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Conservative Party manifesto vows cut in immigration and social care funding revolution

The Conservatives have unveiled plans to fund increased spending on social care as well as ditching David Cameron's pledge not to raise income tax or national insurance, as they unveiled their manifesto ahead of the General Election.

If the Tories gain another term in power on June 8 they will also ramp up the costs to businesses who employ migrant workers from the rest of the European Union if they win next month's General Election.

Launching her party's manifesto to tackle the "great challenges of our time", Theresa May revealed plans to double the annual charge levied on companies for each skilled worker they employ from the 27 other EU member states to £2,000.

In a speech in West Yorkshire where she was introduced by Brexit Minister David Davis, the Prime Minister said net migration into the UK is "still too high" and reaffirmed her target to cut it to the "tens of thousands" from the recently recorded level of 273,000.

Mrs May reiterated that she would bring "strong and stable leadership" and get a good Brexit deal for the UK if she became Prime Minister.

In a speech in which she laid out a vision to deal with the "five great challenges" of the coming years, and said she would build a strong economy while tackling social division and meeting the pressures of an ageing society and fast-changing technology.

The manifesto also confirmed Mrs May will take Britain out of the European single market and customs union and seek a new free trade agreement as part of the Brexit deal.

  • Watch Theresa May's manifesto speech in full

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Tax

  • Increase the personal income tax allowance to £12,500 by 2020
  • Increase the higher rate of income tax to £50,000 by 2020
  • Corporation tax will fall to 17% to 2020
  • A full review of business rates
  • David Cameron's "tax lock" which forbids the Tories from raising income tax, VAT or national insurance contributions will be ditched

Health

  • Increase state health spending by at least £8 billion in real terms over the next five years
  • A new GP contract and changes to the contract for hospital consultants
  • Retain the 95% A&E target

Spending

  • A balanced budget by the "middle of the next decade"
The Conservatives have promised to balance the budget. Credit: PA

Wages

  • National living wage to be 60% of median earnings by 2020
  • Executive pay packages will be subjected to an annual vote by shareholders
  • Companies will have to publish a ratio of executive pay compared to the broader UK workforce

Pensions

  • Maintain the triple lock pension guarantee until 2020, then replace it with a double lock - meaning pensions will rise in line with earnings or inflation, whichever is highest
  • Tougher punishments for those caught mismanaging pension schemes
  • Provide new powers to the Pensions Regulator to issue "punitive" fines for those found to have "wilfully left a pension scheme under-resourced" and, if necessary, powers similar to those held by the Insolvency Service to disqualify the relevant company directors
  • Consider a new criminal offence for company directors who "deliberately or recklessly put at risk" a pension scheme's ability to meet its obligations

Brexit

  • Enter negotiations with the EU in the spirit of sincere cooperation
  • Get a fair settlement of the UK's rights and obligations as a departing EU member state
  • The days of Britain making "vast annual contributions" to the EU will end
  • A vote in both Houses of Parliament on the "final agreement" for Brexit
  • As part of Brexit negotiations it will be a priority that 140,000 staff from EU countries can carry on making contributions to the health system
  • Pay a contribution for access to EU programmes
  • The EU's charter of fundamental rights will not be made into UK law
  • The UK will remain signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights for at least the next Parliament
  • Maintain the common travel area and as frictionless border as possible between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
The UK will enter negotiations with the EU in the spirit of sincere cooperation Credit: PA

Scottish independence referendum

  • A referendum would not take place until the Brexit process has played out
  • Second Scottish independence referendum will not take place without public consent

Immigration

  • Foreign workers and overseas students will be made to pay more to cover the cost of NHS care
  • "Control and reduce" immigration to tens of thousands and bear down on immigration from outside the EU
  • Increase the earnings threshold for people wishing to sponsor migrants for family visas
  • Overseas students to remain in the immigration statistics
  • Students expected to leave the country at the end of their course unless they meet new "higher" requirements allowing them to stay

Education

  • Universal free school lunches for infant pupils in England will be scrapped but free breakfasts offered across the primary years
  • An extra £4 billion will be pumped into the schools system by 2022
  • Ensure no school has its budget cut as a result of new formula seeking to make funding fairer
  • At least 100 new free schools a year
  • Lifting the ban on grammar schools, with conditions including allowing pupils to join at other ages as well as 11
  • A specialist maths school to be opened in every major city in England due to new funding arrangements
  • Every 11-year-old expected to know their times tables off by heart
An extra £4 billion will be pumped into the schools system by 2020. Credit: PA

Energy

  • Shale gas to play a "crucial role" in re-balancing the economy

Homelessness

  • Halve rough sleeping over the course of the next parliament and eliminate it by 2027

