Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Just making it up?

I’m having a little problem with David Cameron at the moment.

In October, on a BBC's Sunday Politics programme, Mr Cameron said that the additional cuts that local councils will have to make as a result of George Osborne’s latest spending review announcement were ‘relatively modest…. just 2.3%

Nobody knows where that figure has come from. It’s wildly different from the estimates of the independent experts, who suggest that the additional cut is nearer to 10%. The Treasury and Department of Communities and Local Government both refuse to comment.

So, nearly a month ago, I wrote to Mr Cameron to ask him to explain his statement. No 10 responded quickly saying that Mr Cameron was asking a Treasury Minister to respond. Needless to say, there has been no response, so I’ve had to write to Mr Cameron again asking him to explain.

Is it unreasonable for me to think that the reason for the failure to respond is that the 2.3% figure is an invention? I don’t think so. Mr Cameron has ‘form’ for telling porkies – it’s the parliamentary equivalent of a long criminal record!

Last week, all his speeches were wiped from the Conservative Party’s website – presumably to stop people contrasting the promises he’s made with what he’s delivered.

For example, he’s told us:
  • We’re paying down Britain’s debts.” – when debt will have risen 60% under his stewardship
  • We will have a bigger army for a safer Britain” – when he’s cutting 7000 soldiers
  • It’s just plain wrong to say that this government is cutting benefits for disabled children by over £1,300 a year” – when the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed it is
  • We will stop top-down reorganisations of the NHS” – and then undertook the biggest top-down reorganisation costing £3bn.

It was also revealed last week that pensioners in England face paying more than £150,000 for their residential care before they hit the so-called 'cap' on care costs. This is more than double the £72,000 which Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have previously claimed as the maximum. In fact, it’s even worse at £159,000 in Yorkshire and Humberside and more than £190,000 in the East Midlands.

Analysis shows that more than nine out of ten elderly people in the region will have died before they reach the 'cap'. Older people and their families deserve better than to be conned in such an underhanded way.