On Tuesday the Conservatives published their manifesto. Here’s some of their key policies so you don't have to read all 83 pages.
With just over three weeks until the general the releasing of the parties’ manifestos could make a difference to those undecided voters. David Cameron’s Conservatives will certainly hope their's will help their fight to remain in government.
Following a foreword by David Cameron the first chapter puts the focus on the economy. The first paragraph begins with a typical sentence from modern Conservatives:
“Our long-term economic plan is turning around Britain’s economy.”
The manifesto pledges to cut taxes for low and middle earners, with the promise to raise the basic income tax threshold to £12,5000 and raise the 40p rate to £50,000. They also commit to creating a ‘Northern powerhouse’ and not raise VAT, National Insurance or Income Tax contributions.
They also emphasise that in government they have halved the deficit and will soon manage spending and turn that deficit into a surplus.
Having the economy as the first chapter shows just how important it is to the Conservative campaign.
The party also pledges to help businesses create two million extra jobs with the aim of full employment, as well as support three million new apprenticeships.
Taxes and Welfare (p25)
The Conservative manifesto makes the pledge that they will reduce the welfare cap per household from £26,000 to £23,000 and that they will ensure no one earning the minimum wage (working 30 hours or more) has to pay income tax.
The Conservatives have promised to keep to their ambitious target of reducing net migration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands. They have also pledged to control migration from the EU by attempting to reform welfare rules.
They say that:
“We will insist that EU migrants who want to claim tax credits and child benefit must live here and contribute to our country for a minimum of four years.” (p30)
Health and education (p33)
The party pledges to spend an extra £8bn on the NHS for the next five years and to turn every failing school into an academy and continue free schools.
On housing, the Conservatives have pledged to: “build more homes that people can afford, including 200,000 new Starter Homes exclusively for first-time buyers under 40” and extend the Help To Buy scheme.
Place in the world (p69)
The Conservatives have promised further devolution for all parts of the UK, including completing the devolution of corporation tax to Northern Ireland. They have also reiterated their pledged for an EU referendum by the end of 2017 and that they intend to reform the institution and reclaim powers back from Brussels.
A winning manifesto?
Overall, the manifesto is mostly what was expected. Many of the pledges had already been announced such as the EU referendum and lowering the benefit cap, but whether or not these messages can be translated into votes will not be seen until election day.
The full manifesto can be downloaded here.