UK PM sets out her stall to British voters with controversial blueprint

20 Mai, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Marc Bacque

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May fields a question during a news conference with Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in London's Canary Wharf financial district, May 17, 2017.

The platform signals that May is more willing than her predecessor, David Cameron, to let the state intervene in markets.

The Tory announcements today completes the launch of party manifestos by all major political parties in the fray in the June 8 election.

"The next five years will be among the most challenging in our lifetime, a turning point for Britain", said May.

The manifesto, published on Thursday, states: "We will use the structural fund money that comes back to the UK following Brexit to create a United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, specifically designed to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations".

A spokesman for May's Conservative Party did not respond to requests for comment.

It said measures would be taken against rail bosses, landlords and lawyers, without providing details.

The manifesto reiterates the UK's intent to leave both the single market and customs union and pursue a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement. The UK also seeks to replicate the many existing European Union free-trade agreements the UK is already party to through the EU. "I can get a deal that works for all", she said of the Brexit negotiations, and concluded with a rallying call to "join me on this journey, come with me as I lead Britain, strengthen my hand as I fight for Britain, and stand with me as I deliver for Britain". "It means making Britain a country that works, not for the privileged few, but for everyone".

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The manifesto renews a pledge to reduce net migration to under 100,000 a year, a promise that is popular with voters but which the party has failed to keep during seven years in government.

But there are signs that Brexit could already be biting the economy, such as quickening inflation. The government is also sticking to the 2020 date for the completion of the smart meter rollout, for now at least.

To tackle funding crisis in the care sector, wealthy pensioners will lose up to 300 pounds in winter fuel payments and more elderly people could be forced to pay to be looked after in their own homes.

The manifesto pledges an extra 8 billion British pounds (10.41 billion USA dollars) for the NHS and raise the cost of care threshold to 100,000 British pounds (130,140 US dollars) to ensure older people can stay in their own homes in their later years.

The Conservatives will ditch a so-called tax "triple-lock" that guaranteed no rises in income tax, national insurance or value-added tax, but will make a commitment to lower taxes.

The Conservative party's tough stance on immigration reaffirms a previous pledge to cut net migration to the tens of thousands.

There will also be an increase in the immigration health surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for global students, to cover their use of the National Health Service.

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