Thursday, October 02, 2008

Broken Record Hazel

As I'm sure you are aware, one of the proposals the Conservatives launched at their conference was a 2-year freeze of your council tax bills. George Osborne had this to say during his conference speech:

"In the private sector when times are tough you take out the overheads. The consultants are sent packing and the advertising budget is cut. Government should do the same. We are going to put caps on Labour's wasteful consultancy and advertising bills, so that we can make this announcement to you, today... I can tell you today that the next Conservative Government will freeze your Council Tax for at least two years."

Eric Pickles has also pledged to scrap more of the government's beloved quangos. He said:

“Next month we will set out our plans to give more power to local councils and through them directly to the people. Real power, real control and real accountability. To start with, we will scrap a number of unelected, unaccountable quangos. I am not going to read out a long list. All you need to know about them is that they are useless, pointless and they are going to go.”

He also added the following about bin collections:

“We reject Labour’s army of bin bullies and bin taxes. That is why David Cameron has pledged that we will provide funding to allow all councils to introduce proper weekly rubbish collections, on top of recycling. Under a Conservative government, the weekly bin collection will be back and recycling will go up.”

And how has Hazel reacted to all this? Well, her reply is in the same article:

“The truth is their council tax pledge is a con and they have failed to set out where they would find any of the savings needed either to freeze council tax or to spend more on bin collection.”

So she just repeats the same old mantra of 'unfunded Tory cuts' without actually paying attention to what Osborne and Pickles have said. I'd imagine you could do a lot more than just increase bin collections and freeze council tax if you removed a few quangos as well. Also note that Hazel doesn't seem to mind it when Labour makes spending pledges without costing them. I can't seem to find a negative quote from her on Gordon Brown's promises to the Labour conference:

"... we will, stage by stage, extend free nursery places for two-year-olds for every parent who wants them in every part of the country backed by high quality, affordable childcare for all."

"And we want to enable all families to use the Internet to link back to their children's school - and so Jim Knight is announcing that we will fund over a million extra families to get online..."

Funny, that.

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