Promises now in chaos
48 hour GP care – Labour’s NHS pledges unravel
· Labour promise.
o ‘An appointment within 48 hours for all who want one – and an appointment on the same day for all who need one’ (Labour Press, 12 May 2014, link). They claimed this would cost £100 million a year: ‘a Labour government will help all surgeries achieve these standards by investing an extra £100 million a year in family doctor practices’ (ibid.)
· Promise in chaos.
o This promise actually costs £1.361 billion in 2015/16 – over ten times more than Labour claim (HM Treasury, Opposition costing – guarantee on GP appointments, 5 January 2015, link).
o Ed Balls now claims this promise would be paid for out of a £2.5 billion ‘time to care fund’: ‘As you know, we've established a Time to Care fund, £2.5bn a year which will be financed by the mansion tax on homes over £2m’ (BBC Radio 4, World at One, 5 January 2015).
o However, the proposed tax rises for this will raise no money in 2015/16. In October 2014 Ed Balls’ office confirmed to the Guardian that any money from new taxes would not be available until halfway through the next parliament (Guardian, 5 October 2014, link).
o And Labour’s press release explaining the ‘Time to Care Fund’ makes no mention of guaranteeing a GP appointment. Neither Ed Miliband nor Andy Burnham mentioned the GP access guarantee in their 2014 conference speeches.
London Challenge – Balls rushes out new Labour education cuts
· Labour promise. ‘As Secretary of State for Education, I will roll out the London Challenge scheme across the country: tackling poor results and raising standards in our coastal towns, counties, and regional cities’ (Tristram Hunt, Speech to Labour Party conference 2014, 21 September 2014).
· Promise in chaos. ‘That will happen entirely within the education budget that Tristram Hunt inherits. And he will seek to find savings elsewhere, and no new money’ (Ed Balls, WATO, 5 January 2015).
Promises dumped by Labour
Cancelling Arts Council spending reduction in 2015/16 – Balls dumps Harman’s opposition to cuts
· Labour promise. ‘The successes we now celebrate in the arts are the result of many years of public support, through funding and public policy. But this Government is threatening the future of our arts and creative industries through slashing the Arts Council, crushing the ability of local government to support culture locally and side-lining creative education’ (Harriet Harman, Labour Party press release, 14 June 2013).
· Promise dumped.
o ‘p.44 of Tory dossier says Labour will cancel cuts to the arts budget. We won’t’ (Labour Press Team Twitter Account, 5 January 2015).
o ‘I am afraid there will be no new money in 2015/16 for the Arts Council and for the culture budget over the plans we inherit’ (Ed Balls, WATO, 5 January 2015).