General Election 2017: what are the proposed policies?
The decision to call a snap General Election on 8th June caught many of us by surprise. With just one day to go until polling takes place, we have outlined the key economic and tax policies of the main national political parties as set out in their manifestos.
The Conservative Party have committed to reducing taxes. This includes reaffirming their 2015 commitment to increase the personal allowance to £12,500, and moving the 40p personal tax rate up to £50,000, both by 2020.
- Aim to balance the budget by 2025 (10 years later than originally promised by George Osborne)
- Raise the National Living Wage for over 25s ‘in line with median incomes’ to 2022
- No increase to Value Added Tax (VAT) (National Insurance is not mentioned)
- Reduce corporation tax to 17%, the lowest rate within the G20 major trading nations
- Protection for British companies against foreign buyers who do not have ‘their best interests at heart’
- A more pro-active approach to fighting tax avoidance with tougher regulations for tax advisory firms
The Labour Party’s main economic focus is to bring an end to austerity and invest heavily in public services, funded primarily through increased taxation on businesses and the highest earners.
- Introduction of a £250bn stimulus package for the British economy
- Abolish tuition fees for university students in England
- No increases in either VAT or personal National Insurance, and no rise in income tax for those earning less than £80,000
- Reintroduction of a 50p tax rate and raise income tax for those who earn above £80,000 (but for 95% of workers, this means no tax increase at all)
- Raise corporation tax to 26% by 2020/21 (a near return to the 2010 rates)
- Mandate a new national investment bank to fill existing gaps in lending by private banks and provide long-term finance to R&D-intensive investments
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS POLICIES
The Liberal Democrats have committed to eliminating the deficit in day-to-day spending by 2020. The party has revived is 1997 promise to add 1p on income tax to boost spending on key public services include the NHS and social care.
- Reverse some planned cuts to corporation tax, capital gains tax and marriage allowance
- Borrow £100bn to invest in infrastructure (including houses, schools and transport)
- Maintain the ‘triple lock’ and free bus passes for pensioners
- New ‘start-up allowance’ will give new firms £100 a week
UKIP want to complete the Brexit process fully by 2019, without paying the so-called ‘divorce bill’ to the EU. They also aim to cut net migration levels to zero within five years, and slash the foreign aid budget and spend those funds domestically.
- Raise income tax threshold to £13,500, and raise the 40% threshold to £55,000
- Abolish the TV license, and cut VAT on household bills such as energy
- Raise inheritance tax thresholds
- Reverse cuts to the care budgets, and invest £2bn annually on social care
GREEN PARTY POLICIES
The Green Party have proposed a ‘Universal Basic Income’, regardless of employment status. Other business policies include phasing in a four-day working week and abolishing zero-hour contracts.
- Increase minimum wage to £10 by 2020
- Introduction of a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on financial transactions
- Re-nationalisation of railways, buses, utilities and the Royal Mail
- Scrap university tuition fees as well as student debt, and reinstate full student grants