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General Election: Manifesto Pledges

The Conservative Party

The front cover of the Conservative Party manifesto featured a handful of members around the cabinet table with the Prime Minister. During the launch in Swindon on 14 April, David Cameron aimed to give confidence to voters for another five years to stay secure, grow the economy through their 'long-term economic plan,' and to give the Prime Minister another term in office. Some new policies were announced at the launch on housing, income tax and childcare.  

Key Policies

  • Extension of the right-to-buy scheme to housing association tenants in England
  • Plans to build 200,000 starter homes
  • Ensuring all people who work 30 hours per week on the minimum wage pay no income tax
  • Doubling free childcare allowance for three and four-year-olds to 30 hours
  • Increasing the inheritance tax threshold on family homes to £1m by 2017
  • No above-inflation rises in rail fares until 2020
  • An extra £8bn a year for the NHS by 2020
  • Opening 500 more free schools
  • An EU referendum by 2017

The Economy

  • Running a surplus by 2018 so that the UK "starts to pay down its debts"
  • No rise in VAT, national insurance contributions or income tax
  • A crackdown on tax evasion and the "aggressive" avoidance of tax
  • Creating a "Northern Powerhouse" through investment
  • Spending £100bn on infrastructure in the next Parliament

Jobs and investment

  • Rules for strikes will be changed under the party's plans
  • The document says the Conservative Party is committed to helping people enjoy the "satisfaction and rewards of a decent job". Pledges include:
  • Achieving full employment by helping businesses create two million extra jobs over the course of the next Parliament
  • Creating 3 million new apprenticeships
  • Cutting £10bn of red tape over the next Parliament
  • Giving businesses "the most competitive taxes of any major economy"
  • Replacing Jobseeker's Allowance for 18-21 year-olds with a Youth Allowance time-limited to six months. After that, they will have to take an apprenticeship or traineeship or do community work to claim benefits
  • Requiring 40% of those entitled to take part in strike ballots to vote for a strike before industrial action can be held
  • Requiring companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap - the difference between average pay for male and female employees
  • Increasing the minimum wage to £6.70 by the autumn and to £8 by the end of the decade
  • Investing £6.9bn in the UK's research infrastructure up to 2021
  • "Near universal superfast broadband" for rural areas

Taxation and welfare

  • Taking everyone who earns less than £12,500 out of income tax 
  • Passing a new law that would mean all those working 30 hours a week and earning the minimum wage will not pay income tax on earnings
  • Raising the threshold for the 40p rate of tax so that nobody under £50,000 pays the rate
  • A freeze on working age benefits for two years from April 2016 (exemptions for disability and pensioner benefits)
  • Lowering the benefit cap from £26,000 to £23,000 (with exemptions for those receiving Disability Living Allowance or the Personal Independence Payment)
  • Giving working parents of three and four-year-olds 30 hours of free childcare a week

Immigration

  • Cap skilled migration from outside the EU at 20,700
  • Negotiate new EU rules so people will have to be earning in the UK for four years before they can claim tax credits and child benefits
  • Introduce a four-year residency requirement for social housing for EU migrants
  • End the ability of EU jobseekers to claim any job-seeking benefits
  • Require EU jobseekers who have not found a job within six months to leave
  • Insist new EU member states' citizens do not have free movement rights "until their economies have converged much more closely with existing member states"
  • Cap the level of skilled migration from outside the EU at 20,700
  • Extend the "deport first, appeal later" principle to cover all immigration appeals and judicial reviews, apart from asylum cases

Education and the NHS

  • Give people the right to a named GP
  • Spend an extra £8bn per year on the NHS. Other manifesto commitments include:
  • Invest £7bn over the course of the next Parliament to provide "good school places"
  • Open at least 500 new free schools and turning failing schools into academies
  • Protect the schools budget; increasing the amount spent on schools as the number of pupils increases
  • Scrap the cap on higher education student numbers
  • Provide same-day GP appointments for over 75s
  • Give the right to a named GP
  • Integrate health and social care systems

Heritage, sports and government

  • Keep major museums and galleries free to enter
  • Freeze the BBC licence fee
  • Guarantee those who work for a big company and the public sector entitlement to Volunteering Leave for three days per year
  • End taxpayer-funded six-figure pay-offs for the best-paid public sector workers
  • Reduce number of MPs to 600
  • Introduce English votes for English laws
  • Give English MPs a veto over matters only affecting England
  • Implement the recommendations of the Smith Commission, set up to consider new powers for Scotland after the independence referendum
  • Increase some powers for the Welsh Assembly
  • Devolve corporation tax powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly

Justice

  • Toughen sentencing and reform the prison system
  • Create a Victims' Law that will enshrine key rights for victims, including the right to make a personal statement and have it read in court before sentencing and before parole hearings
  • Scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights
  • Strengthen counter-terrorism powers
  • Create new Extremism Disruption Orders, which the party says would help target those trying to radicalise young people on social media

Pensions and inheritance

  • Increase the inheritance tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1m
  • Continue to increase the state pension through the triple lock system, meaning it rises by at least 2.5%
  • Cap charges on residential care
  • Introduce a single-tier pension
  • Protect pensioner benefits like free bus passes and the winter fuel payment

Foreign affairs and defence

  • An in/out referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017
  • Protect the UK economy from further integration with the eurozone while reclaiming other powers from Europe
  • Uphold commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international development
  • Maintain the size of the regular armed services and not reduce the Army to below 82,000
  • Expand armed forces reserves to 35,000
  • Retain Trident and build a new a new fleet of nuclear submarines

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