The Tories So Far

You, like me, may wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night, assaulted by the recurring realization that Theresa May is Prime Minister.

Theresa May is Prime Minister. No, it doesn’t get any less awful the second time you write it.

Of course, it’s not just her. It’s that, somehow, the Conservatives have not only held onto power in the last 6 years, but in fact have managed to wrestle it from the (admittedly incredibly weak) hands of the Lib Dems so that they, now, hold it alone.

And it’s the fact that, despite them kicking this country into the gutter in SO many ways, they somehow, inexplicably, keep getting more popular.

What is this? Some sort of sorcery? Can the magic of PR people be so strong? Doesn’t everyone sit watching PMQs, becoming absolutely disgusted with the way May will shoehorn an incredibly weak joke into her comments instead of answering a single question about homelessness or poverty or hate crimes or the lack of housing?

Or is it that we simply don’t understand just HOW bad the Tories have been for this country?

Well, in case its the latter, I’ve compiled a little list.

The Tory-voter-refrain is that they’re good on the economy, which is why I’ve put that particular list of failures right at the top. As you can see, though, they’ve been complete failures right across the board. I am sure I’ve missed about a hundred shitty things from this list, but frankly I could have spent all week on this. If I’ve missed anything truly awful, feel free to comment and I’ll add it in.

Also, a huge thanks to Green Benches UK, from whom I’ve borrowed some of this list. They have done a great job at the link above. We need more like them!

Economy
We have a GROWING deficit, despite years of austerity
National debt has risen £555 million since 2010
In June 2016, the pound sterling plunged to a 31-year-low
The UK manufacturing industry went into recession TWICE
Middle-Class Household Income fell £5,300 between 2008 and 2012
Uncollected tax is up by 10% since 2010
HMRC budget has been cut by £577m
Top rate of tax has been cut from 50% to 45%
VAT is up from 17.5% to 20%, costing the average family £1,800 extra since 2011
Northern Rock was sold to Virgin Money at a loss of over £400 million to the taxpayer

Wealth
There’s massive wealth inequality, widening for the first time in a decade
The richest 1% own as much as the poorest 57% combined
There’s been an 11% increase in the number of millionaire bankers since 2010
The Tories have made £1 billion in cuts to tax credits, affecting 800,000 people on low incomes and making them even poorer

Employment
The UK Minimum Wage was worth more to workers in 2010 than it is today
There are 1.4 million people on zero-hours contracts, an increase of 270% under Cameron
Big business redundancy notices have been cut from 90 days to 45 days
There are 865,000 fewer Public Sector staff since 2010
For over 90% of this entire parliament, prices have risen considerably more than wages. This has led to a real term cut in wages approaching 8-10% since 2010
Long term youth unemployment is up 6% since 2010
There are 2m UK Workers who are either working unpaid, cannot find full time or permanent work in the UK, an increase of 289,000 since May 2010
Around 6.4 million UK workers earn below a living wage. There has been a 15% increase in workers being paid less than the National Minimum Wage since 2010
£200 million of taxpayers’ money was handed to companies as part of a ‘Back to Work’ scheme that secured jobs for just 3 percent of users
90,000 people a month seeking JobSeeker’s Allowance were sanctioned by the government. Almost half of those entitled to JobSeeker’s Allowance were not receiving it
44 Job Centres have been shut. 1,000 of Jobcentre Plus staff were sacked34 Remploy Factories have been closed
TEN THOUSAND people died in two years after being declared “fit to work” by the Department of Work and Pensions

Poverty
Food bank use is up by 1,165% since 2010 – and that’s just the Trussell Trust food banks
Rough sleeping has doubled since 2010, with homelessness growing by a third in a year
Cameron’s government redefined fuel poverty and have not published any fuel poverty statistics on data after 2012
The number of UK Citizens at risk of poverty or social exclusion has climbed 1.52 million in 5 years, to almost 1 in 4 people
As of autumn 2016, the benefits cap is down £6000 since 2010

