7 Key General Election Issues
We are now less than 24 hours away from the polls opening in the 2017 general election, with Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn contesting a tighter than expected race to become UK Prime Minister.
Several big issues are worth considering when making your vote, with the following points showing the stances of both Labour and the Conservatives.
Theresa May has maintained that “no deal is better than a bad deal” with Brexit, while Labour will look towards a fresh set of negotiating principles that put emphasis on the single market and customs union.
The Conservatives have said they will leave the single market and customs union, while seeking a deep and special partnership with the EU. Meanwhile, Labour has made a point to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in Britain.
2. NHS and social care
An extra £8 billion will be given to the NHS England budget by 2022/23 under Conservative proposals. However, one of the divisive points in this election has been Conservative social care proposals. Theresa May has outlined that the value of the family home will be included in a means test for receiving social care at home, with an absolute limit of £100,000. Payment can be deferred until after death.
On the Labour front, they are proposing an extra £30 billion in extra funding for the NHS in England over the next five years. With social care, they will put in an extra £8 billion over the next five years. Jeremy Corbyn has also claimed that there has been privatisation in the NHS, he says he will reverse this. He’ll also guarantee treatments within 18 weeks.
3. Economy and tax
Labour intend to reintroduce a 50p tax rate and raise income tax for those who earn over £80,000. They will also raise corporation tax rates to 26% by 2020/21. There will be no increases in national insurance or VAT.
The Conservatives will stick to current plans, including raising personal tax allowances and cutting corporation tax. They aim to achieve a balanced budget by 2025.
The pensions triple lock will be replaced by the Conservatives, with a guarantee that increases after 2020 will at least match inflation and the average wage. Winter fuel payments will be means tested, giving focus to pensioners who aren’t as well off.
Labour will keep the triple lock and winter fuel payments. In terms of benefits, they will increase employment and support allowance by £30 a week. They’ll review the benefit cap and universal credit.
With Brexit highlighting what an important issue immigration is to the public, the Conservatives have recommitted to reducing net migration to tens of thousands. They’ll also increase the minimum earnings threshold for family visa sponsorship and make student visas more difficult to obtain.
Labour says freedom of movement will end when Britain leaves the European Union, they’ve also said a migrant impact fund will be introduced in areas where immigration has placed a strain on public services.
The Conservatives will increase the school budgets in England by £4 billion, while Labour will restrict class room sizes to 30. Additionally, Labour are offering 30 hours of free childcare for two year olds, and there will be free school meals for primary school children.
One of Labour’s biggest policy plans is the abolishment of university tuition fees. This will start from September, and it will also factor in students currently undertaking courses. This will cost £9 billion a year, which makes it the most expensive policy on Labour’s agenda.
7. Overall campaign
The two campaigns have been characterised by the Conservatives giving a message of “strong and stable” on Brexit, while Labour focused on a message of investment in public services. Following the Manchester and London terrorist attacks, security has come to the forefront of the campaigns. Labour have made a strong point about improving police numbers.