you are having trouble sleeping.
All election manifestos are advertising the party and asking you to vote for them but they also tend to include actual details of what they will do in government. Theresa May's manifesto, and I do mean that since it is described as that, Theresa May is mentioned 15 times and we have multiple pages headed "Theresa May’s Conservatives will Deliver". Corbyn is mentioned once and that is his name at the end of the intro.
Ignoring the mass of self back slapping that the Tory manifesto contains its hard to find anything to actually budget on since the document is conspicuously lacking in numbers and contains a large number of repeats of Tory claims over the last few years, spending pledges etc, that are either taken out of context or are outright wrong. Building up the armed forces for example.
Also a number of Tory pledges that they have made before, and failed to uphold before. Reducing immigration to tens of thousands a year, down from hundreds of thousands. Repeated (and failed) from 2010 and 2015. Reducing the deficit, in 2010 it was to be in 2015, then in 2015 it was to be in 2020, then 2022. Now the deficit will be reduced in 2025.
May refuses to say there will be no National Insurance increases, no comment on Income tax other than a meaningless we are the party of low taxation. Adding the value of a house into the caring means testing assets then saying the limit of £100,000 is good, when you consider the price of houses in many parts of the country.
Creating a new police force and merging the fraud squad into the National Crime Agency. Redundancies ahoy there then. Also while Labour are pledging new police the Tories are maintaining the 1% wage cap (when inflation this year is 2.7%) and no mention of increasing or even maintaining police numbers from the Tories.
Setting out in the manifesto the "No Deal is better than a Bad Deal".
"Seeks deep and special partnership with the European Union". Seriously, this sounds like a lonely hearts ad in the local paper.
A manifesto pledge to maintain the common travel area in Ireland, this makes ANY attempt at border controls between the EU and a post Brexit UK utterly meaningless. Maintain as frictionless a border as possible for people, goods and services between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. How is this going to work without a significant (and not mentioned in the manifesto) increase in the number of border agents along that border since it will represent an open land border between the EU and UK.
The Tories will continue to train the extra 1,500 nurses each year but no mention of the removal of tuition fees or the restoration of bursary's. Labour have specifically said they will get rid of tuition fees.
Even for a Tory document it's smoke and mirrors and non answers except in a few places. Lots of pledges to do stuff but no information on what that stuff actually is. It's very hard to pin down Theresa May on promises when she isn't actually promising anything at all.
But then in this day and age, that's normal.