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Election 2017: What the party manifestos are promising

The nation goes to the polls on Thursday 8 June to decide who will run the country, but do you know what’s on offer from each party?

We’ve trawled through the manifestos of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National parties, and summarised their pledges around the key areas that will affect your pocket.

Housing: buying and renting

housing

Housing has been a political hot potato for a number of years. With the number of homes needed growing, what have the parties committed to doing to making buying and renting more affordable.

Conservative_logo Conservative

  • Reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly
  • Crack down on unfair practices in leasehold, such as escalating ground rents
  • Increase security for good tenants and encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard
  • Introduce a new generation of fixed-term council housing linked to a new Right to Buy
  • Meet the 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and deliver half a million more by the end of 2022
  • Ban letting agents’ fees

Labour_logo Labour

  • Build thousands more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers
  • Guarantee Help to Buy funding until 2027
  • Give local people buying their first home ‘first dibs’ on new homes built in their area
  • Protect leaseholders from high ground rents and end the routine use of leasehold houses in new developments
  • Make new three-year tenancies the norm, with an inflation cap on rent rises
  • Ban letting agency fees for tenants
  • Reverse the decision to abolish housing benefit for 18-to-21-year-olds
  • Begin the biggest council building programme for at least 30 years
  • Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’
  • Suspend the right-to-buy policy to protect affordable homes for local people, with councils only able to resume sales if they can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like
  • Reserve 4,000 additional homes for people with a history of rough sleeping

Liberal_logo Lib Dem

  • End the Voluntary Right to Buy pilots that sell off housing association homes and the associated high value asset levy
  • Build 300,000 homes a year and ensure that half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes are built by the end of the parliament
  • Create at least 10 new garden cities in England, providing tens of thousands of high-quality, zero-carbon homes
  • Enable local authorities to levy up to 200% council tax on second homes and ‘buy to leave empty’ investments from overseas
  • Introduce a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years
  • Ban lettings fees for tenants and cap upfront deposits
  • Introduce a Help to Rent scheme to provide tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30
  • Stop developers advertising homes abroad before they have been advertised in the UK
  • Give tenants first refusal to buy the home they are renting from a landlord who decides to sell during the tenancy
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in
  • Fund age-appropriate emergency accommodation and supported housing, while ensuring that all local authorities have at least one provider of the housing

SNP_logo SNP

  • Support restoration of housing support for 18 to 21 year olds across the UK
  • Continue to build new homes and refurbish existing properties through the £25 million Rural Housing Fund
  • Deliver 100 affordable homes in island communities through a dedicated £5 million fund
  • Invest over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 new affordable homes, at least 35,000 of which will be for social rent

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Tax and pay

taxandpay

For the past few years, wage growth has been stagnant or seen only slight growth, which has seen people dip into their savings or turn to borrowing just to get by.

So with this in mind, what are the party manifestos promising when it comes to tax and income?

Conservative_logo  Conservative

  • Increase the National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings
  • Increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000 by 2020
  • Prevent VAT increases

Labour_logo Labour

  • Raise the Minimum Wage to the level of the Living Wage for all workers aged 18 or over
  • End the Public Sector Pay Cap
  • Roll out maximum pay ratios of 20:1 in the public sector and in companies bidding for public contracts
  • Ban zero hours contracts and unpaid internships
  • Increasing income tax for the highest 5% of earners

Liberal_logo  Lib Dem

  • Implement a 1p rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of Income Tax to raise £6 billion additional revenue, which would be ringfenced to be spent only on NHS and social care services
  • Set and pay a living wage in all central government departments and their agencies, and encourage other public-sector employers to do likewise
  • End the 1% cap on pay rises in the public sector, and uprate wages in line with inflation
  • Aim in the long term to raise the employee national insurance threshold to the Income Tax threshold, while protecting low earners’ ability to accrue pension and benefit entitlements

SNP_logo SNP

  • Ensure all staff working in private nurseries delivering our childcare pledge are paid the real living Wage
  • Back a transition over the next parliamentary term towards payment of the real Living wage as a new minimum legal requirement to all adults above the age of 18
  • Increase the rate paid to 16-to-18-year-olds and apprentices in line with changes to the rate of the real living wage
  • Support an increase in the additional rate income tax from 45p to 50p across the UK as a whole from 2018/19

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Savings and pensions

Savings_and_Pensions
Setting aside a little something for a rainy day, is a mantra that most consumers will recognise. But with interest rates at record lows, long suffering savers will be hoping for some good news from the next government.

