By: Beth Vincent
Beth Vincent is a first Year BSc International Development Student and Vice President of the Reading University Conservative Association
The Conservatives and the Labour party are considered the two main parties in the UK- although this becoming increasingly more contestable in recent election cycles. The most fundamental difference between the two parties is the way the parties intervene in the UK economy. Labour follow a higher tax (particularly on higher earners), higher borrowing and higher public spending route. Contrasting to this is the lower tax, lower borrowing, and lower public spending route of the Conservatives.
As a Conservative, I believe that work should pay, following the Conservative policy of boosting those in low paying jobs with additional benefits. Aspiration to do well and earn a good wage shouldn’t be discouraged by excessive income tax and finally that some (but not all) cases privatising industries such as the rail network, telephone and gas industries encourages competitiveness and reduces prices for consumers. The caveat here being where the government monitors markets to make sure that they are acting in the best interests of consumers- making them allocatively efficient, for the economists of you out there.
So why vote Conservative this election? Many have called this the ‘Brexit Election’. Although there is an element of truth to this there is much more to this election. Personally, I think that Theresa May and her steely, gritty, slightly cut-throat attitude is the best person to begin and follow through on the Brexit negotiation. I accept that she was a quiet remainer but her ability to accept the outcome and follow through on the will of the people is important. She is going to get those who live in the UK the best deal. For commonwealth students, there could be some potential benefits to her outward looking approach. Trade deal with Commonwealth countries could ultimately lead to some serious benefits for you.
The manifesto also spells out the importance of national and international security and co-operation. Theresa May’s incredible term in the home office places her in an excellent position to tackle national security and protect people who reside in the UK. Jeremy Corbyn has (perhaps extremely) been called a terrorist sympathiser and his voting record could be seen to support this view. Continually he is adamant that he would not use some of the UK’s most advanced weapon systems even in a time of greatest need to protect residents of the UK.
Students are becoming increasingly more important. As more exercise their right to vote poll’s change. Students need to realise more that their voice could make massive shifts in the political landscape of the UK. The Conservatives have policies to aid young people; the rent to buy scheme, increase in amount of income earned before you must pay some taxes, grants for lower income families to encourage young people to enter university and the increase in apprenticeships so those who are hands on learners to succeed to name but a few.
The Conservative manifesto has well thought out sensible, cost efficient and effective policies designed to make Britain as economically robust as possible. It is not a manifesto that requires £48 billion of additional tax revenue, like the Labour manifesto- full of idealistic but unrealistic policies. Making the Conservatives the clear choice in the upcoming manifesto.
I am incredibly proud to live in a country where I can exercise a right to vote for one of the oldest and most well- respected democracies in the world. It is important that everyone who can vote does so. Even if you don’t support any of the current political parties go and spoil your ballot. Make the statement that you don’t agree instead of doing nothing at all. Given the recent events in Manchester and London it is important to stand together as a diverse and multi-cultural Great Britain and Northern Island to show we stand together for free speech and the ability of everyone to express their religion, views and opinions.