General election countdown: What has been promised?

With just one week to go until the general election, all major parties have released their manifestos. A long list of promises has been made by all parties, with Brexit will be an obvious battleground for each party’s election campaign.

The parties have set out big promises they plan to implement if elected form the NHS to education, environment and more. Here’s what the main parties have promised on the key issues.

Brexit:

Conservative

Ratify Johnson’s divorce deal with the EU before the Jan. 31 deadline

Negotiate a free-trade agreement with the EU by Dec. 31, 2020, the end of the Brexit transition period

Aim to have 80% of U.K. trade covered by free-trade agreements within three years

Labour

Negotiate a new deal with the EU, placing the U.K. in a customs union with the bloc and securing access to the single market

Put deal to a referendum within six months of the election, with remaining in the EU as the other option

Leader Jeremy Corbyn would remain neutral during the referendum campaign

Liberal Democrat

Stop Brexit by revoking the Article 50 divorce process

If not in government, continue campaigning for a second referendum

Spend the 50 billion pounds it expects to save by staying in the EU on public services and tackling inequality

 

Health:

Conservative

Deliver 50,000 more nurses, including some newly-trained, some hired from abroad and some from staff retention. Reintroduction of bursaries for training. Also, introduce 6,000 more GPs.

Increase funding for NHS England by 3.1% yearly between 2020-2024.

A £2.7 billion investment in building hospitals, 40 new hospitals to be built over the next 10 year period.

Commit £1 billion per year in extra funding for local authorities to deal with growing demands for social care

Labour

Increase expenditure across the health sector by an average of 4.3% a year between 2020-2024.

Ensure mental health treatment is on par with that for physical health via an additional £1.6 billion annual investment

Free prescriptions and annual dental checkups, free social care for the elderly.

Exclude NHS and medicine pricing from any trade deals and establish generic drug company; secure access to generics if fair prices are rejected for patented drugs.

 

Liberal Democrat

Increase funding for NHS England by 3.1% yearly between 2020-2024 from ring-fenced 1p income tax rise.

Treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health

Introduce a wellbeing budget alongside the fiscal budget

End shortage of family doctors by 2025 through training and appropriate use of nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists

 

Education:

Conservative

A £1 billion investment to boost childcare provision

Extra £4.3 billion of funding for schools by 2024

Review interest rates on student loans with a view to reducing the debt burden

Arts Premium for secondary schools

Labour

Scrap university tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants

Extra £7.5 billion of funding for schools by 2024

Create a National Educational Service, with every adult entitled to six years of free study or training throughout their life

Charge VAT on private-school fees

Cap maximum primary class size at 30

30 hours free preschool per week for two-, three- and four-year-olds

Liberal Democrat

Extra £4.8 billion of funding for schools by 2024

35 hours of free childcare a week for 2–4-year-olds, and for 9–24-month-old children with two parents working full time

Give every adult £10,000 to spend on skills and training

Recruit 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra 10 billion pounds in funding per year for schools

Restore university maintenance grants for poorest students

 

Economy/Taxes:

Conservative

Borrow more to invest in infrastructure under loosened fiscal rules, to allow an increase of £13.8 billion of spending across all departments by 2021

Rates of income tax, national insurance and VAT would not rise

Raise threshold for National Insurance contributions from 8,628 pounds to 9,500 pounds in the government’s first budget

Labour

Nationalize key utilities including rail, mail, water, energy production; bring BT Group Plc’s Openreach unit into public ownership to provide free universal broadband

Tax multinational corporations based on the proportion of their sales, workforce and operations in the U.K.

Top 5% of earners—those earning more than £80,000 a year—will pay more tax

Introduced real living wage of £10 hour for over 16s

Liberal Democrat

Raise income tax by 1 % point to fund health and social care

Invest £130 billion in infrastructure, including energy, transport and schools

Restore Corporation Tax to 20% from 19%

Replace business rates in England with Commercial Landowner Levy based on land value

 

Energy/Environment:

Conservative

Make the U.K. carbon neutral by 2050

Spend £6.3 billion on energy efficiency measures to cut fuel bills in millions of homes

A ban on exporting plastic waste outside OECD countries to reduce ocean damage

Set up an independent Office for Environmental Protection and introduce new legal targets, including for air quality

Labour

A £250 billion Green Transformation Fund dedicated to renewable and low-carbon energy and transport, biodiversity and environmental restoration

Deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030

Target 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030

Include imports when measuring the U.K.’s carbon dioxide emissions

Liberal Democrat

Aim for 80% of electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030

Invest more than 6 billion pounds a year on home insulation and zero-carbon heating by 2023

Require pension funds to show portfolio investments are consistent with Paris Agreement on climate change

Ban fracking of natural gas

 

Housing:

Conservative

Build at least 1 million more homes by 2024

Ban the sale of new leasehold homes

Introduce a 3% surcharge for foreign buyers of homes in England

Ban no-fault evictions, in which tenants are removed before the end of their contract without a proper reason

Labour

Introduce a levy on overseas companies buying housing; give locals priority on new homes

Build council and social homes at a rate of 150,000 a year by 2024

Give leaseholders the right to buy the freehold at an affordable price; end the sale of new leasehold properties

Liberal Democrat

Build at least 100,000 homes for social rent each year; raise housebuilding to 300,000 a year

Allow local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500% where houses are being bought as second homes

Rent to Own program for social housing tenants, with rent payments leading to outright ownership after 30 years

 

Immigration:

Conservative

Points-based visa system to prioritize skilled workers (Australian –Style)

EU immigrants will only be able to access unemployment, housing and child benefits after five years

New fast-tracked visa with reduced fees for doctors and nurses with a job offer from the NHS

Prevent any more foreign national offenders entering the country

Labour

Seek to protect rights for both EU and U.K. citizens if Brexit goes ahead

Immigration system built around human rights, aimed at meeting skills and labor shortages in public services

End deportation of family members and scrap minimum income requirements that separate families

Close all immigration detention centres

Liberal Democrat

Save EU freedom of movement

A “compassionate” immigration system to end the “hostile environment” policy that resulted in the violation of rights

Abolish minimum income requirement for spouse and partner visas

Replace tier 2 work visas with ‘flexible, merit-based system’

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