Crime and Justice

  • Create a "national infrastructure police force", which brings together the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and British Transport Police
  • Serious Fraud Office to be incorporated into the National Crime Agency
  • £1 billion to modernise prisons
  • Legislation to make changes in police practices if "stop and search does not become more targeted and stop to arrest ratios do not improve"
  • Legislate if progress is not made to reduce the "disproportionate use of force" against black, Asian and ethnic minority people in prison, young offender institutions and secure mental health units
Mrs May was introduced onto the stage by Brexit Secretary David Davis. Credit: PA

Housing

  • Meet 2015 commitment of a million homes by the end of 2020, with a further 500,000 by the end of 2022
  • New "council housing deals" to allow local authorities to build more social housing
  • Fixed-term social houses, to be sold privately after 10 to 15 years with an automatic right to buy for tenants. Cash raised from sales to be used to build further properties

Markets

  • Make it clearer for mobile phone customers to know when they have paid off the price of their handset
  • Consider a ban on companies which cold call people to encourage them to make false personal injury claims
  • Reduce insurance costs by "cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent" whiplash claims
  • Review rail ticketing to remove "complexity and perverse" pricing, with a passenger ombudsman introduced.
  • Minimum service levels agreed with train companies and staff during times of industrial action. A pledge to make this mandatory if a deal cannot be reached voluntarily
  • Smart meters offered to every household and business by the end of 2020.
  • Make it easier to switch energy providers and introduce a "safeguard tariff cap".
  • Introduce a "breathing space" scheme to help those in serious debt be protected from further interest, charges and enforcement action for up to six weeks

Defence

  • Spend at least 2% of GDP on defence and increase the budget by at least 0.5% above inflation in every year of the new parliament
  • Pledge to "maintain" the overall size of the armed forces
  • Retain the Trident continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent
  • Better compensation for injured personnel and the families of those killed in combat
Wealthy pensioners could lose £300 in winter fuel payments. Credit: PA

Social care

  • Winter fuel payments for elderly to be means tested, with the money saved going directly to fund health and social care
  • Elderly people with assets of £100,000 or less will be offered protection from the cost of social care, a dramatic increase from the current £23,250 level in England.
  • In order to make the social care system sustainable, the value of someone's property will now be included in the means test for care in their own home, meaning more people will be liable to contribute to the cost of being looked after
  • Workers will also be given the right to request up to a year's unpaid leave to care for a relative
  • No one, no matter how high their care costs, will have to sell their family home during their lifetime to pay for care costs, this will be done by extending deferred payment arrangements to cover care at home
  • Better use of technology and specialist housing to help people keep their independence and not block beds after hospital stays
£100K
Those will assets of £100,000 or less will be offered protection from the cost of social care
£23,250
The level that care costs can currently reduce an individual's assets to
Theresa May is aiming to better fund social care. Credit: PA

Media

  • A second part of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press will not take place
  • Repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014, which would - if enacted - force newspapers to pay their opponents' legal costs linked to libel and privacy actions, even if they win in court, if they are not signed up to an officially-recognised regulator

Challenges ahead

Theresa May says Brexit will fine our place in the world. Credit: PA

In her manifesto foreword, Mrs May said: "The next five years are the most challenging that Britain has faced in my lifetime.

"Brexit will define us: our place in the world, our economic security and our future prosperity.

"Now more than ever, Britain needs a strong and stable government to get the best deal for our country."

What Labour say

Tom Watson, Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Ian Lavery, and Andrew Gwynne at the Labour Party manifesto launch. Credit: PA

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Conservative manifesto was "hitting older people" with some of the policies that have been announced.

Mr Corbyn said: “Millions of pensioners are betrayed by Theresa May's manifesto. She is hitting older people with a classic Nasty Party triple whammy: Scrapping the triple lock on pensions, removing the Winter Fuel Allowance and forcing those who need social care to pay for it with their homes.

“The Conservatives’ record is one of broken promises and failure. They promised to raise living standards, but working families are set to be on average over £1,400 a year worse off.

"They promised to improve all standards of NHS care, but A&Es are in crisis. They promised to protect school spending, but schools are facing crippling cuts and class sizes are soaring. You can’t trust a word Theresa May says.

“Despite Theresa May's warm words, she leads a party that has created a rigged economy that only works for the super-rich. The Conservatives have not changed.

"While the Labour Party has promised to protect low and middle earners from any tax rises, all Theresa May has promised is a cut to Corporation Tax for their big business friends. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour is standing up for the many, not the few,” said the Labour leader.