Conservative Party Manifesto 2019 – Get Brexit Done. Unleash Britain’s Potential

November 25, 2019 Charles Cummins

The Conservative Party published their 2019 Election Manifesto on Sunday, alongside a document providing costings of their manifesto policies, mirroring similar documents published by the Lib Dems and Labour.

The manifesto includes pledges to raise the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 in 2020, with an ambition to raise it further to £12,500, rules out any increases in the headline rate of income tax, National Insurance and VAT for five years, spend £6.3bn on environmental upgrades to people’s homes, spend £2bn over four years filling in potholes on the UK’s roads, create a new National Skills Fund of £600m a year for five years, build Northern Powerhouse Rail between Leeds and Manchester and invest £28.8bn in strategic and local roads.

A full summary can be found below:


Get Brexit Done

  • Start putting the Government’s Brexit deal through Parliament before Christmas and leave the EU in January 2020.
  • Keep the UK out of the single market, out of any form of customs union, and end the role of the European Court of Justice.
  • Negotiate a trade agreement with the EU in 2020 and prevent the extension of the implementation period beyond December 2020.

We Will Focus on Your Priorities

Health and Social Care

  • Enshrine in law within the first three months, a fully-funded, long-term NHS plan.
  • Provide additional funding of £34bn per year by the end of the Parliament for the NHS, and continue building 40 new hospitals and investing in hospital upgrades.
  • Deliver 50,000 more nurses (with students receiving a £5,000-£8,000 per year annual maintenance grant), 6,000 more doctors in general practice and 6,000 more primary care professionals.
  • Address the ‘taper problem’ in doctors’ pensions which causes many to turn down extra shifts.
  • Legislate so those with mental health conditions have greater control over their treatment, and how those with learning difficulties and autism are treated.
  • Use frontline technology to improve patients’ experience and hold an annual health technology summit.
  • Ensure the NHS ‘will not be on the table’ when negotiating trade deals.
  • End ‘unfair’ hospital car parking charges for those in greatest need.
  • Build cross-party consensus on a solution for social care and ensure nobody needing care is forced to sell their home to pay for it.
  • Provide £1bn of funding in ever year of the new Parliament for social care, expand the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers and double researching funding into dementia.

Education and Children

  • Implement the Prime Minister’s announcement for an extra £14bn of funding for schools (£5,000 for each secondary school pupil and at least £4,000 for each primary school pupil per year).
  • Raise teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000.
  • Expand ‘alternative provision’ schools for those who have been excluded and deliver more school places for children with complex Special Educational Needs.
  • Build more free schools.
  • Offer an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools and invest in primary school PE teaching.
  • Establish a new £1 billion fund to help create more high quality, affordable childcare.

Taxes, National Insurance, Bills and Benefits

  • Implement the announced increase in the National Living Wage to two thirds of average earnings, currently forecast at £10.50 an hour.
  • Promise not to raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT.
  • Raise the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 in 2020, with an ambition of raising it to £12,500 in the future.
  • Keep the existing energy cap and introduce new measures to lower bills, and extend the water rebate for those in the South West.
  • Retain the pensions triple lock, the winter fuel payment, the older person’s bus pass and other pensioner benefits.
  • Recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s, which ‘should be funded by the BBC.’
  • Continue the roll-out of Universal Credit, reduce the number of reassessments a disabled person must go through, and maintain the Government’s commitment to free school meals.
  • Publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020, and reduce the disability employment gap.

Crime

  • Continue with the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers.
  • Create a new national cyber crime force and empower the police to safely use new technologies like biometrics and artificial intelligence, and create a world-class National Crime Laboratory.
  • Put the Police Covenant into law through the Police Protection Bill and strengthen the National Crime Agency.
  • Make it easier for officers to stop and search those convicted of knife crime, ensuring anyone using a knife as a weapon goes to prison.
  • Introduce tougher sentencing for the worst offenders and end automatic halfway release from prison for serious crimes, including life-imprisonment without parole for child murderers.
  • Strengthen the accountability of elected Police and Crime Commissioners and expand their role.
  • Expand electronic tagging, toughen community sentences, add 10,000 more prison places, conduct a root-and-branch review of the parole system and establish a Royal Commission on the criminal justice process.
  • Make intentional trespass a criminal offence to tackle unauthorised traveller camps.
  • Pass a Victims’ Law that guarantees victims’ rights and the level of support they can expect.

