What will be in the 2017 election manifestos?

What will be in the 2017 election manifestos?

With four weeks to go before the snap election, the race is on to set out party manifestos. Publication was due next week, but Labour’s 43-page draft document has now been leaked.

The Conservatives are still fine-tuning their key pledges, and the Liberal Democrats are expected to set out their policy plans on Wednesday 17th May.

So just what have party leaders promised to deliver so far?

Labour unveiled a series of slogans this week, under their umbrella phrase ‘for the many, not the few’. With the emphasis on public services, their pledges could come straight from the 1970s. They include ‘decent homes for all’, ‘a national education service’ and ‘public ownership of rail’. Jeremy Corbyn also promises a more equal society, more jobs, and stronger rights at work.

Their draft manifesto, leaked mid-week, reveals what the Daily Mail called a ‘new suicide note’, with vows to renationalise the railways, energy and post service.

It appears to be the most left-wing manifesto since the party was led by Michael Foot in 1983.

Labour will also raise tax for those over £80,000, while guaranteeing no income tax rise for 95% of earners.

Recent cuts to capital gains tax would be reversed, and corporation tax raised, but not VAT.

On defence, pledges include working to create a nuclear-free world, and insulating the homes of disabled veterans for free.

Corbyn will accept the EU referendum vote, but will not leave the EU without a deal.

University tuition fees would be scrapped, and Labour would spend £250bn on infrastructure over the next ten years.

The House of Lords would be replaced with an elected second chamber, and £8bn would be spent on social care.

Other key pledges are expected to include scrapping hospital parking charges, more police on the streets, and a rise in the minimum wage.

As for the Tories, their manifesto is still being crafted – but is bound to be littered with Theresa May’s ‘strong and stable’ catch-phrase.

The Conservatives have ruled out a VAT rise, and May says she has ‘no plans’ to raise other taxes.

She is expected to promise a cap on energy prices, to increase the number of grammar schools, and plans to hire 10,000 more mental health nurses.

Plans to press ahead with increases to the effective Inheritance Tax threshold for married couples are expected, along with ‘a long-term solution’ to the social care crisis.

As for the Liberal Democrats, they have said that they will put 1p on income tax to pay for health spending. The money raised would be invested in social care which will get £2bn a year.

They promise a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal, and an increase in the threshold at which students pay back tuition fee loans.

The Green Party is expected to promise a ‘ratification referendum’ on the terms of the Brexit deal – with an option to remain in the EU. They would scrap tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants, and could propose lowering the voting age to 16.

The SNP is expected to set their stall out with a pledge to fight a second referendum on Scottish independence, and the removal of the bedroom tax.

As for UKIP, they propose a ban on full face coverings, a ban on the practice of Sharia law, cutting net migration to zero over five years, and a £10bn cut in foreign aid.

The gun has been fired, the contestants are off the blocks. Now, as Election day dawns, it is a race to flesh out these policies, and shout the loudest.

Zoe Brennan is a Partner and Head of Writing at Portland. She has had a distinguished career as a national newspaper journalist before bringing her skills to Portland.

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