Parties are very vague when asked about costs

Kieron Bassett.
Kieron Bassett.

As I write this column I do not know the outcome of the election, so as you read this you will have the advantage of knowing the result.

So anything I say now will not do anything to sway you one way or another, but I will say it anyway.

I believe that the election campaign seems to have gone on for too long and has been characterised by dodgy statistics, promise after promise from all the major parties finished off with a helping of fear and greed.

I am amazed that all the parties appear to be wrapping up their policies as gifts or giveaways, when we all know that they have to be paid for. If when challenged on how the promises are to be paid for, most parties for most of the time become vague and often indicate that at best the latest initiative will be paid for out of growth.

I would like to think that the public have become more sophisticated and will not be taken in by what I would term as bribes, and perhaps a fair proportion of the voters are not voting out of self interest. If this is the case then clearly the main parties have not got the message.

I’m not sure that they know the potential damage that they are causing as they make people fearful of becoming ill as the NHS will collapse if one party is not elected, with their headlines screaming only seven days to save the NHS.

Other headlines refer to education and benefits being cut. In addition this feverish atmosphere does have an impact on financial markets as they try to digest every twist and turn on the election hustings, with banks like HSBC reconsidering their base in England.

I think to try and counter all those worries would be a good idea if the parties, in future elections, wrote a short list of things they would like to do in order of priority, and then they also wrote a list of things that they won’t do. But they should promise not to promise because I cannot see how any political party can make what they say are unbreakable promises for up to five years ahead, when they don’t know the future and haven’t a clue what revenue they will be able to raise.