Housing
Home ownership at the lowest its been for a generation (200,000 fewer since 2010)
Only 1 in 10 houses sold under the “Right to Buy” scheme have been replaced
House-building is at its lowest rate since 1920
The government rejected a bill to ensure that landlords make their properties “fit for human habitation
There are 2.5 million more renters since 2010
Average rents are rising at a record rate, up 15% since 2010
Rents on average are £1,260 higher than in 2010
The Tories introduced a fleet of “starter homes”—costing £450,000

NHS
Junior doctors have been and will continue to strike against one of the most unfair deals ever handed to them
33% of NHS Walk Ins, 66% A&E/Maternity Wards and 16% of A&Es have been closed or downgraded
There are 477 fewer GP Surgeries
£11 billion of taxpayers’ cash was spent on NHS Agency Staff & NHS Redundancies, despite the necessary rehiring of ¼ of the staff made redundant
NHS Direct was shut down, and replaced by NHS 111, wherein 78% of the staff who process calls have no clinical expertise
There’s a six-year high on people on waiting lists for operations
9,746 hospital beds have been axed. The UK now has one of the worst hospital bed to patient ratios in the world
The NHS has gone from a surplus of nearly £2 billion in 2009 to a deficit of nearly £1 billion in 2015

Education
University fees are up from £1000 per year in 2005 to a potential £9000 per year, with fees set to rise with inflation
There are now 400 state-funded but independent free schoolsstaffed by people who don’t have to have a teaching qualificationwith 500 more pledged in the next four years
£1 billion was overspent on a failing Academies program
Since 2010 we’ve seen the worst real terms cut in Education Funding since the 1950s
UK Education Spending (as a percentage of GDP) is now LOWER than the USA
The number of over-crowded classrooms have trebled since 2010
The number of teachers has been cut by 10,000. Number of trainee teachers has been cut by 13,000
There’s been a record decline in GCSE results, with 2016 showing the lowest results since 2008
The Educational Maintenance Allowance was scrapped
Nurse and midwife busaries have been scrapped

Environment
Solar subsidies have been cut by 64%
There’s been a 93% fall in solar deployment
Green Deal has been axed

Travel
Rail fares have increased by 25% since 2010, at double the rate of wage increases
Dividends paid to shareholders of private train companies have risen by 21% in 12 months
East Coast Rail, the hugely successful public rail line, was finally privatized

Society
343 libraries have closed, with a further 174 handed to volunteer groups.
8000 library jobs have been lost

Social mobility is absolutely dead in the water
Water charges are up 20% since 2010
311,000 fewer elderly people are receiving care
The age of retirement is 68 and is set to rise
Half of London’s nightclubs have closed
866 Sure Start Centres have closed
Childcare costs are up 30%
The Royal Mail was privatized, at a loss of £1 BILLION to the taxpayer
Children’s services have been cut by 20%
Violent crime has increased for the first time in a decade, up by 27%
There’s been a 60% rise in hate crimes in a matter of months
There are 8,000 fewer Fire Personnel and 39 fewer Fire Stations
400+ legal practices have closed, and up to 2,000 are facing closure
Trade union laws now ban strike action unless supported by over 40% of eligible voters. Notably, the Tories got into government with less than this

BUT

MP salaries are up by 12.5%, to £74,000, since 2010
The Tories have accepted £60m in donations from sources linked to hedge funds or private health
More than 50 government MPs voted for the Tory NHS Act while having varying degrees and types of financial links to private health companies

And here’s what’s to come:

Exit from the EU
Departure from the European Convention on Human Rights
2/3rds of women’s refuges to close
Introduction of more grammar schools
So much more shit that I can’t even bear to type it.

So there you have it folks. The “success” of the Tories over the last 6 years. If it feels like life’s getting harder, that’s because it is. 6 years of austerity and no improvement in living standards, no decrease in the deficit, no improvement in the economy.

And it’s going to get harder still.

So why do people still vote Conservative exactly?