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Press Cycle #9 - The Budget
#21
Gus Quigley doesn't need an economics degree to read some basic facts. The Petroleum Revenue Tax isn't a tax on oil production. It's a tax on the profits from crude oil production. It has nothing to do with fuel - which is produced by refineries that purchase oil at the world oil price. The UK increasing the tax on the profits of its own oil production - profits that have boomed this year thanks to high world oil prices - will do nothing to the world price of oil that refineries pay. The Conservatives are yet again defending big oil profits with their casual mistakes or lies, when they should instead debate the substance of the budget.
Rt. Hon. Sean Manning MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer (2000 - )
Labour MP for Bristol East (1992 - )
Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1997 - 2000)
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#22
How typical for the Chancellor to try and sell another of these narratives to hide his Government’s lack of competence and sheer unwillingness to listen. Faced with an opportunity to change the course, reverse the reductions to the Armed Forces of their Strategic Review, acknowledge that there is waste to be found on Foreign Aid and make a large investment in our defence they offer this weak soundbite of a “modern, compassionate and robust foreign policy”, which pales in comparison to what the Conservatives have to offer. By choosing this hill to die on the Government seems to care more about defending waste in Foreign Aid than addressing the real concerns of Britons.
Rt. Hon. Edward Winter MP / Conservative and Unionist Party
Member of Parliament for Ashford (1979 - Present)

Shadow Foreign Secretary (1992 - Present)
Leader of the House of Commons (1990-1992)
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#23
Andrew Summer is living in yet another Tory fantasy land. The Strategic Review that he claims is cutting the armed forces has actually ended the cuts to the Ministry of Defence that the government he was a member of implemented - this budget continues our record of increasing defence spending in real terms. The Tories cut the defence budget by a quarter - by billions of pounds alone while Mr. Summer was a minister. And we are actually proposing a bigger investment in defence procurement than the Tories want to offer. Andrew Summer is using false statements about defence spending - which we already know he is more than happy to cut when in government - to disguise his agenda to cut support for the poorest and most needy in the world.

The Conservative Party has lined up to vote against the Budget in Parliament. That isn't a surprise, but we should bear in mind what the Conservatives are voting against. By voting against the Budget the Conservatives are voting against making the average family more than £500 better off, they are voting against a record investment in our NHS, and they are voting against investments in skills, infrastructure, and housing. While the Conservatives play politics, jump on bandwagons, or invent grand new soundbites to pretend that John Major's government didn't happen, Labour is getting on with the business of governing in the interests of building a better Britain - for everyone.
Rt. Hon. Sean Manning MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer (2000 - )
Labour MP for Bristol East (1992 - )
Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1997 - 2000)
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#24
Sean says that the Government has committed record spending to the NHS, he has attacked the Conservatives for going against it. What in fact we have done in our Shadow Budget is doubled what the Government committed and we would create 5,000 beds and 30 clinics, that's better than what the Government would give you. The Conservatives are leading the way on a strong NHS, whilst Labour are playing catch up after what may seem to many as months of complete silence and inaction.

Sean says that the Petroleum Revenue Tax has nothing to do with fuel. This is a complete and utter lie. For a man who is the Chancellor I would expect him to know that PRT is a tax on oil production, mind you this is the man, a former firefighter who only got picked as Chief Secretary of the Treasury because he was Gordon Brown's best mate, not because of his supposed economic expertise. 

The Chancellor is prepared to say anything he can, even if it is a complete lie to protect himself. Whilst Labour are busy throwing lie after lie around, the Conservatives can deliver through our Shadow Budget, which is the first step towards repairing a Broken Britain caused by this lazy and tired Government.
James Allen

MP for Leeds Central

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#25
If the Leader of the Opposition believes in record investment in the NHS, he should have put his money where his mouth is and voted for it. He didn't. In government the Opposition starved our NHS of funds. Not to mention his deeply disturbing comments on outsourcing. Actions speak louder than words, and as much as Mr Saxon is a fan of lots of words, his actions are a clear contrast to ours: the government he was a part of cut the NHS budget where we are increasing it, he wants to privatise the NHS ambulance service, and he has voted against a record investment in the NHS.
Rt. Hon. Sean Manning MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer (2000 - )
Labour MP for Bristol East (1992 - )
Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1997 - 2000)
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#26
Press cycle CLOSED.
“Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.”
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#27
The Chancellor claims we should put our money where our mouth is, we doubled the Government's commitment on the NHS, the Chancellor is clearly struggling to understand that
James Allen

MP for Leeds Central

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#28
Labour: 28

The really solid defence of the budget you showed in Parliament has translated to the press, with some really catchy and punchy taglines. The use of specific stats (the average family being £500 better off) also spreads around newspapers and the British public. This budget has been a really good shot in the arm for the Labour Party, and people finally begin to think they've got a good government on hand.

Conservatives: 22

This was a solid response, particularly on fuel and foreign aid, that jabbed the government in some sore spots. You also did well to big up your own budget, but as a whole you need more cogent messaging if you want to undermine Labour on such a crucial piece of legislation. You also need to pick the budget apart a bit more scrupulously and come up with similar taglines to push out (e.g, Labour say the average family is £500 better off? Find out how more expensive a packet of cigarettes will become, or something of the sort).
 
Influence Points Awarded to:
 
Sean Manning: "A family with two children will be £500 better off this year thanks to the tax and benefits changes made in the budget, even before accounting for additional free childcare." The Chancellor's first statements, while his whole media storm was effective, definitely was his strongest. This is the kind of stat the press loves to throw around, and most people digest that the budget puts more cash in their pockets.
 
Gus Quigley: "Labour botched their response to the fuel crisis initially, and they botched their opportunity to solve it with this budget." A lot of Tory responses have slated Labour for their inactivity, but that attack isn't going to linger long while the Labour government is active. Quigley does bring it up effectively, "remember that bad Labour government? See, its stripes haven't changed" and the drawing of comparisons to a sore spot rings true. Rightly or wrongly, the Conservatives have got most people anxious that a fuel crisis 2.0 could flare up, despite the fuel duty cut.
 
Andrew Summer: "When it comes to the security of Britain, misguided policies are what Labour has to offer." Rightly or wrongly, foreign aid isn't the most popular kind of government spending - £500 to the average family is nice, but they wonder how much more that could be if people weren't splashing out to people in distant countries. The government is a little sore on this point, and will need to push hard if they want the British people to buy into the concept of foreign aid, which includes trying to communicate how foreign aid itself could be good for Britain.
 
General Point:
  • Please only bold one section of your statement. I know that I’ll have to say this again, but please also prove me wrong in expecting to repeat myself.
“Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.”
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