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article imageKey points of UK Conservative Party election manifesto

By AFP     May 18, 2017 in World

British Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her Conservative party's manifesto on Thursday ahead of the June 8 general election, promising immigration cuts and Brexit commitments.

Here are the key points from the manifesto:

- Brexit -

It reaffirms the prime minister's earlier commitment to leave the European single market and customs union when Britain leaves the European Union.

The manifesto commits to ending "vast annual contributions to the EU", but says the party will agree a "fair settlement" on leaving the bloc.

It repeats May's determination to leave without an exit deal if the terms are disagreeable, deemed a disastrous "cliff edge" scenario by critics.

The Conservatives reject Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon's call for a new vote on independence before Brexit.

- Immigration -

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.

It pledges to double to £2,000 ($2,600, 2,340 euros) a charge on companies hiring foreign workers, and cut immigration from outside the EU.

Immigrants will be required to pay more for healthcare, with foreign workers required to pay £600 a year, or £450 for international students.

The party also aims to reduce asylum claims made in Britain, while promising to help people in "the most troubled regions".

- Taxes -

The Conservatives reaffirm their intention to lower corporation tax to 17 percent by 2020, and promise to balance the nation's books by the middle of the next decade.

Existing plans to increase the threshold at which people pay income tax, and the higher rate, are maintained.

The Conservatives promise not to raise sales tax, but abandon a previous pledge not to increase income tax, while stressing they remain "the party that keeps tax as low as possible".

- Spending -

The manifesto promises more money for schools, paid for by replacing free lunches for all children during their first three years at primary school, with free breakfasts.

It promises to increase funding on the state-run National Health Service by £8 billion (9.4 billion euros) in real terms over five years.

Winter fuel subsidies will scrapped for wealthy pensioners.

New rules to pay for an increase in funding for elderly social care will require people with significant assets to pay for their care, although the party says no-one will have to sell their home during their lifetime.

- Fox hunting -

While fox hunting is pursued by only a minority of British communities  a small number of Conservati...
While fox hunting is pursued by only a minority of British communities, a small number of Conservative-supporting rural areas have fought hard to scrap a 2004 ban
BEN STANSALL, AFP/File

May has promised lawmakers the chance to repeal the 2004 ban on fox hunting with dogs, which was introduced by Tony Blair's Labour government.

While fox hunting is pursued by only a minority of British communities, a small number of Conservative-supporting rural areas have fought hard to scrap the ban.

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