David Cameron’s U-turns include broken election promises and policy reversals in government, here is a list, if I have left any off please post them in comments below and I will add them in.
U-turned Andy Coulson – finally got rid of Andy Coulson after he became embroiled in phone hacking story
U-turned on Spending cuts – said there would be no drastic spending cuts – before embarking on an unprecedented round of austerity cuts. David Cameron said spending cuts during the early part of a Conservative government wouldn’t be ‘particularly extensive’
U-turned on Pensioners Winter Fuel Allowance – saying he would not cut pensioners winter fuel allowance – then did
U-turned on the NHS…”There will be no top down reorganisation of the NHS……David Cameron
U-turned on not raising VAT “We have absolutely no plans to raise VAT. Our first Budget is all about recognising we need to get spending under control rather than putting up tax”.
U-turned Fuel tax Stabiliser – its commitment to consult on a ‘fair fuel tax stabiliser
U-Turned Knife Crime – said in opposition that anyone caught carrying a knife could expect a jail term – now scrapped.
U-turned on Child benefit Cuts………”I’m not going to flannel you, I’m going to give it to you straight. I like the child benefit, I wouldn’t change child benefit, I wouldn’t means-test it, I don’t think that is a good idea.”……..David Cameron
U-Turned – DLA – abolishing it for PIPs
U-turned on saying no cuts to frontline services……”What I can tell you is, any cabinet minister, if I win the election, who comes to me and says: “Here are my plans” and they involve front-line reductions, they’ll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again.”…….David Cameron
U-turned EMA – said they would not scrap Educational Maintenance Allowance – then did.
U-turned Tuition Fees – Clegg pledged not raise tuition fees then voted to treble them.
U-turned on Future jobs Fund – Before the General Election, David Cameron praised the Future Jobs Fund as a “good scheme” and the Conservatives said they had “no plans to change existing Future Jobs Fund commitments”.
U-turned on Lisbon treaty referendum – “cast-iron guarantee” to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty
U-turned defence scrapping Nimrods and sacking troops by email etc.
U-turned on pledge to help disabled children and their parents.
U-Turned on improving the systmen for disabled, sick or elderly Backing out on improving the system for those caring for sick or disabled or elderly loved ones
U-turned on Education – Gove forced into so many u -turns found it impossible to get right
U-turned on National Insurance contributions – “We’ll scrap the Gordon Brown’s jobs tax” – did for employers but employees contributions have risen 1%
U-turned Recall MPs – scrapped pledge for public to be allowed to recall under-performing MP
U-turned on Forests -Forced to do a u-turn on selling off ancient woodlands (but this is till happening by stealth)
U-turned on School Sports programme – Forced to u-turn on cutting funding for school sports after public outcry and outcry from sporting heroes
U-turned on Bookstart- Forced to do a u-turn on cutting funding for “Bookstart” after public outcry
U-turned on idea to pack the 1922 Committee with ministers after a Tory backbench rebellion
U-turned and got rid of his personal photographer after putting him on the public payroll after public outcry
U-turned on granting anonymity to rape suspects, were swiftly ditched in the face of a public outcry.
U-turned on wearing lounge suit to royal wedding -and wore a morning suit to the royal wedding, after much barracking from the public and William Hague saying he would look an idiot in an ordinary suit.
U-turned Housing benefit – forced to drop plans to impose a 10 per cent cut in housing benefit on the long-term unemployed after public outcry.
U-turned on Free Milk. The health minister Anne Milton suggested scrapping free school milk for the under-fives to save money, but Downing Street retreated after Cameron was compared with Margaret Thatcher. The policy confusion led to the absurd scene of David Willetts defending the plan on The Andrew Marr Show while No 10 was in the act of briefing that it had been dropped.
U-turned on NHS Direct – to replace NHS Direct with a cut-price “health advice service” prompted a wave of #savenhsdirect tweets and another John Prescott campaign. The Health Secretary soon backed down and promised that only the number would change HOWEVER this is sleight of hand as they are still radically changing NHS Direct.
U-Turned on privatising Blood Transfusion Service – Forced to cancel plans to privatise the Blood Transfusion service after public outcry. Sections of the service which could be run by private firms include testing, processing and transport of blood and are part of a wider strategy to outsource more NHS services.
However, the proposals have faced objections on the grounds that people who donate blood do so for free, so private companies should not profit from this goodwill. 25,000 signatures from members of the public have already been amassed in under a week, as part of a union-organised petition protest against the plans.
One or two u-turns in a government is understandable, but this many in just one year shows a shocking level of dithering and of poor judgement, ill thought out policy, policy making on the hoof and an alarming level of incompetent cabinet ministers, right up to and including the prime minister.