NEWS
23/11/2019 18:32 GMT | Updated 24/11/2019 12:12 GMT

The Conservative Election Manifesto – Here's What To Expect

Because there's more to politics than just Brexit.

Labour has promised free broadband for all, the Lib Dems a £50bn “Remain bonus” on public services including education and the Brexit Party finally managed to talk about something other than Brexit.

But what about the Tories?

Boris Johnson is promising to bring back his Brexit deal to parliament before Christmas if the Tories are returned to power in the General Election on December 12.

The prime minister will unveil the party’s election manifesto with pledge to open a “new chapter” in Britain’s history – ensuring the country is out of the EU by the end of January.

It will include a “triple tax lock” – guaranteeing the rates of income tax, national insurance and VAT will not rise under a re-elected Conservative government.

The Tories are also promising a £1 billion boost for after-school and holiday childcare with the aim of providing on-site childcare for 250,000 more primary school children over the summer.

Brexit

The Tories have been campaigning hard on their “Get Brexit Done” message – with the PM repeatedly telling voters he has an “oven ready” deal that can get the UK out of the EU by January 31.

Johnson described his decision to re-introduce the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) – ratifying his Brexit deal with Brussels – in December as an “early Christmas present” for voters fed up with the wrangling over Britain’s departure from the EU.

“As families sit down to carve up their turkeys this Christmas, I want them to enjoy their festive-season free from the seemingly unending Brexit box-set drama,” he said in a statement ahead of the launch event in the West Midlands.

“The Conservative manifesto, which I’m proud to launch today, will get Brexit done and allow us to move on and unleash the potential of the whole country.”

Although the bill cannot complete its passage through parliament before Christmas, the move will be seen as a clear sign of Johnson’s determination to get it through in time for Britain to leave the EU by the January 31 deadline.

Following the election, the new House of Commons is due to sit for the first time on Tuesday December 17.

The first two days are likely to be taken up with the swearing in of the new MPs, potentially with the State Opening and the Queen’s Speech on the Thursday.

That could mean MPs sitting the following Monday – the start of Christmas week – to allow the WAB to be formally introduced, although it is not clear whether there could be any further progress before the holiday.

MPs in the last parliament voted to back the bill at second reading, but the prime minister withdrew it after they refused to support a timetable motion to fast-track it through the Commons in just three days.

Johnson said: “It’s time to turn the page from the dither, delay and division of recent years, and start a new chapter in the incredible history of this country, the greatest place on Earth.

“We have achieved amazing things together in the past, and I know we will achieve even more in the future – if only we choose the right path at this critical election.”

NHS

The Conservatives have vowed to increase the NHS budget by £33.9 billion by 2023-24, and have pledged to upgrade 20 hospitals and rebuild 40 over the next decade.

PA Wire/PA Images
Prime minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Bassetlaw District General Hospital in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, while on the campaign trail for the general election.

They have also said 50m more appointments in GP surgeries will be created every year if they win a majority, and the party wants to train 500 more GPs each year from 2021-22 – bringing the total in training to 4,000.

There is also a commitment to end “unfair” NHS car parking charges for protected groups – including staff working night shifts, as well as disabled and terminally ill patients and their families.

Climate change

On climate change, the manifesto simply sticks to the existing commitment to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050 – a target seen as too weak by many environmental groups.

There will, however, be a ban on the export of plastic waste outside the OECD group of developed nations in an attempt to ensure less plastic is dumped in the oceans.

Education

Johnson has announced a three-year plan to increase state-school spending in England by £7.1bn by 2022/23.

The Tories have pledged that per pupil funding for secondary schools will be set at a minimum of £5,000 next year, and each primary school pupil will receive £4,000 by 2021-22.

Taxes

The PM appeared to inadvertently spill the beans on Wednesday on his manifesto commitment to raise the threshold at which workers start paying National Insurance contributions (NICs) from £8,628 a year to £9,500 – eventually rising to £12,500.

With older people traditionally more likely to go out and vote, the manifesto commits to maintain the pensions “triple lock”, winter fuel payments and the older persons free bus pass.

Johnson has also shelved plans for a planned cut to corporation tax – claiming he would put £6 billion into public services instead.

Social care

The Conservatives have said they will ensure that no-one has to sell their home to pay for the cost of their care in later life.

Their manifesto will include a three-point plan for adult social care – including £5 billion in additional short-term funding – but the party will seek to work with other parties to find consensus on a longer term solution.

Housing 

A million more homes will be delivered under a Tory majority government, the party has said, and it has promised to do more to help first-time buyers – particularly those buying locally.

DAN KITWOOD via Getty Images
Johnson lays a brick during a Conservative Party general election campaign visit to Barratt Homes's 'Willow Grove' residential housing development in Bedford, east England.

Foreign buyers will have to pay an additional 3% in stamp duty, no fault evictions will be outlawed, and long-term, fixed-rate mortgages requiring only 5% deposits will be made available. In addition, local, first-time buyers will be eligible for a 30% discount.

Crime

The Tories have pledged to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers with a national recruitment campaign to get more officers on the streets.

Johnson also wants to extend stop and search powers, make life mean life for child murderers, and spend £2.5bn on improving prisons.