The 2017 UK General Election

The Conservative Manifesto: Forward, Together

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The Conservative Manifesto: Forward, Together

The Conservative Party Manifesto calls the next five years ‘the most challenging that Britain has faced’ in the last 60 years. The Manifesto is divided into five ‘giant challenges’: Economy, A Strong Britain in a New World, Meritocracy at Home, A Restored Contact Between The Generations, and Digital Security. The party confirms that Brexit means Britain will leave the EU Single Market and Customs Union.

Click on the image below to read the full Conservative Manifesto, or scroll down for a summary and links to analysis articles.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017

Click the image above to read the full Conservative Manifesto 2017

Summary of Pledges in the Conservative Manifesto

A Strong Economy That Works For Everyone

  • ‘sound public finances, low taxes, better regulation and free trade deals with markets around the world.’
    • By 2020, the Conservatives will increase the personal tax-free allowance to £12,500 and higher rate tax threshold to £50,000.
    • Guarantee not to raise VAT.
    • Corporation tax will fall to 17 per cent by 2020.
    • Seek to replicate all existing EU free trade agreements. Will introduce a Trade Bill in next Parliament.
    • ‘We will create a network of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners to head nine new regional overseas posts. These commissioners will lead export promotion, investment and trade policy overseas.’
  • ‘decent living wage and new rights and protections in the workplace.’
  • ‘new rules for takeovers, executive pay and worker representation on company boards.’
    • ‘we will continue to regulate more efficiently, saving £9 billion through the Red Tape Challenge and the One-In-Two-Out Rule.’
    • ‘A new Conservative government will continue to increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings.’
    • Improve regulation on private pensions to protect savers.
    • ‘make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay.’
  • ‘major investment in infrastructure, skills and research and development.’
    • National Productivity Investment Fund of £23 billion.
    • ‘We will create a number of such funds, known as Future Britain funds, which will hold in trust the investments of the British people, backing British infrastructure and the British economy.’
    • ‘ 33 per cent of central government purchasing will come from SMEs by the end of the parliament.’
  • ‘independent review into the cost of energy.’
  • ‘Prosperous towns and cities, underpinned by strong local institutions, the relocation of government functions, and shared cultural assets across the country.’
    • Investing £40 billion into transport infrastructure over next decade, including: High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and Heathrow Airport expansion.

A Strong and United Nation in a Changing World

  • The Conservatives will deliver the ‘best possible deal for Britain as we leave the European Union’.
    • ‘we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union but we will seek a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement.’
    • ‘We will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law.’
  • No ‘divisive Scottish referendum at this time’.
    • The Conservative party is committed to maintaining the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    • Support the distinguishing features of the four nations, including S4C in Wales (a Welsh language broadcaster).
  • ‘A United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, taken from money coming back to the UK as we leave the EU, to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations.’
    • The Government will relocate the Civil Service around the UK, ending the London-centricity of its operations.
    • Channel 4 will remain publicly owned, but will relocate away from London.
  • International aid spending to stay at 0.7 per cent of gross national income.
  • Meeting NATO commitment of 2 per cent of GDP spending on defence.
    • ‘we will increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation in every year of the new parliament’
    • ‘We plan to invest £178 billion in new military equipment over the next decade, creating high-skilled jobs across the whole country’
  • ‘a new national infrastructure police force, a stronger response to white collar crime and our world-leading counter-terrorism strategy’
    • ‘We will invest over £1 billion to modernise the prison estate, replacing the most dilapidated prisons and creating 10,000 modern prison places.’
  • Democratic Process
    • ‘ We will continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats, while reducing the number of MPs to 600’
    • Retain First Past The Post (the current voting system of each person having one vote).
    • Voting age will stay at 18 years old.
    • Repeal Fixed Term Parliaments Act.
    • ID must be shown before being able to cast a vote.

