THE BLOG
30/09/2013 08:55 BST | Updated 30/11/2013 05:12 GMT

The Cost of Labour

Ed Miliband wants to talk about the cost of living. Good. Hardworking people would be worse off under Labour. It is one of those eternal truths in politics: Labour would spend and borrow more of your money. All the glittering giveaways, the puffed pledges, the demands of union bosses - there is only one person who ends up paying for it all. You.

Ed Miliband wants to talk about the cost of living. Good. Hardworking people would be worse off under Labour. It is one of those eternal truths in politics: Labour would spend and borrow more of your money. All the glittering giveaways, the puffed pledges, the demands of union bosses - there is only one person who ends up paying for it all. You.

It is hard to nail down a precise sum for how much more Labour want to borrow. So many of their announcements are 'for now' rather than 'for 2015'. But you can be sure of this. Labour would spend and borrow more. How many times did Ed Miliband mention the deficit last week? Once. Just once. He spoke for over an hour.

Britain's top business group - the CBI - says more borrowing would 'spook the market'. If UK interest rates rose by even one per cent, mortgage bills would increase by £1,000 a year. So a Labour Government would hit my constituency of Crawley with soaring mortgage rates.

Then there is utility bills. On Labour's watch, the average domestic gas bill doubled. In 2009, Ed Miliband was energy secretary. He was the man who 'put a price on carbon' (here's the video) - bureaucracy-speak for slapping a tax on your fridge, your kettle, your central heating, and your oven. Miliband is the architect of Labour's carbon tax - a tax on everything - and he wants to do it again. Miliband is committed to a 2030 'decarbonisation' target. Put simply, it means another £125.00 on your bill.

Labour's pledge of a 'freeze' in bills until 2017 is bogus too. You can already fix your bill to 2017, with Scottish Power, SSE and Npower: all deals that were in existence long before Miliband's speech last week. But here is the point: these tariffs are more expensive than flexible deals - reinforcing the concern that price freezes lead to higher prices, as companies build in uncertainty about gas price spikes. Take Npower for example, who proclaimed on its website last week: "No need to wait for Ed!" Actually, they just re-launched an old product. Fixing to this product now, until the end of the Ed Miliband's so-called price freeze, would cost you £636 more. Behind the rhetoric, the reality is this: Labour are promoting more expensive and inflexible tariffs. That is what Ed's 'freeze' would mean. But the Conservative team are putting consumers on the cheapest tariff available.

Drive a car or a van? Congratulations! You are the target for Labour's stealth taxes, too. The two Eds - Miliband and Balls - were key players in the Labour Government that raised the rate of fuel duty 12 separate times and planned six further fuel duty rises for after 2010. By contrast the Conservative team have frozen fuel duty and scrapped all of Labour's rises - including Gordon Brown's hated 'fuel duty escalator' that he resurrected from the late 1990s. Driving a car is not a luxury. It is a basic necessity, especially for the millions of families who live outside the M25. The overwhelming majority of us drive to work (70 per cent). And beyond that, we all depend on bus travel, or road haulage.

Labour would also slash the basic State Pension by £234 a year, and go back to the bad old days of unlimited benefit handouts. Council tax doubled on a Band D home under Labour and they keep angrily opposing our council tax freeze - year in, year out. Don't take my word for it. Listen to what their Shadow Local Government Minister, Chris Williamson, said recently. He said there was 'a real problem with the council tax freeze... taking the grant would clearly create significant problems'. Why? Because Labour stand up for the elite: the public sector bureaucrats, the Quango Kings and Queens, the trade union bosses, the Guardianistas and the BBC managers (half of whom, it seems, used to work for Tony Blair).

On the NHS, Labour are the party of cover-ups and targets at any cost. On Education, they speak up for teachers who go on strike, but not for teachers that want to set up their own school, be paid more for good performance, or negotiate their own wages. They certainly don't speak up for parents or pupils. On the cost of living, Labour are the party of the stealth tax, the measly 75p rise in the Basic State Pension, and the abolition of the 10p rate of income tax. They are the party who raided our pensions, sold our gold at the bottom of the market, left one million young people out of work, and who pumped up energy bills to pay for Ed Miliband's wind-farms.

Many people in my constituency of Crawley have made sacrifices over the last few years, to get Britain's economy back on track. Families have accepted wage-freezes, delayed retirement, cancelled holidays, or worked at second jobs. They deserve the full credit for the good economic news that we are now seeing: growth and jobs coming back to Britain, manufacturing doing better, the highest number of apprenticeships ever in British history. For hardworking people, there is a clear choice at 2015: the Conservative team on your side. Or Labour who would take us backwards. We have just 84 weeks left to make that case.