What did the Conservative Manifesto promise (apart from Brexit)?

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Hardly anyone reads political party manifestos, but now the Conservatives have won a landslide majority there will be little that opposing parties can do to stop them pushing ahead with their agenda. With that in mind, it’s worth taking a look at the Conservative Manifesto and what they’ve got planned for the country.

Conservative Manifesto Pledges

Top of the Conservative Manifesto is of course getting Brexit started with the UK leaving the EU on the 31st of January 2020 with a further year to get a comprehensive free trade deal with Europe finalised before the transition deal expires on the 31st of December 2020. Their other headline pledges include:

  • Extra funding for the NHS, with 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP surgery appointments a year.
  • 20,000 more police and tougher sentencing for criminals.
  • An Australian-style points-based system to control immigration.
  • Millions more invested every week in science, schools, apprenticeships and infrastructure while controlling debt.
  • Reaching Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.
  • We will not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance.

NHS and social care

Between 2018 and 2023, the Conservative Manifesto says that they will have raised funding for the NHS by 29%. By the end of the Parliament, that will be more than £650 million extra a week. Also promised is to build and fund 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years. This is on top of the 20 hospital upgrades announced in the summer.

On the increasing burden of social care, they pledge that nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it. They also promise a building program so that more can own their own home.

Pay

Already announced is an increase in the National Living Wage to two thirds of average earnings, currently forecast at £10.50 an hour, and widening its reach to everyone over 21. As well as the promise not to raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT, they will raise the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 next year – effectively a pay cut for low earners. The ultimate aim is that the first £12,500 earned will be completely free of tax.

Immigration

Immigration with a new Australian-style points-based system will prioritise those who: Have a good grasp of English; Have been law-abiding citizens in their own countries; and Have good education and qualifications.

They say that there will be fewer lower-skilled migrants and that most people coming into the country will need a clear job offer. This could have implications for those looking for unskilled ecommerce workers and have relied on a ready source of willing workers from overseas free to work in the UK.

Business

There are a range of measure in the Conservative Manifesto for businesses – the main ones applying to online merchants being:

  • To cut the burden of tax on business by reducing business rate via a fundamental review of the system
  • Reduce business rates for retail businesses
  • Increase the Employment Allowance for small businesse
  • Support start-ups and small businesses via government procurement, and commit to paying them on time
    help SMEs to become exporters

  • Through the Red Tape Challenge, ensure that regulation is sensible and proportionate, and that we always consider the needs of small businesses

Worth noting is the statement “Major multinational companies should pay their fair share of tax. As part of our approach, we will implement the Digital Services Tax.”

There is a lot more detail in the Conservative Manifesto, and you can download and read the entire document here.

Electoral Reform

Finally, the Conservative Manifesto commits to dumping the the Fixed Term Parliaments Act on the grounds that “it has led to paralysis at a time the country needed decisive action”. There is also a promised to ensure we have updated and equal Parliamentary boundaries, making sure that every vote counts the same.

For those who are calling for further reaching electoral reform, the Conservatives say that they will continue to support the First Past the Post system of voting on the ground that it allows voters to kick out politicians who don’t deliver, both locally and nationally. That wouldn’t be possible under proportional representation where a party list means each party gets to choose who keeps their job.

Now Conservatives have five years to deliver on the Conservative Manifesto. Otherwise, just as under the First Past the Post system the electorate have given Labour a good kicking, they’ll be in line for being kicked out if they fail.

11 Responses

  1. Most people will not be directly effected by a Digital Services Tax, but the marketplace may pass on the burden to the seller.

    Lets hope with a strong government we will start to see things getting done.

    Although there is a lot of call from some for a Proportional Representation voting system, this would have left us with a hung parliament and as we have seen over the last couple of years, our MPs can not agree on much, so what would ever get achieved?

  2. “Now Conservatives have five years to deliver on the Conservative Manifesto. Otherwise…. they’ll be in line for being kicked out if they fail.”

    Unfortunately not, for some reason the tories seem to get away with blatant lies over and over again. and people still vote them back in.

    their 2015 manifesto promised they would build 200,000 new starter homes.
    how many did they actually build? Zero. not a single bloody one.

    they 50,000 new nurses they promise? did you see where they’re coming from?
    19,000 of the 50,000 *NEW* nurses, are already here. really. they only plan to train about 5,000 actual new nurses.

    the new police they promise, doesn’t quite replace all the police they got rid of.
    like stealing £50 off you then expect you to be grateful when they give you £40 back later.

    Tougher sentencing on crime, but without addresssing the prison over-population which means they need to keep releasing serious offenders early. how will that work? it won’t.

    they said they had already put aside the money for these 40 hospitals, which was a complete lie, there’s barely seed money for 6, and this promise is likely to be the first to vanish.

    “an increase in the National Living Wage” is a sick joke from the tories.
    do we know the difference between minimum wage and the living wage? well it was different until the tories re-named the minimum wage as the living wage. a living wage is what you need to live on, minimum wage is less than that. but by re-naming it they can avoid addressing all the people earning less than they need to live on, and pretend they did something.

    “Major multinational companies should pay their fair share of tax. As part of our approach, we will implement the Digital Services Tax.”
    – why is this a reasonable, common sense thing to do when the tories suggest it? but when Corbyn suggests it it’s a radical communist idea that would never work?
    – with Boris moving into his new permanent residence inside Donald Trump’s rectum, i seriously doubt he’ll follow through his threats to tax big US companies.

    as much as i’d like to see them held to account, people who vote tory don’t actually read the manifesto, expect them to stick to it, or even remember when the next election rolls around.

  3. yep talking about telling the truth, I seem to remember Tony Blair saying something about weapons of mass destruction ?

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