Yesterday Gordon Brown launched his five election pledges. CCHQ hit back with a rebuttal document which I summarise below.
The Labour pledge: "Secure the recovery."
The Conservative response: "The man who believed he had ended the economic cycle but gave us the biggest boom followed by the biggest bust cannot be trusted to secure the recovery. Labour’s refusal to take action on our record budget deficit is the biggest threat to our economic recovery."
Key fact: "Labour have doubled the debt. Having inherited a debt of just £351 billion, Labour have more than doubled this to £858 billion. On the Government’s own figures the debt is set to continue to soar to £1.4 trillion by 2015, meaning every person will owe £23,000 (ONS, Public Sector Finances; and HM Treasury, Budget 2010)."
The Labour pledge: "Raise family living standards."
The Conservative response: "The man who has saddled every person in the country with £23,000 of debt and presided over record youth unemployment cannot be trusted to raise family living standards."
The Labour pledge: "Build a high-tech economy."
The Conservative response: "The man who has overseen the fastest decline in manufacturing in our history cannot be trusted to build a high-tech economy."
Key fact: "Competitiveness falling. Britain has fallen from 7th in 1997 to 13th in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness league table (World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, September 2009)."
The Labour pledge: "Protect frontline investment in policing, schools, childcare and the NHS."
The Conservative response: "The man who refuses to hold a Comprehensive Spending Review until after the election cannot be trusted to protect frontline investment. In fact, the reality is that many frontline services are already being cut."
Key fact: " Police officer numbers are already being cut. Thirteen police forces have cut police officer numbers in the last five years (Home Affairs Select Committee, Police Service Strength, Fifth report of Session 2009-10, 19 January 2010). A leaked report for the Home Office, co-written by Mark Rowley, the Chief Constable of Surrey, has raised the prospect of 28,000 police officers being replaced by civilian workers to save money (The Daily Telegraph, 11 March 2010). And just four out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales say they plan to maintain current staffing levels (Home Affairs Select Committee, Police Service Strength, January 2010, Appendix A)."
The Labour pledge: "Strengthen fairness in communities through controlled immigration, guarantees of education, apprenticeships and jobs for young people and a crackdown on anti-social behaviour."
The Conservative response: "The man who cynically promised ‘British jobs for British workers’ while failing to control immigration, who presided over record youth unemployment, and whose Home Secretary admits to ‘complacency’ on anti-social behaviour, cannot be trusted to strengthen fairness in communities."
Key fact: "Total net migration to the UK, the difference between immigration and emigration, increased from 48,000 in 1997 to 163,000 in 2008. The 2008 figure was lower than the preceding years as a result of record emigration. The inflow of people coming to the UK actually increased despite the recession, from 574,000 in 2007 to 590,000 in 2008. This represents a continuation of the level of immigration seen since 2004 (Office of National Statistics, Long-Term International Migration Tables, 1991-latest, 2008 first release, table 2.06; Office of National Statistics, News Release: Emigration reaches record high in 2008, 26 November 2009)."
It's clear Labour's pledge card is a dishonest con. You can create a more honest pledge card at mybillboard.net. Here's one created earlier: