Conservative manifesto: PM Theresa May promises mainstream government for all

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 12:05 GMT, May 18, 2017 |

Launching the Conservative manifesto, Prime Minister Theresa May has promised a “mainstream government that would deliver for mainstream Britain”.

Mrs May said a strong economy and delivering Brexit were top priorities.

The manifesto drops a pledge not to raise income tax or National Insurance and outlines plans to fund social care in England.

People with estates worth more than £100,000 will have to contribute to the cost of their care.

But no-one will have to sell their property to fund residential or home care in their lifetime or that of their surviving partner.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the Conservatives of proposing a “tax on dementia”.

Mrs May, speaking at the manifesto launch in Halifax, said: “We must take this opportunity to build a great meritocracy in Britain. It means making Britain a country that works, not for the privileged few, but for everyone.”

She said there were five priorities: a strong economy, facing up to the consequences of Brexit and a changing world, tackling “enduring” social divisions, responding to the challenges of an ageing society and harnessing the power of fast-changing technology.

·         Balancing the budget by 2025

·         No increase in VAT – but scrapping a 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax or National Insurance

·         Increasing the national living wage to 60% of the median earnings by 2020

·         Restating the commitment to bring net immigration down to tens of thousands a year

·         Increasing NHS spending by a minimum of £8bn in real terms over the next five years

·         A pledge that a referendum on Scottish independence cannot take place until the Brexit process is completed

·         Scrapping winter fuel payments to better-off pensioners – at the moment, all pensioners qualify for one-off payments of between £100     and £300 each winter

·         A reduction of the so-called “triple lock” on pensions to a “double lock” with the state pension to rise by the higher of average earnings or inflation – but to no longer go up by 2.5% if they are both lower than that

·         An extra £4bn on schools in England by 2022 – partly funded by an end to the current provision of free school lunches for all infant pupils in England

·         Scrapping the ban on setting up new grammar schools

·         Measures on immigration, including asking firms to pay more to hire migrant workers, who will in turn be asked to pay more to use the NHS.