Key points from the Conservative Party's manifesto launch

24 November 2019, 21:05

Boris Johnson launched the Tory manifesto in Telford
Boris Johnson launched the Tory manifesto in Telford. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Boris Johnson launched the Tory Party's "Get Brexit Done - Unleash Britain's Potential" manifesto ahead of the general election and here are the key details to take away.

The Conservative Party leader said the manifesto was a blueprint to "forge a new Britain," during a speech at a conference hall in Telford.

Mr Johnson called his pledge to the electorate a "new chapter" for the country as he promised to ensure the UK would leave the European Union by 31 January.

In the 59-page document he also vowed to recruit 50,000 new nurses for the NHS, to boost the police force with 20,000 more officers and to create an Australian-style points based system for immigration.

So what does the Conservative Party's manifesto launch reveal about their position on some of the key issues in the run up to December's general election?

Boris Johnson&squot;s main policy is to "get Brexit done"
Boris Johnson's main policy is to "get Brexit done". Picture: PA

Brexit

The Tory manifesto recognises Brexit as being at the heart of December's election, with its name "Get Brexit Done" reflecting its significance.

Boris Johnson would begin to implement his Brexit deal before Christmas to allow the country to leave the EU by the end of January, putting an end to the "dither and delay" that has so far frustrated the process.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will be outside the EU single market as well as any form of customs union.

The prime minister once again promised not to extend the transition period - also known as the implementation period - beyond December 2020.

The prime minister has promised 50,000 more nurses for the NHS
The prime minister has promised 50,000 more nurses for the NHS. Picture: PA

Health

Under the Tories the NHS would receive a significant staffing boost to the tune of 50,000 new nurses by 2023, in order to plug the current vacancy gap which stands at 43,000.

In addition, GP surgeries would have an influx of 6,000 more doctors and the same amount of primary care staff, such as physiotherapists and pharmacists.

The party would reintroduce a nursing bursary it had previously controversially abolished, giving grants to students worth between £5,000 and £8,000 per year.

NHS hospital car parking charges would be scrapped for staff working night shifts, the disabled and families of the terminally ill.

The Conservative Party have vowed to recruit 20,000 police officers
The Conservative Party have vowed to recruit 20,000 police officers. Picture: PA

Crime

The self-styled "tough on crime" party will recruit 20,000 more police officers over the next three years to tackle crime on the streets of Britain, a policy that was rolled out before the manifesto launch.

To improve police safety, the manifesto says the party would increase the number of Tasers and body cameras available to the service.

Similarly, in response to recent attacks on officers, the Conservatives would hold a consultation on doubling the penalty for assaulting an emergency services worker to two years.

They would also give tougher sentences to the worst offenders and end automatic halfway release for serious crimes.

Mr Johnson wants to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050
Mr Johnson wants to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050. Picture: PA

Environment

The rising star in the 2019 general election is the issue of the environment, an area the Conservatives have taken on board by promising to help the UK reach net zero by 2050.

Mr Johnson has vowed to spend £9.2 billion on improving energy efficiency on homes, schools and hospitals with £6.3 billion of that total being spent on installing energy saving measures to cut bills in 2.2 million homes.

The Conservatives also plan to restrict the export of waste to advanced countries with the capacity to process it, a policy Nigel Farage said he recognised as one of his own.

If the owners of Heathrow want to commence construction of a third runway then they will need to prove to a Tory government that it can meet air quality and noise requirements.

There is also £2 billion set towards fixing the country's pothole problems.

James Cleverly and his party would introduce an Australian-style points based immigration system
James Cleverly and his party would introduce an Australian-style points based immigration system. Picture: PA

Immigration

By "getting Brexit done" the Conservatives will be able to reduce net migration to less than 100,000 through the use of a "firmer and fairer" Australian-style points based system, meaning people will enter the UK on merit.

The prime minister said the system would attract "the brightest and the best" to Britain and would lead to fewer lower skilled migrants being granted entry to the UK.

An "NHS visa" would be introduced so that qualified doctors, nurses and other health workers could be fast-tracked into the country from overseas.

The party would also ensure that immigrants make contributions towards the NHS, via payments, before they can receive its benefits.

Mr Johnson promised a "triple-lock" on pensions
Mr Johnson promised a "triple-lock" on pensions. Picture: PA

Other key areas

Pensions: The "triple-lock" on pensions will remain in place meaning that they will continue to rise by 2.5 per cent each year, learning from Theresa May's mistake in 2017 when she said she would scrap it.

All the other parties have committed to maintaining it, despite critics suggesting it could be unaffordable.

Other policies which target older voters - who are consistently the most likely to go out and vote - include keeping the free bus pass and the winter fuel allowance.

Business: The Conservatives unveiled plans for a new National Skills Fund as the first step towards a so-called Right to Retrain.

Mr Johnson's plan would commit £600 million a year to the fund, or £3 billion over the next Parliament, on top of existing skills funding.

The Treasury will consult on the fund's final design and full details will be set out in the first Spending Review of a Conservative majority Government.

The Tories would set up a National Skills Fund for businesses
The Tories would set up a National Skills Fund for businesses. Picture: PA

Education: The Tories plan to tackle behaviour and bullying in schools in the next Parliament.

They will expand their existing programme "to help schools with the worst behaviour learn from the best" and they have committed to supporting head teachers to use exclusions.

The arts, music and sport would all receive further investment which would include the offering of an "arts premium" to secondary schools.

Welfare: Mr Johnson's government will retain Universal Credit, however they promised to "do more to make sure that Universal Credit works for the most vulnerable."

There would be an end to the benefit freeze, but at the same time the Tories will ensure those who cheat the system by committing benefit fraud are punished.

The Tories will also support the main carer in any household receiving Universal Credit in order to look after family members.

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