Nine Broken Promises From the First 100 Days of This Conservative Government
Yvette Cooper is the shadow home secretary and Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford. She is standing in the contest for leadership of the Labour Party.
Next week will mark the first 100 days of this Tory government.
It's only three months since the election yet David Cameron has already ripped up nine major pre-election promises. It's clear he never expected to deliver these plans in the first place. Yet he spent months before the election making promises about what he would do. From child tax credits to the railways, from a decision on Heathrow to tax-free childcare, the Tories have lied to the electorate.
We may have our own leadership election going on, but Labour can't allow David Cameron to get away with this and carry on like nothing has happened - he is taking the British public for fools. We have to confront him directly on every lie and broken promise - that's exactly what I plan to do in Parliament and across the country.
Here are nine broken Tory promises since May:
1) Broken promise on Child Tax Credits
On BBC Question Time's Leader's Q&A, when asked about cutting child tax credit, David Cameron said: "No, I don't want to do that. This report that's out today is something I rejected at the time as Prime Minister and I reject it again today."
When asked by David Dimbleby specifically on child tax credit, asking "And it's not going to fall?" the PM said: "It's not going to fall."
REALITY: £4.5billion to tax credits in the budget which will hit women twice as hard as men
2) Broken promise on child benefit
David Cameron pledged to not cut child benefit beyond a two-year freeze: "We are not cutting child benefit, we are keeping child benefit... It is an absolutely crucial benefit and with me as prime minister, it stays."
He said a freeze would apply for two years: "With child benefit we've made our reform," he said. "We've said it is a vital benefit for Britain's families. It goes straight to the mother in most cases. It forms a key part of family budgets. We've made our reform. We've frozen it in this parliament and we've said we'll have to freeze it for two years in the next parliament. We've said child benefit stays because it's so important."
REALITY: Cutting child benefit with four-year freeze. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, between 2010-11 and 2020-21, the first child rate will have fallen by 14.4% in real terms (relative to CPI inflation) and by 24.1% relative to average earnings
3) Broken promise on rail electrification
From the Conservative Manifesto: "Electrification of the railways is a key part of our investment programme, with work already underway across the North, the Midlands, and South Wales; there are plans to go further in the rest of the country, including East Anglia and the South West."
4) Broken promises on affordable housing
The Conservative manifesto promised more affordable homes: "The chance to own your own home should be able everyone who works hard. We will... deliver more homes that people can afford, [including 200,000 Starter Homes exclusively under for first-time buyers under 40]".
REALITY: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) calculated: "Over the forecast period, our assumptions suggest around 14,000 fewer 'affordable homes' will be built."
5) Broken promises on decision over Heathrow
Prime Minister: "Well, first of all, on the Gatwick Airport, I can't really say anything about that because we've got the Davies Review that is looking at our airport capacity, and he's said there are really three options. He said we need more - we need more capacity. Not immediately, it's not a panic, but he says we do need to add another runway if we want to try and keep our hub status as a country. And he's got three suggestions: he says that there is the Heathrow suggestion, the Gatwick suggestion, or possibly -the east of London option.
"So all of those three are being looked at. I think he's doing a good job. One of the things he's done is stop people panicking about this issue. He says that it has to be addressed but we don't have to do it tomorrow, but we do need to make a decision in good time and we will in the summer of next year." - David Cameron, PM Direct in Peacehaven, Number 10, 25 March 2014
REALITY: Decision shelved till end of the year, condemned by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). "Now that Sir Howard's Commission has made its recommendation, the Government must commit to the decision now, and get diggers in the ground at Heathrow swiftly by 2020.
"Growing airport capacity in the South East is absolutely critical to the whole of the UK's economic future - it simply isn't an optional "nice to do". Each day the Government delays taking the decision, the UK loses out as our competitors reap the rewards and strengthen their trade links." - CBI responds to Airports Commission, 1 July 2015
6) Broken promises on tax free childcare
The Conservatives said that "parents have told the government that they are keen for Tax-Free Childcare to be introduced as soon as possible, and the government is committed to introducing the scheme in autumn 2015." (HM Treasury, Tax-Free Childcare: the government's response to the consultation on childcare account provision, 29 July 2014)
REALITY: In the Budget, George Osborne delayed the policy till 2017: "To make sure work pays for parents, I can confirm that, from September 2017 all working parents of three and four-year-olds will receive free childcare of up to 30 hours a week."
7) Broken promises on volunteering and the Big Society
During the General Election, the Conservative Party pledged to give every public servant three extra days off for volunteering: "A Conservative government would offer up to 15million workers three days' paid leave a year for volunteering. Under the party's plans, a new law would be passed requiring public sector employers and companies with more than 250 employees to give staff up to three days a year to do voluntary work."
REALITY: Shelved. The policy did not appear in the Queen's Speech and it has been reported that the policy has been dropped. "You are right in thinking they are going to forget about that one," a government figure told the Financial Times. "It has not been mentioned [since the election] and there are no plans in the pipeline for a consultation."
8) Broken promises on social care cap
The Conservative manifesto pledged: "We will cap charges for residential social care from April 2016."
REALITY: Delayed till 2020: "The government says its flagship policy to cap care costs in England will be delayed until 2020. Costs were to be limited to £72,000 for the over-65s and younger adults with disabilities from April 2016. The Department of Health said it was still "firmly committed" to the cap, but questions are now being raised whether the policy needs rethinking.
9) Broken promises on government transparency
The Conservative manifesto committed to "continue to make government more transparent".
REALITY: The Conservatives have launched a consultation to restrict FOI. Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office Lord Bridges laid a written statement in Parliament about the new Commission on Freedom of Information.
"The Commission will review the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ('the Act') to consider whether there is an appropriate public interest balance between transparency, accountability and the need for sensitive information to have robust protection, and whether the operation of the Act adequately recognises the need for a 'safe space' for policy development and implementation and frank advice."
It's time the Prime Minister and George Osborne were held to account for deceiving people and letting them down.