Last week the Conservative Home website conducted a survey asking for opinions on policies which could form part of the Tory manifesto. The published results of this survey show that HS2 is the least favourite policy amongst Conservative Party Members, with it coming rock bottom, 34th out of 34.
1,469 party members responded to the survey and were asked to give the policies a ranking from 1-10, with ‘Continuing with HS2’ averaging 2.96, just squeezing out ‘Spending at least 0.7 per cent of GNP on overseas aid’ on 2.97 for last place.
Conservative Home we quick to point out that the results did not match the stereotype of the older, home-owning, self-interested Tory, with strong support for housebuilding and a low importance placed on the pensions triple lock as examples of this. Additionally, there was overall support for the other infrastructure projects mentioned in the survey, and the specific suggestion of ‘Spending £100 billion on infrastructure during the coming Parliament.’ received a positive score of 5.82.
These results are in line with public opinion polls which have seen increasing opposition to HS2 over recent years.
Stop HS2 Campaign Manager joe Rukin responded:
“Over the years, public opposition to HS2 has increased showing that the public have not been conned by the HS2 spin, and this survey firmly shows that Conservative Party members haven’t been fooled either. The only people who seem to think HS2 is a good idea are politicians who think it might be a vote winner, but this result shows exactly the opposite, scrapping HS2 is what people want.”
“The General Election gives Mrs May and Mr Corbyn the chance to break free from the shackles of previous manifestos and blind support for HS2. We implore them to see sense and remove any commitment to HS2 from their manifestos, before billions of pounds are syphoned off by the contractors who have lobbied for this white elephant.”
Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 added,
“The results of the ConservativeHome poll show a clear lack of enthusiasm for HS2, coming in last place of a long list of options. But this should be no surprise, as poll after poll have shown HS2 is not wanted.”
“Looking in more depth at the alternatives polled, the respondents aren’t against infrastructure spending or building new homes. But there are a lot of other ways of spending the £55 billion allocated to HS2, not just the alternatives in the poll of nuclear power stations and schools. Other ideas include expanding digital 4G coverage, the infrastructure needed for driverless cars and building a cycling network.”
The full list of survey responses is below, ranked by score out of ten:
|8.18||Uphold the NATO commitment to spend at least two per cent of GDP on defence.|
|7.92||Delivering Brexit by March 31 2019.|
|7.48||Returning the public finances to balance as early as possible in the next Parliament.|
|7.31||Taking everyone who earns less than £12,500 out of income tax.|
|7.20||Scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights.|
|7.10||Building more homes.|
|6.99||Reducing the number of MPs to 600, and equalising constituency sizes.|
|6.93||Expanding the use of nuclear power.|
|6.86||Raising the threshold for the 40p rate of tax so that nobody under £50,000 pays the rate.|
|6.81||Reforming the Lords by cutting its size, or electing some or all of its members, or both.|
|6.69||Expanding the use of shale gas.|
|6.64||Creating 3 million new apprenticeships.|
|6.52||Delivering an industrial strategy.|
|6.42||Increasing the inheritance tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1 million.|
|6.25||Ensuring that there are more selective schools.|
|6.16||Ending any new public subsidy for onshore wind farms.|
|6.03||Opening at least 500 new free schools and turning failing schools into academies.|
|5.93||Freezing the BBC licence fee.|
|5.82||Spending £100 billion on infrastructure during the coming Parliament.|
|5.82||Reducing corporation tax.|
|5.74||Reducing the standard rate of income tax.|
|5.63||Increasing the value of the transferable tax allowance for married couples.|
|5.58||Continuing to provide childcare for working parents.|
|5.56||Maintaining the current ring-fencing of the NHS budget.|
|5.54||Increasing the value of the Government’s Living Wage as planned.|
|4.89||Reducing the top rate of income tax.|
|4.64||Pledge not to raise income tax, VAT or national insurance.|
|4.56||Giving Parliament a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act.|
|4.31||Spend £350 million a week extra on the NHS.|
|3.78||Using a price cap to cut household energy bills.|
|3.63||Maintain the pensions triple lock.|
|2.97||Spending at least 0.7 per cent of GNP on overseas aid.|
|2.96||Continuing with HS2.|
I earnestly hope that HS2 will be scrapped and the billions be used for causes that truly help all the people of Great Britain, such as towards the NHS, Social Services, more teachers.
I am totally against the intrusion on our countryside, and villages with no regard to the noise pollution and loss of special woodlands and the disruption to our lives due to HS2
I believe the said economic level of benefit is not enough against the misery of years of construction and having to put up with the noise of the trains for ever more.
This is a vanity project for the few and paid for by the many most people can see the stupidity of spending money that could be prioritise in a much more sensible projects .
Why is it so difficult for politicians to except that their support for this is just showing how disconnected from the voters again ! we don’t need it and we can’t afford it.
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Total waste of time and money to safe a few minutes. Improve the rail network we have
Looks as if the bottom four are in, then!