Election 2017: What each party’s manifesto means for your money

What do the party political promises pledge for your purse?

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The Independent Online

Another year, another major vote that will shape our future both politically and financially. At this rate, we’ll be writing about why it’s a great idea to invest in the company that makes those tiny pencils in the voting booths.

But this election, perhaps more so than any other recent general election, will have a real and powerful impact on the daily finances of every household in the country. It will directly affect you and the money in your pocket.

So we’ve taken a look at the pledges in the party manifestos and how they might impact your spending power and financial security. Here’s everything you need to go into that little cubicle with the facts, not the spin.

Conservatives

  • The Tories said they would scrap the triple-lock on the state pension from 2020, replacing it instead with a double-lock that sees the payment keep pace with earnings or inflation. However, if those remain stagnant the state pension will no longer rise each year regardless
  • They would raise the threshold for paying for social care from £23,000 to £100,000. However, under this policy, the person’s home would also be included in their calculation of assets for home care as well as residential care. Although it is (arguably) not included in the manifesto, Theresa May recently said they would consult on a cap on care costs
  • No more free school lunches for primary school children aged up to seven, although some children would benefit from free “breakfast clubs” instead
  • The Conservatives would means test for the winter fuel allowance, ending the £300 handout for richer pensioners
  • The personal tax allowance would rise to £12,500 by 2020, while the higher rate threshold would move up to £50,000
  • Crack down on “exaggerated” or fraudulent whiplash claims in order to reduce insurance costs
  • The Conservatives pledge to raise the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of earnings by 2020
  • They would make it easier to switch energy providers and have promised to introduce a fixed cap on energy tariffs, which would be regularly reviewed by Ofgem
  • A future Conservative government would “simplify” the tax system

Labour

  • People earning more than £80,000 a year would face an income tax hike to 45p, while there will be a new 50 per cent rate on earnings above £123,000
  • Labour pledge there would be no hike to VAT or National Insurance contributions during the next parliament
  • They promise to scrap student tuition fees
  • More free childcare would be rolled out, including 30 free hours to parents of three- and four-year-olds. There could also be some help for younger children’s childcare costs
  • Maternity pay would be extended to 12 months, while paid paternity leave would double to four weeks
  • Labour says it would guarantee the triple lock on the state pension
  • They would hike the minimum wage to the level of the living wage by 2020. It’s predicted that would be about £10 an hour at least
  • The party would take an axe to the Conservative’s current axe-wielding, by scrapping benefits sanctions, ditching the bedroom tax, reinstating housing benefit for 18- to 20-year-olds and reforming Universal Credit
  • Under a Labour government, renters would benefit from three-year tenancies and capped rent rises
  • Labour would scrap the married person’s tax allowance, where married couples only can save up to £230 a year if one of them has an income of £11,500 or under
  • They would reverse cuts to bereavement benefits
  • Parents paying school fees would have to pay VAT, with the money going to fund free school lunches for all primary school pupils

Liberal Democrats

  • The Lib Dems would add a 1p in the pound hike on income tax in order to funnel £6bn more into the NHS and social care
  • They would reinstate university maintenance grants for poorer students
  • Like Labour, they would roll out 15 hours of free childcare to two-year-olds
  • They would add an extra month’s paid paternity leave to fathers’ entitlements
  • A Liberal Democrat government would Introduce a higher council tax on second homes, potentially as high as 200 per cent
  • They would reverse cuts to universal credit and reintroduce housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds
  • Carers would be able to earn £150 a week instead of £110 without losing their Carer’s Allowance
  • A Lib Dem government would maintain the state pension triple lock, meaning it would rise each year even if wages and inflation were stagnant
  • They would raise the inheritance tax threshold
  • The so-called bedroom tax would be reversed
  • Working age benefits would once again rise in line with inflation
  • They would introduce a “rent to buy” scheme, where rent payments would contribute towards eventually owning a share in the property
  • Abandon the two-child policy on benefits and scrap the infamous “rape clause”

SNP

  • The Scottish National Party is committed to preserving the current state pension triple lock, which would ensure pension values rise by the level of inflation, earnings, or 2.5 per cent – whichever is greater.
  • The party would halt plans to increase the state pension age past 66 years
  • Women affected by significant changes in state pension age over their working lives would be offered support
  • Increase income tax from 45p to 50p for earners of £150,000 or more and freeze VAT and National insurance contributions
  • Increase the minimum wage to the Living Wage
  • Preserve the Winter Fuel Allowance and extend it to those with severely disabled children
  • Scrap the bedroom tax
  • Abolish the two-child cap on tax credits

Plaid Cymru

  • A key premise of the manifesto is that the party will demand the money promised to Wales by the Leave campaign in a post-Brexit landscape and refuse to take a penny less
  • Open a publicly owned bank
  • Take steps to stop fuel costs from rising
  • Work to provide a Living Pension
  • Work to prevent the raising of the state pension age
  • Demand the triple lock on pensions remain in place

The Greens

  • Going a step further than Labour’s promise of a few extra bank holidays, the Greens are promising to phase in a four-day working week
  • They would scrap tuition fees entirely
  • A “wealth tax” would be introduced that targeted the top 1 per cent of UK earners
  • They promise a Green government would create a network of local people’s banks
  • A “Robin Hood” tax would be introduced, but only on transactions deemed high value
  • The Greens would transform inheritance tax so that it was determined by the wealth of the recipient and not the size of the estate
  • They would look at rolling out a universal basic income
  • The cap on National Insurance would be abolished, meaning the wealthiest would pay more
  • A Green government would raise the national minimum wage to the living wage level for all workers, regardless of their age
  • Both health and dental services would be transformed to ensure both were free at point of use
  • They would cut VAT on women’s sanitary products and provide them free of charge to the poorest
  • Housing benefit would be reintroduced for the under-21s, while rent controls would be created and enforced

Ukip

  • An extra £2bn every year to fund social care
  • An end to bedroom tax
  • Move towards abolishing inheritance tax but in the medium term raise the threshold to £500,000 or £1m for married and civil-partnered couples
  • A rise in the tax-free allowance to £13,500
  • Maintain the triple lock on pensions
  • A reduction in VAT on household bills
  • An end to tuition fees for certain degrees (science, medicine, technology, maths and engineering)
  • Freeze insurance premium tax
  • No National Insurance hikes for the self-employed

The Women’s Equality Party

  • Invest in universal childcare so that all parents can have access to free care once parental leave is over
  • Introduce a right to between five and 10 days of paid care leave from work
  • Take steps to improve company reporting on their gender pay gap
  • Provide all couples with nine months of parental leave at 90 per cent of pay – three months per parent, three months to split however they prefer
  • Provide self-employed parents with the same parental leave entitlements
  • Ensure that by 2020 at least 40 per cent of board and executive committee positions are held by women

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