ELECTION COUNTDOWN: The Conservative Manifesto
The Tories are going to ‘increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings’. It is unclear how much this will translate into monetary value. They will also make sure that self-employed workers who work in the ‘gig economy’ will be ‘properly protected’.
Economy and Tax
The Manifesto says ‘Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised democracy”, as long as you don’t have dementia. The Tories plan to raise the personal allowance and they want to cut Corporation Tax. So, there is going to be no money to fund the NHS or Social Care. The Tories promise tougher regulation on tax advisory firms, in an effort to clamp down on tax affordance. The Tories plan to launch a new ‘National Productivity Investment Fund’ that will invest £170bn over the course of the next parliament. The Tories pledge to keep VAT at the same level over the next parliament.
Health and Social Care
The social care plans unveiled in the manifesto included: Scrapping the £72,000 cap on social care costs. The value of assets for which you get protection from the cost of care will be increased from £23,250 to £100,000. However, the value of that person’s property will be included in that means-test. So many more people will have to pay for social care. This is a horrible tax on the elderly specifically dementia sufferers as they will have to sell their house to get care, how is that fair? After tumbling polls and public outrage, the Tories did a u-turn and now say there would now be an ‘absolute limit’, whatever that means! The Tories plan to invest another £8bn into the NHS over the next parliament, the source of this money is unknown.
The Conservatives pledged to increase schools funding for £4bn by 2022, nothing in the manifesto mentioned where the money will come from. The Tories also want to get rid of free school lunches but offer free school breakfast and The Tories also pledged to lift the current ban on grammar schools.
Pensions and Social Security
The Conservatives pledge to give increased powers to the Pension Protection Fund and ‘tighten the rules’ for pensions and increase the severity of punishment for people who are found to be mismanaging pension schemes, in an effort to protect workers’ private pensioners. The triple-lock will be scrapped, and replaced with a extremely less generous double lock and 10 million pensioners will lose their fuel allowance. Considering that the Conservatives core voters are the elderly, they have shot themselves in the foot with these policies.
The Conservatives pledge to “deliver the infrastructure – the road, rail, airports and broadband – that businesses need”, this is very vague and the manifesto offers little clarification on what this statement means. They also plan to invest in HS2, the Northern Powerhouse Rail and the continued expansion of Heathrow Airport
To end homelessness they pledge, to “continue to combat homelessness and rough sleeping including through full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act”, but gave no further details.
The Conservatives do not support large-scale onshore wind power in England but promise to remain a global leader in onshore wind development and pledge to continue supports for wind projects in the remote islands of the coast of Scotland. They pledge to develop the ‘shale’ industry in Britain. They will introduce an fuel cap to combat fuel poverty.
The Conservatives pledge to increase the defence budget by at least half a percent above inflation each year. They remain committed to the Nato 2% of GDP commitment.
The manifesto says they would take Britain out of the single market and custom unions. The Tories also say they are willing to make a ‘reasonable’ contribution to the EU post-brexit. They also pledge to agree a fair sum of money on our divorce deal with the EU. They pledge to confirm the rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice-versa and they also pledged to continue to abide by the European Convention of Human Rights for at least the next parliament.
The Tories oppose a second Scottish Independence Referendum.
The Tories want internet regulation to fight extremism. Although the details are vague, this is an attack on our fundamental principle of freedom of information and freedom of expression, giving the government control of our internet would fundamentally undermine our democracy and is extremely dangerous and will jeopardise our democratic freedoms.
They promise to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands, they have promised this twice before but have failed twice as, net immigration is around 270,000 currently.