Softening overall fiscal plans would be ill-advised. Yet there is scope to re-gear the Government’s priorities towards more intergenerational fairness. Labour would have added at least an extra £150bn to UK debt over 5 years. Younger people would be burdened yet this was not given adequate attention. Conservatives should highlight their achievements on social issues, such as the Modern Slavery Bill and reforms to stop and search. Labour’s pledge on tuition fees was elitist, asking non-graduates to subsidise graduates who on average earn £9.5k more per year. The policy’s cost would be equivalent to 2.8 percentage points on the basic rate of income tax.
The Conservatives need credible alternatives to Labour’s spending commitments. The Government’s Housing White Paper was a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough for young families waiting to get on the housing ladder. There is now a pressing need for the creation of an Office of Intergenerational Responsibility to assess the impact of legislation across the generations. The Conservative Party needs to spell out the consumer benefits arising from leaving the EU.