Tuesday 19 August 2014

When is a promise not a promise?

After reading Vaughan Roderick’s post the other day, it wold be tempting to respond “when it’s made by a Liberal Democrat”.  However, that would be a little unfair; that party is not unique in promising one thing and then delivering the opposite.
Yesterday, the party committed itself to scrapping the toll to cross the Severn Bridges if the party found itself part of a government again after the UK elections next year.  Or did it?  How much of a commitment was it in reality?
In the first place, it’s not in their manifesto yet, only in one of those curious documents called a ‘pre-manifesto’; a mechanism usually used by parties to publicise policies which they’re thinking about including in their manifestos (or for those of a more cynical bent, policies to which they’d like to attract attention but without making any real commitment).  So, is there a guarantee that what’s in their ‘pre-manifesto’ will also be in the final document?  Apparently not.
And secondly, if they do find themselves in government again next year, it can only be in coalition with either the Labour Party or the Conservative Party.  Are the contents of the Lib Dem manifesto then guaranteed to form part of the coalition agreement?  Well, no – they just become a basis for negotiation.  Unless, that is, the party is saying in advance that this is a ‘red line’ issue and that they will not agree to any coalition programme which does not commit to abolishing the tolls.  Are they saying that?  Apparently not.
So, whilst the headlines stated “Lib Dems commit to scrapping tolls”, the actual story is that the party is thinking about maybe including the scrapping of tolls on a shopping list of items which might, and probably won’t, get included in a programme for coalition government.  There’s something of a gap between the headlines and the reality.


Anonymous said...

No mention of the tremendous waste of public money on the Border Control/Ratheon IT project?

Nor the farce that is the 'fibre optic cabling' of rural Wales. Much needed, yes. But not at a cost of five times the price of a private sector contract.

You see why I always contend that taxes are too high and public money is just squandered away.

Cut taxes for all now and cut them harshly. Then we'll be able to see that we can manage to do just the same with a whole lot less.

This is what our politicians should be working on. And the cutting of the Severn Bridge toll represents a good start!

Anonymous said...

Ha, it seems no-one else cares about public waste in Wales. Is this because no matter how much we waste we can always look to England for fair or fairer funding?

What a mess we have gotten ourselves into.

G Horton-Jones said...

We have been here in earlier blogs
The First Crossing is totally in England.or is it?? The Second Crossing is shared ?? but the dividing line is not defined
Is there a mid Severn national boundary between Wales and England and if so where is it
Scrapping tolls does not affect in any way the need to finance ongoing maintenance it simply moves the item to another place on another balance sheet the question who and what pays remains to be resolved