Tuesday 26 September 2017

General Election full of promises

The next government will be required to stick to European Union fiscal rules... no matter what its manifesto promised
The next government will be required to stick to European Union fiscal rules... no matter what its manifesto promised

The General Election campaign is not yet officially under way but the main political parties are already busily 'leaking' an array of attractive measures to be implemented if they are elected to government. So far, the cost to the exchequer of these promises has not yet been revealed, but it will be significant, notwithstanding the relatively buoyant state of the economy.

Election promises are one of representative democracy's most natural, yet also most controversial, elements. On the one hand, politicians' promises create hope and expectations. On the other, election promises are associated with feelings of disappointment and suspicion. The term 'election promise' is itself loaded with mistrust. In fact, it is difficult to know of any context where a positive review of campaign promises outweighs the negative.

The truth is politicians are not always to blame for this negative perception. In fact, there is authoritative international research which shows that political parties actually tend to act on most of their election promises.

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