Boris Johnson today unveils a cast-iron pledge not to raise taxes for the lifetime of the next Parliament if he is returned to Downing Street after the Election.
The Tory manifesto, which is being launched by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, will include a ‘triple tax lock’ promise that a Conservative Government will not increase the rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT – in stark contrast to the swingeing tax rises threatened last week by Jeremy Corbyn.
The commitment, to operate in tandem with the separate ‘triple lock’ which protects the income of pensioners, follows Mr Johnson’s promise to raise the threshold for National Insurance payments in a move that would ultimately save £500 a year for every worker.
Residents at a retirement home in Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge constituency ask for his autograph yesterday – as he prepared to launch the Conservative manifesto vowing no tax rises
The tax pledge is one of a string of manifesto policies which Mr Johnson hopes will secure a Commons majority sufficient to pass his Brexit deal through Parliament by Christmas and allow No 10 to finally switch its focus to pressing domestic issues such as the NHS.
The Prime Minister said last night that the manifesto would ‘get Brexit done and allow us to move on and unleash the potential of the whole country’.
He added: ‘As families sit down to carve up their turkeys this Christmas, I want them to enjoy their festive season free from the seemingly unending Brexit boxset drama.
Boris Johnson is pictured meeting residents in the retirement home. The manifesto will also promise to keep in place the cap on energy prices and to help 2.2 million low-income families by spending £6.3 billion on energy-efficiency measures
‘That’s why my early Christmas present to the nation will be to bring the Brexit Bill back before the festive break, and get Parliament working for the people.’
Hailing the environmental policies in his manifesto, he said: ‘We now know the country can be carbon-natural by 2050 and Corbyn-neutral by 2020.’
The Labour manifesto set out plans to raise income tax for people earning £80,000 or more, introduce a new ‘super-rich rate’ for people earning over £125,000 and to increase inheritance, business and capital gains taxes as part of an astonishing spending and renationalisation splurge that will cost hundreds of billions of pounds.
The Prime Minister is pictured out campaigning with his father Stanley. The Conservatives have already promised to inject an extra £33.9 billion a year into the NHS by 2023-24 and to end unfair hospital car parking charges for NHS staff on night shifts, and disabled and terminally ill patients and their families
Jeremy Corbyn is pictured campaigning outside an Amazon depot in Sheffield. The Labour manifesto set out plans to raise income tax for people earning £80,000 or more, introduce a new ‘super-rich rate’ for people earning over £125,000
The manifesto, which will be launched in the heart of the West Midlands electoral battleground, will also include an extra £1 billion for schools and childcare providers to increase the availability of after- school and holiday childcare.
The aim is to enable 250,000 more primary-school children to be looked after over the summer holidays to allow parents more employment flexibility.
Big boost for childcare to aid working parents
A new £1 billion fund will be unveiled for flexible, high-quality childcare after school and outside term time – so-called ‘wraparound’ provision to help working families.
In each of at least three years, £250 million will be earmarked to expand or create such care, including the provision of holiday clubs.
The remaining £250 million will be invested in helping schools overcome issues that might prevent them offering childcare on-site in the holidays. This includes hiring extra staff or investing in equipment and premises.
The Tories aim for 250,000 more primary-school children to get on-site childcare over the summer holidays, on top of the approximately 650,000 who receive it now.
This policy is for England only as education is devolved to the UK’s nations.
As part of the effort to entice blue-collar voters, the manifesto will also promise to keep in place the cap on energy prices and to help 2.2 million low-income families by spending £6.3 billion on energy-efficiency measures.
A total of £2 billion will be set aside over the next four years for a national programme to fill in potholes in roads, which damage cars and pose to risk to cyclists – among them Mr Johnson. The money represents a five-fold increase on current funding levels.
Pensioners – who are more likely to be Tory supporters than any other age group, and more likely to vote – are also being wooed.
In addition to their own ‘triple lock’, which increases the state pension by whatever is the highest out of inflation, wage growth or 2.5 per cent each year, the Tories will promise to retain tax-free winter-fuel payments of up to £300 a year to help pensioners with heating costs, keep the £1 billion-a-year concessionary bus passes and continue to pressure the BBC to keep free TV licences for the over-75s.
The Tories will go further in their drive to replace Labour as ‘the natural party of the NHS’.
£2bn on potholes after Boris came a cropper
The Prime Minister reveals in his interview with The Mail on Sunday today that he decided to make the pledge after falling off his bike while cycling on damaged roads
The Conservatives aim to spend £2 billion on the biggest ever pothole- filling programme.
The Prime Minister reveals in his interview with The Mail on Sunday today that he decided to make the pledge after falling off his bike while cycling on damaged roads.
Local authorities, which are responsible for maintaining roads, will be given money to fill in potholes and improve conditions for road-users.
A total of 500 million will be spent every year over four years on the programme to address the 500,000 potholes reported in Britain last year.
The pledge, part of the national infrastructure strategy, builds on previous Tory efforts at pavement politics, with Conservative councils filling nearly twice as many potholes as Labour councils last year.
The Conservatives have already promised to inject an extra £33.9 billion a year into the NHS by 2023-24 and to end unfair hospital car parking charges for NHS staff on night shifts, and disabled and terminally ill patients and their families.
It will become compulsory for hospitals to provide free hospital car parking to those protected groups, at a cost of £78 million.