Here is what the three parties have to say about pensions and savings:

Conservative_logo  Conservative

  • Maintain the Triple Lock until 2020, and then introduce a new Double Lock, meaning that pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest
  • Ensure that the state pension age reflects increases in life expectancy
  • Continue to extend auto-enrolment to small employers and make it available to the self-employed
  • Promote long-term savings and pensions products, including the Lifetime ISA

Labour_logo  Labour

  • Guarantee the state pension Triple Lock throughout the next parliament. It will rise by at least 2.5% a year or be increased to keep pace with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher
  • Protect the pensions of UK citizens living overseas in the EU or further afield
  • Commission a new review of the pension age, specifically tasked with developing a flexible retirement policy

Liberal_logo  Lib Dem

  • Maintain the Triple Lock of increasing the state pension each year by the highest of earnings growth, prices growth or 2.5% for the next parliament
  • Establish a review to consider the case for, and practical implications of, introducing a single rate of tax relief for pensions

SNP_logo SNP

  • Oppose plans to increase the State Pension Age beyond 66
  • Vote to protect the Triple Lock, ensuring that pensions continue to rise by inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent – whatever is the highest
  • Call for the UK government to take steps to extend auto-enrolment to more low paid and self-employed workers
  • Ensure that regular, simple, and affordable saving schemes are offered to provide for a secure income in retirement

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Energy bills & the future of energy

energy

With a recent spate of standard variable tariff price rises dominating consumer news, energy pricing has been a hot political topic; there’s pressure to lower costs whilst looking for greener ways to keep the lights on.

So what are the major parties promising in their manifestos to help with the country’s energy bills?

Conservative_logo  Conservative

  • Introduce a “safeguard tariff cap”
  • Independent review into UK energy pricing whilst ensuring to meet 2050 carbon reduction objective
  • Maintain development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland
  • Develop the shale industry, but with a new shale environmental regulator
  • Non-fracking drilling treated as permitted development
  • Greater percentage of tax revenues from shale gas to directly benefit the communities that host the extraction sites

Labour_logo  Labour

  • 60% zero-carbon energy by 2030
  • Ban on fracking
  • Immediate “emergency” price cap of £1,000
  • One locally accountable supplier in each region
  • National and regional grid infrastructure to be brought into public ownership
  • Will insulate four million homes

Liberal_logo  Lib Dem

  • Additional funding to bring more private investment into renewable energy
  • Generate 60% of electricity from renewables by 2030
  • Support investment in cutting-edge technologies (energy storage, smart grid plus tidal, hydrogen, and wind power)
  • Oppose fracking
  • Expand community energy schemes
  • Aim for at least 30% of households to be supplied by competitors of the ‘Big 6’ by 2022

SNP_logo SNP

  • Make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority, and support it with more than £500 million of public funding
  • Financial health check-ups to help pensioners and those on low incomes to make the most of their money and to secure the best energy tariffs
  • Push government to put in place an energy price cap on standard variable tariffs
  • Hold the UK government to account over its support for the “Hinkley white elephant”
  • Support investment in renewables and energy storage systems
  • Stop cuts to the winter fuel allowance

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Motoring and car insurance

motoring

Environmental issues about vehicle emissions are at the top of the agenda when it comes to most parties’ motoring policies.

But where do the parties stand on other driving issues such as road repairs, vehicle technology and insurance?