Immigration

  • Introduce a firmer and fairer Australian-style points-based immigration system.
  • Create bespoke, fast-track visa schemes for new migrants who fill shortages in public services, including the NHS Visa, a visa for the best science and technology graduates, the student visa, and a start-up visa to attract entrepreneurs to the UK.
  • Ensure people coming into the country from the EU will only be able to access unemployment, housing, and child benefit after five years, in the way non-EEA migrants currently do.
  • Clamp Down on health tourism and increase the NHS surcharge paid by those from overseas.

We Will Unleash Britain’s Potential

Infrastructure investment

  • Introduce a new towns fund to regenerate towns, and invest £250m in civic infrastructure.
  • Establish a £150m Community Ownership Fund to encourage local takeovers of civic organisations or community assets that are under threat.
  • Invest £100 billion in additional infrastructure spending including £28.8bn on roads and £1bn in completing a fast-charging network.
  • Build Northern Powerhouse Rail, invest in the Midlands Rail Hub, invest in train lines to the South West and East Anglia, extend contactless pay-as-you go ticketing to almost 200 more stations in the South East, restore many of the Beeching lines, invest in superbus networks, give city regions the funding to upgrade their bus, tram and train services, and launch the biggest ever pot-hole filling programme.
  • Consider the findings of the Oakervee review into the costs and timings of HS2.
  • Create a £350m Cycling Infrastructure Fund.
  • Bring full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025.
  • Expect Heathrow to demonstrate it can meet its air quality and noise obligations and that the third runway can be financed and built with a realistic business case.

Housing

  • Encourage a new market in long-term fixed rate mortgages which slash the cost of deposit, offer more homes to local families and maintain the commitment to Right to Buy.
  • Implement the ban on the sale of new leasehold homes, restrict ground rents to a peppercorn, and provide necessary mechanisms of redress for tenants.
  • Bring in a Better Deal for Renters including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions.
  • Bring forward a Social Housing White Paper to empower tenants and support the continued supply of social homes
  • Renew the Affordable Homes Programme and end rough sleeping.
  • Introduce a stamp duty surcharge on non-UK resident buyers.
  • Continue with the target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, including by making the planning system simpler, supporting modern methods of construction and the development of environmentally friendly homes, whilst protecting and enhancing the Green Belt.

Business

  • Reduce business rates through a fundamental review of the system.
  • Increase the Employment Allowance for small businesses.
  • Clamp down on late payment and strengthen the powers of the Small Business Commissioner.
  • Expand start-up loans and ensure regulation on SMES is sensible and proportionate.
  • Continue to invest in the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, review and reform Entrepreneur’s Relief and explore how to better support the self-employed.
  • Create a new £3bn National Skills Fund to provide matching funding for individuals and SMEs for high-quality education and training.

The Workplace

  • Build on existing employment law with measures that protect those in low-paid work and the gig economy by creating a single enforcement body, cracking down on any employer abusing employment law, and ensuring workers have the right to request a more predictable contract.
  • Encourage flexible working, legislate to allow parents to take extended leave for neonatal care and extend the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers.

Innovation

  • Commit to the fastest ever increase in domestic public R&D spending, including in basic science research to meet the UK’s target of 2.4 per cent of GDP being spent on R&D across the economy.
  • Increase the tax credit rate to 13 per cent and review the definition of R&D.
  • Use the £1 billion Ayrton Fund to develop affordable and accessible clean energy.
  • Reform the science funding system to cut the time wasted by scientists filling in forms, and unlock long-term capital in pension funds to invest in and commercialise scientific discoveries.
  • Continue to collaborate internationally and with the EU on scientific research, including Horizon.

The Tax System

  • Introduce fiscal rules so that public sector net investment will not average more than 3 per cent of GDP, and spending plans will be reassessed if debt interest reaches 6 per cent of revenue.
  • Continue to tackle tax avoidance and tax evasion including through an Anti-Tax Evasion unit in HMRC, a doubling of the maximum prison term to 14 years, and a new package of anti-evasion measures.
  • Implement the Digital Services Tax.
  • Strengthen the UK’s corporate governance regime and reform insolvency rules and the audit regime so customers and suppliers are better protected when firms go into administration.
  • Reintroduce legislation that ‘protects pension pots from being plundered by reckless bosses’.