And the party will try to steal Labour and the Liberal Democrats’ mantle on the environment by announcing a ban on exporting plastic waste to the Third World, to reduce the environmental impact on the oceans.
Export ban to stop plastic clogging sea
Exports of plastic waste to Third World countries will be outlawed to ensure that less plastic is dumped in the oceans.
The Tories aim to work with industry, green groups and councils to set a date for the ban on sending waste to nations not in the OECD group of developed countries.
It will be enshrined in the Environment Bill, which failed to pass into law before the Election was called.
The Tories will reintroduce it to tackle plastic pollution, air quality and other green issues.
It follows other recent Government pledges to ensure 100 per cent of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025 and to move from single-use to reusable packaging.
Last year, Theresa May unveiled plans for a plastic deposit scheme modelled on a similar policy in Norway to boost recycling.
Exports of plastic waste to Third World countries will be outlawed to ensure that less plastic is dumped in the oceans
Mr Johnson added: ‘Our positive, one-nation agenda will unite this great country. It’s time to turn the page from the dither, delay and division of recent years and start a new chapter in the incredible history of this country.
‘We have achieved amazing things together in the past, and I know we will achieve even more in the future – if only we choose the right path at this critical Election.
With new policies to cut the cost of living, support our fantastic NHS staff, help parents juggling childcare and work, and invest in a massive programme of infrastructure across the whole country – we are offering hope and optimism where the Labour party only offer hate and division.
‘Vote Conservative to get Brexit done and let 2020 bring peace, goodwill and prosperity to our country.’
Protection from energy rip-offs
The existing energy price cap will be kept to protect consumers from rip-off bills.
An extra £6.3 billion will also be invested in energy-efficient measures for social housing, which should cut fuel bills by as much as £750 for 2.2 million disadvantaged households.
This will be achieved via two programmes – a £3.8 billion ‘social housing decarbonisation scheme’ and £2.5 billion in home upgrade grants.
The first will improve insulation in two million homes, reducing bills by an average of £160 a year.
The second will replace boilers, provide insulation and in some cases replace energy systems wholesale. It will cover costs of up to £12,000.
Blitz on hospital parking charges
The Tory manifesto will make it mandatory for hospitals to provide free car parking to certain protected groups.
Those groups are: disabled people, frequent outpatient attendees, gravely ill patients, visitors to relatives who have an extended stay in hospital or those who care for such people, staff working hours that mean public transport cannot be used, such as night shifts.
The manifesto pledges that no NHS trust will be left with less money because of this change.
A total of £78 million of new money will be injected across England every year to implement the changes, to cover costs and add new spaces.
Christmas with Bojo or Corbyn? No contest!
By Glen Owen for the Mail on Sunday
With 19 days until polling day, there is still no sign of the Labour surge which started at this point in the 2017 Election and wiped out Theresa May’s majority.
Today’s Mail on Sunday Deltapoll gives Boris Johnson a 13-point lead, with the Tories on 43 per cent and Labour on 30 per cent, at the end of a week in which Jeremy Corbyn has set out his manifesto policies.
Mr Johnson’s lead has shrunk by two per cent, but he will be heartened by the continuing collapse in Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – now down to just three points and posing a much lower risk of splitting the Tory vote in their target marginals.
Today’s Mail on Sunday Deltapoll gives Boris Johnson a 13-point lead, with the Tories on 43 per cent and Labour on 30 per cent, at the end of a week in which Jeremy Corbyn has set out his manifesto policies
Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats have rallied from 11 per cent to 16 per cent, but Tory strategists will not be too concerned as long as the party continues to vie with Labour for pro-Remain voters in marginal seats.
What might alarm them is the narrowing in the leadership ratings: Mr Johnson is now only 24 points ahead of the Labour leader, down from 45 points at the start of the campaign, with a rating of minus ten.
But voters are clear who they would rather spend Christmas with – 47 per cent say Mr Johnson, with just 27 per cent plumping for Mr Corbyn.
If the figures for party support were translated into a uniform national swing, Mr Johnson would be on course for a majority of 82 – but likely voting patterns remain unpredictable
Mr Johnson’s lead has shrunk by two per cent, but he will be heartened by the continuing collapse in Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – now down to just three points and posing a much lower risk of splitting the Tory vote in their target marginals
When asked who they would rather spend Christmas with, Boris Johnson had a 20 point lead over his Opposition rival
If the figures for party support were translated into a uniform national swing,
Mr Johnson would be on course for a majority of 82 – but likely voting patterns remain unpredictable.
Joe Twyman, co-founder and director of Deltapoll, said last night: ‘The results show the Conservatives maintaining a double-digit lead over Labour. Since the start of the campaign, support for the top two parties has moved relatively little, but only this week did voters get a look at detailed policies as the manifestos were released.
‘During the 2017 campaign, the release of the Labour Party manifesto handed Jeremy Corbyn some positive momentum, followed by a difficult manifesto launch from the Conservatives and a U-turn on their social care policy.
‘The importance of the manifestos can be overstated, however. Most members of the electorate are paying less attention to the specific details and are more influenced by the broad narratives surrounding the parties’.
Deltapoll interviewed 1,519 British adults online between November 21 and 23. The data has been weighted to be representative of the British adult population as a whole.