On Monday, Labour set out our manifesto. We put forward a programme that will empower the people who use and pay for public services: patients and parents.
On Tuesday, the Tories set out their manifesto. They talked a great deal about empowerment. But look at the detail of what they are proposing and you can see that the Tories are more interested in abandonment than they are in empowerment.
Peter Mandelson, Labour’s Business Secretary said:
“Today we’re here to talk about Labour empowerment. And Tory abandonment.
“Let’s make no mistake; reformed public services need to be fully accountable. They need to give parents and patients real choice. And they need to provide guaranteed standards of personal service.
“But people need Government to ensure these things happen. With proper funding and clear guarantees of standards to secure the personal service people deserve.
“The public should look at schools and the NHS as they would be with Labour. Then in contrast take a long hard look at the impact Tory policy would have on these plans.
“Because the consequences of Mr Cameron’s manifesto for the public is that if you are there for him – he won’t be there for you.”
Andy Burnham, Labour’s Health Secretary said:
“Labour’s NHS prospectus offers real power and peace of mind for all that the NHS will be there for you.
“Yesterday we saw a false prospectus on health from the Conservative Party. All the talk was of empowerment but the reality of their manifesto is this; a plan to take power off the people and hand it back to the system.
“By abandoning guaranteed hospital waiting times, the Conservatives are telling the public: ‘you sort it out with the local NHS’. Depending of where you live you might wait ten weeks or you might wait 50.
“By abandoning guarantees to see a cancer specialist and to get test results within one week, they are telling you that speed does not matter when it comes to cancer. We beg to differ. It is precisely what matters.”
Ed Balls, Labour’s Education Secretary said:
“The last two days have made clear that when it comes to public services Labour stands for guarantees for all pupils and the empowerment of all parents, while the Tories stand for abandonment.
“Labour stands for rising investment in schools. The Tories stand for cuts in teacher numbers and rising class sizes.
“David Cameron says he wants to hand control over to parents and teachers; the reality is he would leave them to fend for themselves, with no support and less money.”