Rural Communities and the Environment

  • Guarantee the current annual Common Agricultural Policy budget to farmers in every year of the next Parliament and increase the annual quota for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme from 2,500 to 10,000.
  • Maintain funding for fisheries across the UK’s nations throughout the Parliament and introduce a legal commitment to fish sustainably.
  • Introduce an Environment Bill to guarantee the Government will protect and restore the natural Environment, and bring forward a £640m Nature for Climate Fund.
  • Create new National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, plant an additional 75,000 acres of trees a year by the end of the Parliament and restore peatland.
  • Introduce a new levy to increase the proportion of recyclable plastics in packaging, ban the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries, and introduce a deposit return scheme to incentivise people to recycle plastic and glass.
  • Increase penalties for fly-tipping and make those on community sentences clean up their parks and streets.

Devolution, the Union and Democracy

  • Publish an English Devolution White Paper in 2020.
  • Devolve responsibility for corporation tax to Northern Ireland and consider the same for short-haul Air Passenger Duty.
  • Block a second independence referendum in Scotland and review alcohol duty to ensure the tax system is supporting British drink producers.
  • Repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Bill, and ensure the UK has updated and equal Parliamentary boundaries
  • End the 15-year limit on expat voting rights.
  • Establish a Constitution, Democracy & Rights Commission in the first year of government, to come up with proposals to restore trust in the UK’s institutions and in how democracy operates.

We Will Strengthen Britain in the World

Support for Armed Forces

  • Introduce new legislation to override ‘vexatious’ legal claims that undermine the UK’s Armed Forces.
  • Further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law.
  • Reduce National Insurance Contributions for employers if they employ ex-Service personnel.
  • Provide ‘wraparound’ childcare for Armed Forces personnel.
  • Guarantee a job interview to veterans for any public sector jobs and introduce a veteran’s railcard.

National Security

  • Continue to exceed NATO’s minimum spend of 2% of GDP on Defence, and to increase the Defence budget by 0.5% above inflation every year.
  • Modernise the equipment used by Armed Forces and intelligent agencies.
  • Continue the Trident programme.
  • Increase investment into cyber-security and establish the UK’s first Space Command.
  • Support the UK’s Defence industry by investing in the Type 31 frigates and new generation armoured vehicles, both of which will be built in the UK.
  • Bolster the UK’s alliances and institutions post-Brexit, such as the UN, NATO, the Commonwealth, Five Eyes, the G20, the G7 and the WTO. 

Promoting UK Values Abroad

  • Introduce a Magnitsky-style sanctions regime post-Brexit.
  • Support the right for every girl to have a minimum of 12 years in education.
  • Promote international media freedom.
  • Eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery.

Climate Change

  • Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Establish a £500m Blue Planet Fund to protect oceans from plastic pollution, warming sea temperatures and over-fishing.
  • Extend the Blue Belt marine conservation programme.
  • Include new flood defences, R&D investment into green technologies and EV infrastructure in a Conservative Government’s first budget.
  • Dedicate £4bn to build new flood defences.
  • Support the transition to a sustainable energy system by:
    • Achieving 40GW of energy generated by offshore wind by 2030.
    • Investing £800m to deploy the first fully deployed carbon capture storage cluster by the mid-2020s.
    • Investing £500m to help energy-intensive industries move to low-carbon techniques.
    • Support hydrogen, nuclear and renewables in the UK energy mix.
  • Rescind support for fracking, until science proves it is safe to do so.
  • Invest £9.2bn in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
  • Consult on the earliest date by which new sales of petrol and diesel cars can be phased out.

Trade

  • Introduce trade deals independent from the EU and tailored for the strength and benefit of the UK.
  • Aim to have 80% of UK trade tied into free trade agreements within the next three years.
  • Walk away from trade negotiations if it is in the UK’s national interest to do so.
  • Create up to ten freeports around the UK to the benefit of deprived areas.