How will the Conservatives tax and spend?
There is a renewed commitment to see Corporation Tax fall to 17% by 2020.
A National Productivity Investment Fund will take total spending on housing, economic infrastructure and R&D to £170 billion during the next parliament. This includes a commitment to invest £250 million in skills by the end of 2020.
Public infrastructure investment includes a commitment to invest over £1 billion to modernise the prison estate.
What do Conservatives say Brexit will mean for business?
This will of course be subject to negotiation between now and the spring of 2019 – but in the meantime, the Conservatives say their Great Repeal Bill will convert EU law into UK law, “allowing businesses and individuals to go about life knowing that the rules have not changed overnight.”
But that’s not binding. The manifesto says, “Once EU law has been converted into domestic law, parliament will be able to pass legislation to amend, repeal or improve any piece of EU law it chooses, as will the devolved legislatures, where they have the power to do so.”
Workforce – skills and training
The Conservatives commit to replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science.
They also say they will ensure colleges deliver the skills required by local businesses through Skills Advisory Panels and Local Enterprise Partnerships working at a regional and local level.
On apprenticeships, the Conservatives say, “We will deliver our commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships for young people by 2020 ... We will allow large firms to pass levy funds to small firms in their supply chain, and work with the business community to develop a new programme to allow larger firms to place apprentices in their supply chains.”
For older workers they say, “We will help all workers seeking to develop their skills in their existing jobs by introducing a new right to request leave for training for all employees. Alongside this, we will help workers to stay in secure jobs as the economy changes by introducing a national retraining scheme.”
Workforce – foreign workers
The Conservatives undertake to “bear down on immigration from outside the European Union” and “control immigration from the European Union too.”
As part of this, they will double the Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers, to £2,000 a year by the end of the parliament. They will use the revenue this generates to invest in higher level skills training for workers in the UK.
How will the Conservatives meet national housing needs?
The Conservatives pledge to meet their 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and to deliver half a million more by the end of 2022. They repeat the commitment in their Housing White Paper to “free up more land for new homes in the right places” but they also say they will maintain “the existing strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt.”
Interestingly, they say, “we will diversify who builds homes in this country” – but no further details are given.
Houses will be built not just in the South-East, they say, but across the country. This will include government building 160,000 houses on its own land.
What do the Conservatives say about social housing?
The Conservatives commit to work with “ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing.” This includes building new fixed-term social houses, which will be sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants, the proceeds of which will be recycled into further homes.
They also undertake to give greater flexibility to housing associations to increase their housing stock, and to work with private and public sector house builders to capture the increase in land value created when they build to reinvest in local infrastructure, essential services and further housing.
The Conservatives say they will support specialist housing where it is needed, like multigenerational homes and housing for older people, including by helping housing associations increase their specialist housing stock.
By LABC Warranty