Greenpeace campaigners interrupt Truss’s conference speech to ask: “Who voted for this?”

Truss accused of shredding Tory manifesto: "Nobody voted for fracking, nobody voted to cut benefits, nobody voted to trash nature, nobody voted to scrap workers' rights."


Greenpeace campaigners interrupted Liz Truss’s televised speech at the Conservative Party conference to denounce the prime minister “shredding” her party’s election manifesto.

Greenpeace UK’s head of public affairs Rebecca Newsom and policy officer Ami McCarthy stood facing the prime minister close to the front rows of the hall where cabinet members were seated, holding up a banner asking: “Who voted for this?”.

Broken promises

Greenpeace UK analysis has identified at least seven areas across environmental protection, climate action, workers’ rights and tackling inequality where policies either confirmed or being considered by Truss and her ministers are at odds with the 2019 Conservative manifesto. They include high-profile pledges to have the “most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth”, confirm a moratorium on fracking, “raise standards in areas like workers’ rights, animal welfare, agriculture and the environment”, reform farming subsidies so that landowners “farm in a way that protects and enhances our natural environment”, and “continue our efforts through the tax and benefits system to reduce poverty”.

The government has instead lifted the moratorium on fracking; set in train the potential abolition of hundreds of EU laws protecting wild places and regulating water quality, pollution and the use of pesticides; dismissed environmental protections as ‘burdens’ in the Chancellor’s Growth Plan; signalled a potential roll-back of new nature-friendly subsidies for farmers; and is considering not increasing Universal Credit in line with inflation.

The public wants stronger green policies

According to a recent YouGov survey, 81 per cent of UK adults believe nature is under threat and that more needs to be done urgently to protect and restore it. Recent Ipsos research found that “growth is not supported at any cost, especially if it is at the cost of countryside and environment,” and polling from Unchecked found that deregulation is unpopular and a vote loser.

More than 100 leading businesses have written to the prime minister urging her to stick to the UK’s climate commitments for the good of the economy. Former Conservative leader William Hague has urged Truss to rethink her attack on nature, while former environment secretaries George Eustice and Michael Gove have called on their successor, Ranil Jayawardena, not to ditch a landmark reform of farming subsidies. Meanwhile, US President Biden said that he is “sick and tired of trickle-down economics” and that “it has never worked”, just days before the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced enormous unfunded tax cuts that will disproportionately benefit the rich.



"Who voted for this?"

"In a healthy democracy, people should get the government programme they voted for, but Liz Truss is putting most of it through the shredder. People voted for strong action on climate, a fracking moratorium, world-leading environmental protections, and tackling poverty and inequality. What they’re getting instead is fracking, a potential bonfire of rules on wildlife and nature protection, and now the prospect of benefit cuts.

Broken promise after broken promise, the prime minister is quickly turning her party’s manifesto into the longest piece of false advertising ever written. Many will be left wondering whether her government answers to the public or to the hedge fund managers, right-wing think tanks and fossil fuel giants that are cheering it on.

The Chancellor said the government is now listening. If so, they may want to pay attention to the widening chorus of leading businesses, energy experts, former Conservative ministers and even the US President telling them to go in the opposite direction."

- Rebecca Newsom, head of public affairs, Greenpeace UK


In focus: the government’s manifesto commitments vs reality

Greenpeace UK analysis has identified at least seven areas across environmental protection, climate action, workers’ rights and tackling inequality where policies either confirmed or being considered by Truss and her ministers are at odds with the 2019 Conservative manifesto.

Issue What the 2019 Conservative manifesto said What Liz Truss’s government is now doing or planning 
People voted for world leading environmental protections, not concreting over some of our most precious landscapes “the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth”

“We welcome the Glover Review and will create new National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as making our most loved landscapes greener, happier, healthier and open to all.”

The Chancellor’s Growth Plan dismisses environmental protections as ‘burdens’, announcing new planning legislation and investment zones which threaten to weaken protections for habitats and wildlife.

Far from world-leading.

People voted for clean Rivers and beaches, not sewage- contaminated waterways & swimming spots “Raise standards in areas like… animal welfare, agriculture and the environment.”

“we will legislate to ensure high standards of … environmental protection”

Far from raising standards as promised, the Retained EU Law Bill will allow ministers to revoke hundreds of laws that protect wild places and ensure standards for water quality, pollution and the use of pesticides.

Both Chancellor Kwarteng and Business Secretary Rees-Mogg repeatedly emphasised the priority of deregulation to boost growth during their conference speeches – in particular through the Retained EU Law Bill.

DEFRA has the greatest amount of law that would be affected by this bill: 570 pieces, of which 437 are yet to be tackled. There’s around 310 working days until end 2023 so DEFRA will have to process one faster than every 6 working hours between now and the end of 2023.

