Comparison of major manifestos

Here’s a summary of the key points from the manifestos released by the major parties ahead of the UK election on July 4, 2024:

Economy, Tax, and Spending

  • Labour: Proposes £7.4bn in tax increases, including VAT on private school fees, tightening non-dom taxation, and expanding the windfall tax on oil and gas companies. This funds £4.8bn in new spending on education, healthcare, and green investment.
  • Conservatives: Plan to cut £17bn in taxes, mainly by reducing national insurance rates, with £12bn in unspecified welfare cuts to offset this. They have larger commitments in both spending and raising funds.
  • Liberal Democrats: Aim to raise £27bn through taxes on capital gains and a windfall tax on fossil fuels, with significant spending on the NHS and social care. They plan to build 150,000 new social homes annually, funded by borrowing.
  • Greens: Advocate a wealth tax to support their fiscal plans, focusing on sustainability and social equity.
  • Plaid Cymru: Emphasizes securing a fairer distribution of central government funds for Wales.

Health

  • Labour: Plans to clear NHS backlogs with 40,000 new appointments weekly, introduce more NHS technology, and implement a dentistry rescue plan.
  • Conservatives: Propose a dental plan tied to new GP surgeries and cutting health service managers, aiming to recruit 92,000 nurses and 28,000 doctors by 2029.
  • Liberal Democrats: Guarantee timely GP appointments, provide free adult social care, and increase NHS funding.
  • Greens: Pledge an additional £8bn annually for the NHS and infrastructure.
  • Plaid Cymru: Focuses on increasing GP numbers by restoring health funding to 8.7% of the devolved budget.

Environment

  • Conservatives: Continue issuing North Sea oil and gas extraction licenses and maintain the windfall tax with investment incentives for fossil fuel companies, alongside investments in green technologies.
  • Labour: Introduce Great British Energy and the National Wealth Fund to drive green investment, with plans to decarbonize the electricity grid by 2030.
  • Liberal Democrats: Propose an emergency home insulation and heat pump installation program.
  • Greens: Intend to cancel new oilfield licenses and expand renewable energy.
  • Plaid Cymru: Push for significant renewable energy expansion across Wales.

Education

  • Conservatives: Promise a mobile phone ban in schools, mandatory maths study until 18, and maintain real-term school spending.
  • Labour: Plan to recruit 6,500 new teachers, fund free breakfast clubs in primary schools, and open 3,000 extra nurseries.
  • Liberal Democrats: Offer a lifelong skills grant of £5,000 for adults.
  • Greens: Seek to abolish Ofsted, end high-stakes testing, and scrap university tuition fees.
  • Plaid Cymru: Advocate for more teachers and universal free school meals.

Immigration

  • Conservatives: Plan to immediately start deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, halve net migration, and implement a cap.
  • Labour: Aim to cut net migration, scrap the Rwanda scheme, and create a new border security command, seeking international returns agreements.
  • Liberal Democrats: Promote safe and legal asylum routes and shift visa responsibilities from the Home Office.
  • Plaid Cymru: Support more safe asylum routes.
  • Greens: Would allow asylum seekers to work and drop restrictions on migrant workers’ dependants.

Housing

  • Conservatives: Aim to build 1.6m new homes without restoring mandatory housing targets.
  • Labour: Plan to restore local housebuilding targets and reform the planning system.
  • Liberal Democrats: Commit to building 150,000 new social rent homes annually.
  • Greens: Advocate for rent controls, mass building programs, and councils requisitioning empty properties.
  • Plaid Cymru: Ensure the right to adequate housing.

Crime and Policing

  • Conservatives: Pledge to recruit 8,000 new police officers and use facial recognition technology.
  • Labour: Focus on neighborhood policing and tackling low-level crimes.
  • Liberal Democrats: Emphasize rehabilitation and community supervision.
  • Greens: Propose a national commission to reform drug laws.
  • Plaid Cymru: Call for the full devolution of policing powers to Wales.
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