UK Party Manifestos Eye-Up the Money Tree
The speeches by party leaders in front of stage backdrops of varying colours having now ended, their manifestos are all published online. Both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have vowed to turn on the spending taps 1997 style, while Labour are going for more of a Niagara Falls approach. Here are the key points from their manifestos:
The Conservatives (the party of government….almost…)
Boris Johnson, having opted for not dying in a ditch, has said that the new Brexit deadline is somewhere in January 2020. His party want to increase the number of nurses by 50,000, with an emphasis on elderly-care that promises pensions to rise by at least 2.5% a year. Think of it as a farewell gift to the voting base that’s treated them so well.
On climate, the Tories say net-zero emissions by 2050 is their target, which means it will be someone else’s problem at least five more times by the time they’re out of office. The Prime Minister also plans to throw some money at community housing (like his both his Tory predecessors did), child-care, universal credit, and a new rail-line between Leeds and Manchester, because travelling via Huddersfield is a ghastly bore.
The Labour Party
Labour wants to negotiate a new deal (best of three?) with the European Union that will be put to the general public – in which a majority of their MPs will campaign against said deal and support remaining instead (yes that’s really their policy).
Corbyn has pledged to raise the health budget by 4.3% each year and introduce a new ‘National Care Service’. If elected, the minimum wage will rise to a ten-pounds per hour rate, and universal credit will be scrapped. Corbyn also wants to provide free bus travel to the under-twenty-fives and abolish interest on student-loans – this presumably for the same reason he keeps posing with rapper Stormzy on social media. Which begs the question, whether it’s weirder to see Boris pretend to care about the elderly, or Corbyn showing off how youthful sandals and socks can really be.
Most radical of all are Labour’s plans to nationalise key industry, including rail, postal service, energy and water and sewage companies after forming a Council of People’s Commissars to replace the old order.
The Liberal Democrats
The LibDems want to ‘stop Brexit.’ – The full-stop is very much part of their policy. On the domestic side of things, they want to implement free child-care, recruit 20,000 more teachers, legalise marijuana for recreational use, and build 300,000 new homes per year. This should make sure that once Brexit is stopped, you’ll have all the time to kick the kids out for some old fashioned blazing in government housing.
The Lib-Dems also plan to tax frequent-flyers which is intended to make them fly less frequently. Jo Swinson has gone full-Merkel and said that under the Liberal Democrats the UK will take in 10,000 more refugees per year, depending on how many local authorities have the housing capacity.
The Brexit Party
Nigel Farage has resolutely refused to publish a manifesto for his Brexit party, instead publishing a ‘contract with the people’. But don’t worry, not only is the contract not binding whatsoever, if the Brexit Party ever came to power as the Conservative’s token looneys in a coalition, it would likely copy the Tory manifesto with just a dash more Xenophobia.
After pledging to only stand in Labour seats and not at all himself, Farage has continued his talk of a ‘clean break’ Brexit. Appearing like a somewhat anaemic new UKIP, the party has pledged to cut immigration, scrap the television license fee, reduce value-added-tax on fuel, and abolish inheritance tax. They also want to stop the UK from exporting its waste, a very token green policy. Although it could be that Arron Banks (Farage’s sugar-dad) is thinking of going into UK waste management. Farage’s party have also made it their policy to reform the Supreme Court to stop it being naughty with Brexit.
The Green Party
Last and probably least are the Greens, led with the combined brains of Johnathan Bartley and Siân Berry. In the first of many astronomical figures, their headline policy is to spend £100 billion a year on reducing emissions. They seek to plant 700 million trees by 2030 and build 100,000 new homes The Greens also want to see constitutional change, campaigning to reform the first past the post electoral system and introduce a new one based on proportional representation. This would mean the Greens would scrap the 2011 Alternative Vote referendum in which the public rejected such a proposal by 67%, outcompeting the Lib-Dems doubly on the number of public votes they want to reverse.