This rich body of law provides certainty throughout business supply chains and for the public who want to be assured. that food is free from harmful pesticides, water is safe to drink and swim in, air is fit to breathe and treasured wildlife is protected from destruction.

People voted for stronger workers’ rights, not undermining rights for women at work or greater pay discrepancies between those at the top and the bottom “Raise standards in areas like workers’ rights”

“we will legislate to ensure high standards of workers’ rights”

“As Conservatives we will always prioritise the principle of fairness in the workplace, whether it is in the job application process, ensuring equal pay for equal work, or people’s working conditions”

Kwarteng’s mini budget scrapped the EU banker bonus cap, which has limited payouts to two-times workers’ salaries since 2014.

Ministers are also seeking to exempt firms with up to 500 staff from new regulations, with unions warning that they could soon be spared from reporting on gender pay gaps and executive pay ratios. Government will look at raising the threshold even more to companies with fewer than 1,000 staff in future.

During Truss’s leadership election campaign, she said she would legislate for minimum service levels on critical national infrastructure in the first 30 days of government under her leadership. The pledge went further than the Tories’ 2019 policy, which promised a minimum service should operate during transport strikes. This would potentially restrict teachers, postal workers and the energy sector, many of whom are reportedly struggling with their low pay rates . Tailored minimum thresholds, including staffing levels, would be determined with each industry.

Truss also referred to proposals to raise ballot thresholds for industrial action and minimum service levels during strikes, during her leadership election campaign.

People voted for a sustainable & fair food and farming system, not agriculture subsidies based on how much land someone happens to own “We will free our farmers from the bureaucratic Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and move to a system based on ‘public money for public goods’. To support this transition, we will guarantee the current annual budget to farmers in every year of the next Parliament. In return for funding, they must farm in a way that protects and enhances our natural environment, as well as safeguarding high standards of animal welfare.”

“And one of the great opportunities of Brexit is the chance to lead the world in the quality of our food, agriculture and land management – driven by

science-led, evidence-based policy.

And we want those same farmers and fishermen to act as the stewards of

the natural world, preserving the UK’s

countryside and oceans as they have for generations.”

The government has been repeatedly talking about a ‘review’ of long-awaited Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes – meant to reward farmers for restoring the nature, soil and water upon which sustainable food production depends.

During Conservative Party conference Defra minister Mark Spencer also refused to rule out a return to area based payments – where farmers or landowners are effectively paid on the basis of how much land they own (similar to the scheme under the CAP). The reverse of the promised move to a system based on ‘public money for public goods’.

People voted for investment in green jobs and infrastructure like renewables and rail, not fracking “We placed a moratorium on fracking in England with immediate effect. Having listened to local communities, we have ruled out changes to the planning system. We will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.”

“In the next decade, we will work with the market to deliver two million new high quality jobs in clean growth. We have ambitious targets:  Our world-leading offshore wind industry will reach 40GW by 2030, and we will enable new floating wind farms.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg has formally lifted the ban on drilling for shale gas in England. A review of the seismic science around fracking showed there had been no fundamental change in the science

Applications for new shale gas drilling can now be made.

People voted for leveling up communities across the Uk, not welfare cuts for the poorest “To underpin this national renewal, we will invest £100 billion in additional

infrastructure spending… We will use this historic investment to level up and connect this country, so

that everyone can get a fair share of its future prosperity.”

“we will do more to make sure that Universal Credit works for the most

vulnerable. We will also end the benefit freeze, while making sure it pays to work more hours.”

Downing Street is considering not increasing Universal Credit in line with inflation, but instead using a lower metric – such as the increase in average earnings – to encourage those on benefits into work.
People voted for tackling inequality and using the tax system to reduce poverty, not unfunded tax cuts for the richest “we will continue our efforts through the tax and benefits system to reduce poverty, including child poverty. Children should grow up in an environment with no limits to their potential – which is one of the reasons we are

making it a priority to put more money in the pockets of low-paid workers”

“…tackling inequality and

deprivation in each of our four nations.”

Far from using the tax system to reduce poverty a new analysis by the Resolution Foundation after the government’s u-turn on scrapping the 45p additional tax rate on earnings above £150,000 found that the richest 5 per cent of households still stand to gain £3,500 on average next year from the tax cuts announced in the Chancellor’s recent Fiscal Statement – almost 40 times as much as the average £90 cash gain for the poorest fifth of households.

Meanwhile, as poverty flowing from high energy costs and inflation are set to increase deprivation, astonishing profits are being logged by fossil fuel companies which the government refuses to tax properly on their windfalls


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