The World’s Great Meritocracy

  • ‘More good school places, ending the ban on selective schools and asking universities and independent schools to help run state schools.’
    • ‘We will make it a condition for universities hoping to charge maximum tuition fees to become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools.’
    • ‘We will work with the Independent Schools Council to ensure that at least 100 leading independent schools become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools in the state system, keeping open the option of changing the tax status of independent schools if progress is not made.’
    • ‘We will expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs by the end of the next parliament, with 90 per cent of pupils studying this combination of academic GCSEs by 2025.’
    • ‘We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022’
    • ‘under a new Conservative government, schools in England will offer a free school breakfast to every child in every year of primary school, while children from low-income families will continue to receive free school lunches’
  • ‘World class technical education, underpinned by prestigious new institutes of technology with the freedoms that make our universities great.’
    • ‘We will start by replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science’
  • ‘A government unafraid to confront the burning injustices of the gender pay gap, racial disparity, the stigma of mental health and disability discrimination’
  • ‘halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027’
  • ‘Protections for victims of domestic abuse in law through a new landmark Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill.’
  • ‘Fairer markets for consumers and action on the cost of living, including a safeguard tariff cap to protect energy customers from unacceptable rises.’
  • ‘Controlled, sustainable migration, with net migration down to the tens of thousands.’

Restored Contract Between The Generations

  • Balanced budget (no deficit) by the middle of the next decade.
  • New Double Lock system for state pensions to be introduced in 2020.
  • ‘Dignity and protection in old age through the right long-term solution for elderly care.’
    • ‘We have already taken immediate action, putting £2 billion into the social care system and allowing councils to raise more money for care themselves from Council Tax’
    • Align means-testing for domiciliary care (in own home) with that for residential care.
    • No matter what the costs of care are, people will also retain at least £100,000 of savings and assets (including property) to pass on to the next generation.
    • Possibility to defer payment for care at home, so no one has to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.
  • Exceptional healthcare delivered by the NHS.
    • ‘we will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years’
    • ‘Last year we announced an increase in the number of students in medical training of 1,500 a year; we will continue this investment, doing something the NHS has never done before, and train the doctors our hospitals and surgeries need.’
    • ‘ we will ensure that the NHS has the buildings and technology it needs to deliver care properly and efficiently.’
    • The NHS will treat all emergencies, no matter where the person is from, but non-residents will be required to pay for treatment.
    • ‘we will increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students, to cover their use of the NHS’
    • ‘In cancer services, we will deliver the new promise to give patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days by 2020’
  • Housing: new generation of fixed-term council housing linked to a new Right to Buy.
    • ‘we will continue our £2.5 billion flood defence programme that will put in place protection for 300,000 existing homes by 2021.’
  • ‘High quality childcare for working families, supported by thousands of new nursery places a year.’

Prosperity and Security in a Digital Age

  • Britain will be the ‘world’s most dynamic digital economy, giving digital businesses access to the investment, skills and talent they need to succeed.’
    • 19 out of 20 premises will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017 and Universal Service Obligation will ensure that every home and business has access to high speed broadband by 2020.
    • ‘ By 2022 we will extend mobile coverage further to 95 per cent geographic coverage of the UK’
  • Increased protections for people’s online data.
    • ‘We will continue with our £1.9 billion investment in cyber security and build on the successful establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre’
  • Increased safety for children online.
  • Use data and digital technology to transform use of local government and public services.
  • New rules for the digital economy, ‘underpinned by domestic regulation and international partnership’.
  • ‘unprecedented investment in cyber security and stronger cyber standards for government and public services’.

Comment and Analysis on the Conservative Manifesto

4 Comments so far:

  1. Bob Davenport says:

    Er, clicking on the Forward Together image actually links to the Labour manifesto.

  2. Emily says:

    The summary is helpful, but where can I find independent analysis of whether the pledges are feasible?

    • Thanks for your comment Emily. I\’m really pleased you found the summary helpful.
      There isn\’t a full analysis of whether the Conservative Party\’s pledges are financially feasible because most of the pledges don\’t have specific figures attached. Commentators have suggested this could be to allow a Conservative government a little \’wriggle room\’ without being \’trapped\’ by manifesto restrictions. Others have suggested it was a deliberate move because Labour made such a point of costing their manifesto, so the Conservatives would prefer to focus voters\’ attention on why they don\’t agree with Labour\’s spending plans than detailing their own.
      So the short answer is that the pledges are all \’feasible\’ because in a large number of cases the Conservatives are pledging to \’look into\’ something rather than detailing how they want to pay for something. They have set out a manifesto of \’priorities\’ rather than operational details.

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