Jon Trickett: Rich Tory donors have thrived this year - for nurses it's a different story

The 35 people who donated almost £20m to the Tory party increased their wealth on average by £230m per week this year. 

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Now and then the lace curtain twitches. Just for a moment you can see right into the front room at Tory HQ.

It’s not always a pretty sight.

The Tory leader, Mrs May, admitted as much when she said they were the “nasty party.”

And now she is trying to hide away from the public as well as hiding the name Conservative Party as often as possible. She knows that her party is not well loved.

The reason is obvious. They’re the party of the few; the rich and privileged in our country.

Figures which have been published this week reveal it in a clearer way than ever before. And Mrs May is right in the thick of it.

Over a third of the richest 100 people in our country donate to the Tory party. The 35 donors’ collective wealth stands at a staggering £108bn. They gave the Conservative Party nearly £20m.

So what did they get for their money?

Have a look at the latest Sunday Times rich list. In the last year, mostly under Theresa May’s premiership, they have actually increased their wealth on average by £12bn.

Yes. The 35 people who donated almost £20m to Mrs May’s party increased their wealth on average by a whopping £230m per week! Which means in less than one day they would have earned the total amount they donated to Conservative party policies. For most of that time she was the Prime Minister.

It gets even more interesting. Three people on the Rich List donated to Mrs May’s short personal leadership campaign. (If you blinked you might have missed it because all the other candidates were steamrollered) Those three donors alone have a combined wealth of £798m and increased their wealth in the last year by £18m.

No wonder they are donating to her and her party.

Compare this with someone I met this week. She’s a nurse from my constituency, Hemsworth, in West Yorkshire. She was in a desperate situation.

Although in recent years the number of operating theatres has increased, the number of nurses and other staff has hardly changed.

The nurse had to lift a lot of patients because they had reduced the number of porters. She had broken her back at work.

Her wage doesn’t pay her bills or feed her sons. And now, the banks are charging her everyday for being overdrawn. Despite working hard and taking extra hours at work, she is trapped in a cycle of poverty, with no clear way out.

While Theresa May’s Conservative-loving billionaires are making more money than ever before, nurses like her are finding day to day life harder and harder.

It makes a nonsense of the suggestion that the country no longer can afford sufficient money for health, education or public services.

Put aside all the froth about personalities which you read in the newspapers. The truth is that we are a wealthy country, whose riches are falling into fewer hands. This election poses to each of us the single question as to whether we want to continue on a path where a few privileged people continue to gain staggering amounts of wealth, a small amount of which is handed over to the Conservative Party to continue the same pattern.

On the other hand, we will transform our country by a wholesale reversing of this direction of travel. Labour’s commitment is about tackling gross inequality - we’ll raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour; build a million new homes, end university tuition fees, restore the Education Maintenance Allowance, guarantee pensioners rises and much else.

And we have given the assurance that only the most wealthy people (on more than £80,000 per year) will pay more taxation. Our tax system will protect the 95 per cent but will ask a bit more from the 5 per cent.

We will create a country which works for the many and not just for the few.

 

Jon Trickett is the shadow lord president of the council, shadow cabinet office minister and MP for Hemsworth.

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