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Press Cycle 25: Strategic Defence Review
#1
What do you think about the Strategic Defence Review?

Closes 4th November at 23:59
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#2
This defence review has shown the height of Tory incompetence over the past decade. After deciding to inflict cut after cut on our armed forces, the Tories have finally seen the damage they have done and decided to bill the British people £70 billion pounds. Labour will make it absolutely clear that we will not be cutting the defence budget and we believe in continual investment in our armed forces, but it must be done in a way which is sustainable: any other route will be a disservice to our armed forces and to the British people.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
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#3
This strategic defence review has shown us that the government has lost all sense of economic competence. For a day of good headlines, they've slapped £70 billion onto the British public - with the Defence Secretary openly admitting they haven't found a way to pay for it. To fill this £70 billion black hole, you'd need to push the basic and lower rate of income tax to 43%, raise VAT to 63% or hike national insurance to 33%. Even if you abolished the NHS or every public school in England you would not have the funds necessary for these requests. The government must be honest about what cuts will have to be made or taxes would have to be raised... or if they're going to break the impossible promises and targets they've set themselves, taking the British public for fools in the process.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
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#4
We know Labour’s favourite play is to sound the alarm bells about this, that, and anything, and they’ve proven true to that record with the unveiling of the Strategic Defence Review. ‘Seventy billion’ they cry, howling in hypocrisy at how much the review recommends, whilst simultaneously talking up a newfound commitment to the forces. This does, of course, fail as an argument. The armed forces need our support - and unlike the Opposition, we’ve been by their side through thick and thin, from Waterloo to the Falklands, and beyond.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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#5
That Labour look at the Strategic Defence Review and are instantly drawn to whacking up taxes to unpayable levels is deeply unnerving. The Shadow Chancellor has put Labour’s position down very cleary, saying that “you'd need to push the basic and lower rate of income tax to 43%, raise VAT to 63% or hike national insurance to 33%”, else fail to implement the recommendations. Well I apologise, but that’s simply not how we do things in this country. As much as they might like it, we do not operate on a system of government seizing all from the hard work of Britons. I am saddened that Labour evidently don’t see it that way.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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#6
We have, of course, got a fiscally sensible plan to pay for the recommendations. The Strategic Defence Review, as the Defence Secretary laid out to the House, identifies the needs not of this year alone, as the Opposition have decided, but of the next ten to twenty as well. We will phase in investment, the full nature of which will be announced during this year’s budget, without the fabled slap on of tax or threat of no investment at all, which the opposition have decided are their two options on the table. Britons must feel that Britain is safe, without having their paychecks drained by the central state. Evidently, only we can offer that combination.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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#7
One of the major issues with Labour’s position of offering either enormous and unacceptable tax rises, or to let our national guard down, is in their own self defeating cultivation of the ides that they ‘care’ about Britain's defence. When they spend their time asking questions on a stage that is for spin, rather than in the House for scrutinising, it’s become nothing more than a game to them.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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#8
The Chancellor has spoken a lot to the press and yet we've still heard nothing... A lot about Labour apparently planning huge tax rises, despite that not being the case - we kept taxes lower in our own Shadow Budget. We've also heard about how we would not invest in defence, which also isn't the case - we kept defence investment on par with the Conservatives.

The Chancellor needs a grasp of basic economics by making out you can pay a bill of between £7 billion to £70 billion without public service cuts or any tax rises. Our military needs concrete, sustainable policies - not fantasy economics. For all that talk and bluster, you'd expect the Chancellor to be able to outline one decent way she could pay this bill her Defence Secretary admitted had not been financially accounted for, the conditions of which had been set by the Conservatives themselves.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
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#9
The Conservatives think that their artificial strategic defence review can be justified by saying that their £70 billion bill they thrust on the British people will be paid for over ten years. Since they don't understand even basic mathematics, that'll be £7 billion every ten years.

To pay for this
yearly in a fiscally sane way, you'd need to raise income tax by 3%, VAT by 5% or national insurance by 3%. Or you could cut the education budget by a third, the NHS by a seventh or cut the policing budget nearly in half. Or if they're feeling generous the Conservatives could increase the deficit by a fifth. And they would need to repeat this again - year on year on year for a decade. 

Labour doesn't wish to gut defence spending as the Conservatives did nor do we wish to levy these tax increases onto the British people. Our proposition is simple: we'd implement our own Strategic Defence Review, with better defined parameters so we can ensure Britain is better able to defend itself or, as a last resort, respond to urgent humanitarian crises. It's better for our economy, better for the British people and better for the military.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
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#10
Irony seems to be the name of Labour’s game. To try and lecture on “basic mathematics”, only to describe £70bn over ten years as £7bn every ten years is so reminiscent of why they cannot again be let loose on the Exchequer. To then follow this up by saying that Labour wouldn’t want to raise taxes to pay for the findings, only to dive straight back into saying that to do it they’d “need to raise income tax by 3%, VAT by 5% or national insurance by 3%” per year for a decade is just self reinforcement of their lack of common sense.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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