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Manifesto Breakdown: The Conservative Party

We’ve broken down the Conservative party’s manifesto in terms of how positive we think they would be for young people.

Emily Cole

Naked Politics Blogger

Politics is more confusing than ever and it can be pretty hard to know what each political party is offering- especially as a young person. We know you don’t have time in between working or studying for exams, to be reading through shit tonnes of pages. 

But as a young person, your opinion matters- massively. So to give you a hand, here’s Naked Politics’ election breakdown. We’ve broken down the Conservative Party’s manifesto in terms of how positive we think they would be for young people.  

Brexit

  • The Conservative Party’s manifesto is titled ‘Get Brexit Done. Unleash Britain’s Potential.’ Catchy. In terms of actual Brexity stuff in it, Boris Johnson has committed to bringing his deal back to parliament before Christmas if they get a majority in order to leave the EU in January and enter the transition period. 
  • They’ve promised not to extend the transition period beyond December 2020, saying they will negotiate a free trade deal with the EU new year. 

Tax and spending

  • Modest spending pledges are the theme of this manifesto, with a £1 billion fund for more after-school and holiday clubs for children. 
  • Free hospital parking will be introduced for certain users – the disabled, terminally ill patients, those with frequent outpatient appointments, and staff on night shifts. 
  • There’s little mention of social care solutions after the disaster of the ‘dementia tax’ in 2017 manifesto. This time around the Tories have just committed to a guarantee that no one has to sell their home to pay for care. They’ve also laid out hope to work with other parties to find solutions to the problem of social care which might sound all nice, consensus-y and bipartisan but really just means the Tories have no idea what to do. 
  •  The Tories have pledged not to raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT and have promised to raise the threshold at which people pay national insurance from £8,632 to £9,500, with the aim of increasing it to £12,500. Taxes are the best way to raise government funds and were there to become some sort of unforeseen hole in spending, it’s ill-judged for the Tories to rule out increasing taxes. 
  • They’re also promising new rail links between Leeds and Manchester as well as other towns and cities in the midlands and north, but we all know how well Tories railway plans go. It’s not exactly the Northern Powerhouse the coalition promised us, but it might make some improvements. 
  • A proposal to cut corporation tax from 19% to 17% wasn’t included

Health

  • Linked closely to this is the issue of the NHS. The Conservatives are pledging to recruit 50,000 extra nurses and to restore annual training bursaries of at least £5,000 which they had scrapped in 2016. 
  • Unfortunately, the 50,000 number is deceptive because 18,500 of that is supposed to come from nurses they hope to retain and persuade to stay on. It’s not as if then 30,000 new nurses wouldn’t be a perfectly sound policy to introduce, but it has become part of a pattern of slightly misleading figures that the Tories are producing.

Education

  • increasing school funding by £14 billion, with those areas historically underfunded receiving the greatest increase
  • There are no commitments on university tuition fees 
The Tories have still refused to budge on the issue of University fees, which have been a great burden on many students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds.

Policing and Crime

  • One of their big focuses has been the idea of 20,000 more police officers, when actually under austerity we lost just over 20,000 police. 
  • It’s interesting that the Conservatives are framing these as new policies when it leaves them so open to ridicule. Painful clips of Matt Hancock or Nicky Morgan on GMB trying to defend the police and nurse plans exemplify this. Surely it would make more sense to say “these policies show that austerity was an economic necessity and now they’ve paid off, we can undo some of the cuts”? 
  • £2.5 billion will be spent on creating modern, efficient prisons to better reform criminals 

Democracy

  • Other policies include the introduction of showing voter ID at polling stations, despite little evidence that voter fraud is a thing
  • Shocker- they’re not supporting voting at 16

Climate Change

  • A pledge to plant 30 million trees to help Britain’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2050. 
The Climate Debate that PM Boris Johnson was notably absent from. Is the Tories’ pledge enough to mitigate the crisis we’re in?

If you’d like to find out more about who Naked Politics is officially recommending young people vote for, check out our main Manifesto Breakdown.

Check out our more detailed breakdowns on our homepage!

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