Last year, I wrote a blog for Labour Uncut about Cameron’s top 30 “real achievements”. But things have got so bad in the last year alone that this year’s round up is now a full “Top 40”. As the Tories meet this week for their annual conference in Manchester, here’s my latest assessment on what Cameron’s Government has really achieved since 2010:
On the cost of living:
1. Prices have risen faster than wages in 38 out of 39 months while David Cameron has been Prime Minister.
2. Wages are down by almost £1,500 a year on average since the General Election.
3. While ordinary people are seeing their living standards squeezed, David Cameron has cut income tax for people earning over £150,000. And in April this year, bankers’ bonuses soared by 82 per cent as the wealthiest took advantage of the 50p tax cut.
4. Average energy bills have risen by £300 since David Cameron became Prime Minister whilst Britain’s big six energy companies have enjoyed a £3.3 billion windfall in profits since 2010.
5. David Cameron has broken his promise to force energy companies to put all consumers on the cheapest tariff.
6. This is the slowest recovery for 100 years. Since autumn 2010, our economy has grown by just 1.7 per cent compared to the 6.9 per cent expected at the time.
7. The UK is currently 3.3 per cent below its pre-crisis peak, while the USA is 4.6 per cent above its pre-crisis peak.
On the deficit:
8. David Cameron and George Osborne are now set to borrow £245 billion more than they planned in 2010 and the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has said that deficit reduction has “stalled”.
9. Almost a million young people are unemployed.
10. The number of 16-18 year olds starting apprenticeships is down by 12 per cent in the last year. Overall, nearly 200,000 16-18 year olds are not in work, education or training, a rise since 2010.
11. The number of people working part-time because they can’t get a full-time job is at the highest level since records began.
12. The number of people unemployed for over two years is up 60 per cent since the General Election.
13. Almost 8 out 10 people who have been on David Cameron’s Work Programme for two years have failed to get a sustained job. And the Youth Contract is on course to miss its target by more than 92 per cent.
On social security:
14. Two thirds of people hit by the unfair and hated Bedroom Tax are disabled. David Cameron says the Bedroom Tax is supposed to tackle under-occupation in housing – but 96 per cent of those affected have nowhere smaller to move to.
15. David Cameron’s flagship policy Universal Credit is mired in chaos and delay with at least £34 million already written off.
16. The number of children living in absolute poverty has risen by 300,000 under David Cameron.
17. The Government’s own figures show that the Strivers’ Tax is set to push a further 200,000 children into poverty.
18. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that 1.1 million more children will be living in poverty by 2010 thanks to this Government’s policies.
19. Almost 350,000 people relied on foodbanks in 2012-13 (it was 41,000 in 2009-10). Cameron says food banks show the Big Society is working, whilst Michael Gove blamed families who use foodbanks for their bad decisions in managing their finances.
On the NHS:
20. A&E is in crisis on David Cameron’s watch. The number of people waiting over four hours in A&E has more than doubled compared to Labour’s last year in office and the number of people forced to wait in the back of ambulances outside A&E has doubled.
21. 2.9 million people are now on NHS waiting lists – the highest for five years.
22. David Cameron promised no top-down NHS reorganisations. But he’s wasted £3 billion on the biggest top-down reorganisation in history.
23. Whilst patient satisfaction was at record highs under Labour, the NHS has lost 5,445 nurses since David Cameron became Prime Minister.
24. Last year, train companies made combined profits of £305m. But passengers have been facing annual fare rises of as much as nine per cent a year since the Government reversed Labour’s policy of strictly applying the cap on annual fare rises to every route.
25. And things are no better for motorists with the Government’s VAT hike adding to the cost of petrol. The average price of a litre of petrol in the UK is now around £1.38. Up from around £1.21 in May 2010.
26. David Cameron is cutting 15,000 police officers by 2015.
27. Response times to 999 calls are rising with night-time emergency response times up to 30 per cent longer.
28. The Tories are making it harder for the police to get CCTV and use DNA evidence, and cutting work with communities to tackle the causes of crime.
29. Illegal immigration is getting worse: fewer people stopped, more absconding, fewer deported and backlogs of information on cases not pursued.
30. Two thirds of the drop in net migration since the election comes from British citizens – 26,000 more British people leaving the country and 17,000 fewer British people returning to the UK.
31. The Tories’ net migration target ignores illegal immigration – which is getting worse.
32. David Cameron’s plans to pull out of the social chapter and co-operation on policing and justice will make it harder to manage European migration.
On children and schools:
33. Last year nursery costs rose six times faster than wages. And David Cameron has cut Labour’s help with childcare costs, with families losing up to £1,500 a year in tax-credit support.
34. In total, David Cameron will have taken up to £7 billion a year of support away from children by 2015.
35. More than half of all free schools have opened in areas without a shortage of school places – while 240,000 primary places are needed by 2015.
36. Twice as many infants are now being taught in large classes compared to 2010.
37. There are now 6,063 fewer teachers than in 2010 and 5,950 teacher trainee places are unfilled this year.
38. David Cameron broke his promise on Sure Start children’s centres and has reduced the number of Sure Start centres by 566 since 2010. Last year a third of councils also reported a cut in the number of after-school clubs.
39. Housebuilding is at its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s.
40. Average rents have gone up by 9 per cent since the election – rising faster than wages. And homelessness is up by 25 per cent since the election.
David Cameron and George Osborne will no doubt attempt not to look too complacent at their party conference. They will avoid the high fives in public and try desperately to stop the cameras taking pictures of bottles of champagne. They will also continue to attack Labour’s record. But Cameron has been prime minister for nearly three and a half years and he has a record all of his own to defend.
Outside the conference centre, back in the real world, people know that for ordinary people, life is getting harder not easier. The slogan at this year’s Conservative party conference may be “For Hard Working People”, but the truth is Cameron has failed to turn things around for Britain’s hard working families and he is only capable of standing up for a privileged few.
Michael Dugher is Member of Parliament for Barnsley East, vice-chair of the Labour Party and shadow minister without portfolio