The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has had, since the last general election, some huge success. Whilst this is a great achievement for UKIP, it is very much worth remembering that it is far from a reflection of the party's great policies, rather that their core policy happens to be a populist one currently. UKIP's anti-European stance has gained support in the wake of mass unemployment. Brought to attention during the last expansion of the EU and a huge under-estimating of foreign workers flocking to Britain, particularly from Poland, adding competition for our jobs. Followed then by a crisis in the US which echoed around the globe, causing a recession and heralding the beginning of many businesses going under, and many others freezing pay-rises. UKIP have been able to capitalize on current affairs to associate high levels of unemployment, specifically to the first event, European immigration.
As the nation begins to recover from one of the worst recessions in decades, the concerns of individuals are beginning to dissipate in terms of anti-European sentiment, and combined with the media attention upon some of UKIP's higher profile members as being far from savoury in their characters, is likely to turn the tide on UKIP's recent success. This is a good thing.
There is however, an however. If the support which UKIP had won, helped create a hung parliament, giving no main party a majority to lead, and thus giving us our first coalition in yonks, what will happen at the next election? Will voters go back to voting as before? Can we expect a Conservative or Labour government?
I want neither of these governments. Preferable to UKIP without a shadow of a doubt, they have their own issues that make them a poor choice for your vote.
Having established that the mood of a nation can work in a particular party's favour, Labour have begun to bring to the limelight, the high cost of living. Labour suggests it will force a freeze on energy prices and the cost of petrol, for two years, if we vote for them at the next election. Are they taking us for fool's? or really, is it that they have no idea how to better a Conservative-Liberal Democrat approach to sorting out their fine mess from the last government they led?
Forcing a freeze on energy costs is not going to solve a squeeze on the public's finances. It is simply a carrot covered in sugar, being waved in front of the electorate like we're made up of dumb mules. A sudden extra-large hike in energy costs could be waiting for us in the long term, should Labour do what it intended, or worse than that, utility companies could rasie prices before the next election even arrives, in order to compensate for the freeze in advance. Either way, its a pointless effort. It doesn't even help everybody out, since not everybody drives, and electricity prices are hardly near the top of the list of household expenses. If Labour wanted to really help, they'd be suggesting taking action on our most costly living expenses. They could force a rent reduction, or abolish the council tax or even cut the VAT on cigarettes as a small measure. But they have no intention of losing revenue themselves, oh no. Instead they want to make our energy bosses out to be the bad guys, imposing unfair prices, when the reality is that our energy prices are respectable in comparison to the vast majority of Europe, and that those people who struggle to pay, could afford to, if only government and landlord allocated expenditures were slashed to something fairer.
When you are a council tenant, your rent goes to local government, and when combined with Income Tax, National Insurance and Council Tax, the average full time worker earning on or close to minimum wage, have to give up over half their gross wage to give to government in some form. This effectively creates a modern day slave attitude as you earn the smaller half of your salary, and the government gets the larger. Then deduct your government imposed compulsory TV licence, and your utility bills...
...its no wonder that work is not rewarding. Why go to work 5 days a week when you can stay at home without the responsibility and live on benefits?
Where is the incentive Labour? Where are you going to make the substantive savings on living expenses that gives the poorest workers the financial reward they deserve (which they'll be spending at the shops and on services and boosting economic growth).
Conservatives think they have the answer, but oh wait, no they don't. Just like the Labour government, they wouldn't want to sacrifice any of their own revenue either, oh no.
Instead, they want to pull the wool over our eyes. They're going to make unemployment even more difficult in the hope that those who are the working poor, are suddenly going to feel different about their own financial difficulties. The 'oh well, it could be worse, i could be unemployed' rhetoric is expected to circulate our minds, and we forget all about the cost of living entirely. It seems that's the plan.
A single person unemployed and living in a council flat will be expected to use what may be their only monetary income (jobseeker's allowance) to pay for a small part of the rent if they happen to have a spare room, and a small contribution to the council tax is to be paid also. And these are to be paid from an allowance that is regarded as the minimum amount a person should be expected to live on whilst unemployed, taking care of groceries and utility bills. So where is the fairness in taking more away from that benefit? Its not fair, its simply a means to cut the welfare budget, by targeting those who are using it. Wait, wait, did you just say that right? I thought the welfare budget was there for the very purpose of using it when needed to. Yes, but do the Tories care about that really?? NO, they don't. They don't have a problem being unfair at all actually. They gave us tuition fees so that a financial burden becomes attached to our progress within the education system. They want to make those considered 'workshy' to take unpaid job placements if they have been unemployed for more than two years, yes, unpaid working, sounds delightful right?, thus working for welfare instead of a salary like the rest of us, but i suppose you could say, since work aint rewarding as it is for the low paid, it won't be that much different!, and let's not forget that they're idea of voting on electoral reform was dictating what we were able to vote on, ruling proportional representation out of the ballot before we even had our say.
So what does that leave us with? Liberal Democrats. Well, i'm a Liberal Democrat voter myself, so its easy for me. Not so easy for those who were let down by Nick Clegg who promised no to tuition fees. Perhaps he should have stuck to his promise and allowed Conservatives to form a minor government instead. On the upside, the tax threshold has increased, to everyone's advantage, easing the cost of living. A Lib Dem pledge also. They made a sacrifice for the good of the country. God forbid a Tory government in full control eh? I'd give Lib Dem's a second chance. Vote for them instead of UKIP, Labour or Conservatives. They are the party of fairness, they are liberals, the rest are authoritarians.