Conservative_logo  Conservative

  • Britain to lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use
  • Invest £600m to enable almost every car and van to be zero-emissions by 2020
  • Continue to develop the strategic road network, providing extra lanes on motorways and improving key and underdeveloped routes and pinch points
  • Reduce insurance costs for ordinary motorists by cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims
  • Take steps to tackle rogue private parking operators

Labour_logo  Labour

  • Position the UK at the forefront of the development, manufacture and use of ultra low emission vehicles
  • Continue to upgrade highways and improve roadworks at known bottlenecks including the A1 North, the Severn Bridge and the A30
  • Work with the Welsh Government to scrap the tolls on the Severn Bridge
  • Reintroduce road-safety targets and strive for a transport network with zero deaths

Liberal_logo  Lib Dem

  • Support the manufacture of low-emission and electric vehicles
  • Introduce a diesel scrappage scheme and a ban on the sale of diesel cars and small vans in the UK by 2025
  • Extend ultra-low-emission zones to 10 more towns and cities
  • Reform vehicle taxation to encourage sales of electric and low-emission vehicles and develop electric vehicle infrastructure including universal charging points
  • Encourage the swift take-up of electric and driverless vehicles

SNP_logo SNP

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Mobile network coverage

mobile phone coverage

Despite networks’ efforts to improve speed and coverage across the UK, there are still areas of the country where the service remains disappointingly patchy.

And with mobile coverage becoming increasingly important to businesses, it’s not just consumers that lose out from sub-par connections. It’s the wider economy too.

So what are the runners and riders in the 2017 election promising to improve coverage and ensure business stay competitive? Read on, as we précis the key parts of their manifesto pledges.

Conservative_logo  Conservative

  • Extend mobile coverage to 95% geographic coverage of the UK by 2022
  • Ensure full and uninterrupted mobile phone signal across all major roads and main-line trains, along with guaranteed Wi-Fi on all main-line trains by 2022
  • Roll out a new 5G network by 2027

Labour_logo  Labour

  • Improve 4G mobile internet coverage and invest heavily in 5G to uninterrupted coverage to “all urban areas, as well as major roads and railways”
  • Expand free public Wi-Fi provision in city centres and on public transport

Liberal_logo  Lib Dem

  • Work with Ofcom to ensure mobile phone companies provide fast and reliable coverage in rural areas

SNP_logo SNP

  • Work with service providers and UK government to improve mobile connectivity across Scotland

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Broadband

broadband

All parties have acknowledged the need for faster speeds to keep up with the rest of the world, plus increased accessibility for rural areas. Every party has also added in provisions for protecting us online.

Here’s what each manifesto is promising in terms of broadband infrastructure.

Conservative_logo  Conservative

  • Make broadband switching easier and push for more transparent pricing
  • Implement the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO), which ensures everyone in Britain has a legal right to get minimum speeds of 10Mbps by 2020
  • Ensure 19 out of 20 premises in Britain will have access to superfast broadband by 2017
  • Introduce full-fibre connection vouchers for companies by 2018
  • Connect 10 million premises to full-fibre by 2022 and pave the way for national coverage over the next decade
  • Increase cyber security and online protections for consumers

Labour_logo  Labour

  • Deliver universal superfast broadband (30Mbps) by 2022
  • Instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to draft a plan to roll out ‘ultrafast’ (300Mbps) broadband across the UK within the next decade
  • Require tech companies to further protect consumers and give them greater control over data

Liberal_logo  Lib Dem

  • Ensure every property in the UK is provided with a superfast (30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload) broadband connection by 2022
  • Invest £2 billion in ‘innovative solutions’ to ensure those living and working in rural areas can get high-speed broadband access
  • Ensure broadband connections with ‘hyperfast’ (2Gbps) speeds will be available across the UK by 2020 with SMEs being prioritised to get fibre
  • Introduce a digital bill of rights to further ensure net neutrality and give people more power over the information shared about them online
  • Roll back state surveillance powers in terms of internet connection records

SNP_logo SNP

  • Ensure 100% of premises across Scotland have access to superfast broadband by 2021
  • Raise the USO (Universal Service Obligation) speed to cover up to 30 Mbps

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