AT-A-GLANCE: The Conservative Party general election manifesto

Posted On: 
18th May 2017

Here is an at-a-glance guide to the Conservative Party's 84-page general election manifesto.

Theresa May unveils the Tory manifesto in Halifax.
PA Images


Offering a new definition of the Conservative Party ethos, the manifesto says: "True Conservatism means a commitment to country and community; a belief not just in society but in the good that government can do; a respect for the local and national institutions that bind us together; an insight that change is inevitable and change can be good, but that change should be shaped, through strong leadership and clear principles, for the common good."

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The manifesto vows to keep taxes "as low as possible", but ditches the Government's previous triple tax lock which pledged not to put up VAT, National Insurance and Income Tax.


The manifesto says the deficit will finally be cleared "by the middle of the next decade" - fully 10 years after George Osborne said it would be done.


​The manifesto says: "As we leave the European Union, we want to negotiate a new deep and special partnership with the EU, which will allow free trade between the UK and the EU’s member states. As part of the agreement we strike, we want to make sure that there are as few barriers to trade and investment as possible. Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU."


To the annoyance of many of her Cabinet colleagues, Theresa May is sticking to her immigration reduction target: "With annual net migration standing at 273,000, immigration to Britain is still too high. It is our objective to reduce immigration to sustainable levels, by which we mean annual net migration in the tens of thousands, rather than the hundreds of thousands we have seen over the last two decades."


The manifesto pledges a major spending boost for the NHS: "We will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years, delivering an increase in real funding per head of the population for every year of the parliament." 


Rich pensioners will lose their annual winter fuel allowance to help free up more cash for social care. Other reforms of the system will see people expected to put the value of their property towards home care costs for the first time, with the state stepping in to pay when someone has less than £100,000 in assets.


The manifesto says: "We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022."


The pledge to create at least 100 new free schools a year continues, while the manifesto re-affirms the Prime Minister's commitment to bring back grammars: "We will lift the ban on the establishment of selective schools, subject to conditions, such as allowing pupils to join at other ages as well as eleven. Contrary to what some people allege, official research shows that slightly more children from ordinary, working class families attend selective schools as a percentage of the school intake compared to nonselective schools."


Spending on the military will continue to rise: "We have the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in NATO. We will continue to meet the NATO commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence and we will increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation in every year of the new parliament.​"


The Tories pledge to push ahead with High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport, as well as provide extra motorway lanes and create extra railway capacity.


In response to a campaign by the Hillsborough families, the Tories would set up "an independent public advocate, who will act for bereaved families after a public disaster". Other pledges include the creation of a national infrastructure police force, bringing together the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and the British Transport Police to improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network.


The long-delayed boundary review, which aims to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600, will continue. The manifesto also pledges to repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which was drawn up at the time of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition in 2010. 


Anti-phone hacking campaigners will be angered that the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry will not take place if the Tories win the election: "We will be consistent in our approach to regulation of online and offline media. Given the comprehensive nature of the first stage of the Leveson Inquiry and given the lengthy investigations by the police and Crown Prosecution Service into alleged wrongdoing, we will not proceed with the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press."


In a major surprise, the manifesto pledges to "review the honours system to make sure it commands public confidence, rewards genuine public service and that recipients uphold the integrity of the honours bestowed".