Making the Boring, Not Boring; the Deficit and the Fiscal Charter explained simply

Seems like we’re “generation debt”: all we hear is student loans, overdraft and stuff about UK’s budget deficit – which is apparently around £90 billion… but what does this actually mean?


What is the deficit?

The Deficit Decoded; the gap between what the government spends and what it receives in tax

The Conservatives want a surplus by 2020. Achievable?

The deficit is the gap between the amount the government spends and what it receives in taxes. It’s different to the national debt which is the total £££ the UK owes to investors from the UK and other countries.* (FYI we owe a lot to America).

Each year the government spends money on things like schools, the NHS, the army and benefits. This money mostly comes from taxes collected by HM Revenue and Customs.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (currently George Osborne) is in charge of the country’s finances. They set the budget each year which outlines how much we pay in tax, and what gets spent where (we explained how the budget works here).

* For more information on who the UK owes money to take a look at this BBC report and blog post by Sky economics editor Ed Conway.

How it works:

If one year the government collects £100 in tax but spends £150, then the deficit would be £50.

Alternatively if £100 is collected but only £80 is spent then the government would have £20 left over at the end. This is called running a budget surplus.

In real life we’re talking a lot more money than this. The UK deficit is currently around £90 billion.


Is running a deficit normal?

Since the global financial crisis of 2008, “deficit” and “borrowing” have become dirty words. Understandably, the public don’t seem to like the idea of irresponsible governments overspending.

How the financial crisis happened;

Financial crisis in a nutshell; the banks ran out of money – the government had to lend them money.

Find out more about why the government had to bail out the banks; the financial crisis explained

The Conservatives claim that the current deficit is all Labour’s fault, as the previous Labour government was running a deficit at the time of the financial crisis. Expect to hear this a lot around election time.

Considering all this, it may surprise you that running a deficit is the norm for a lot of countries.

Whilst it is true that Labour was running a deficit before the crash, they had previously ran a budget surplus between 1998 and 2001. Before that point the UK (under Conservative rule) had run deficits each year since 1975 (with the exception of three years between 1988 and 1990 where there was a small surplus).

Which governments ran deficits?

UK budget deficit and borrowing by Mark McCormick for the Guardian  Deficit, national debt and government borrowing - how has it changed since 1946? VIA FLICKR

Labour aren’t the only party to run a deficit – UK budget deficit and borrowing by Mark McCormick for the Guardian Via Flickr


Many well-respected economic experts like former Bank of England governor Mervyn King and senior Treasury official Nicholas Macpherson suggest that the banks are more to blame for the current situation, rather than Labour overspending.

However, increased government borrowing during the crisis (partly to save the banks, partly to pay for benefits as more people lost their jobs) meant the UK deficit shot up from around £34.5 billion to £90 billion and continued to climb. Ouch.


Austerity Measures vs ?

The Conservatives promise to cut the deficit and deliver a budget surplus by 2020.

Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity programme was supposed to bring the deficit down. In simple English: lowering government spending. Some of the austerity measures have proved controversial; such as cutting tax credits.

Rather than making cuts, some argue there are other methods to reduce the deficit. This include closing loopholes so that big businesses and non-doms pay the right amount of tax, and investing in public services.

The economist JM Keynes suggested something similar during the Great Depression of the 1920s. The idea was use unemployed workers to work on public projects. The workers would start spending their wages, which would get the economy moving again.

Is the Conservative 2020 deadline achievable? George Osborne’s original plan was to eliminate the deficit by 2015, but missed this target; managing to reduce the deficit by half.

This means that although public spending is coming down, the UK is still overspending and doing nothing about our national debt.  Are you sitting down? The UK national debt is currently around £1.5 trillion. Wowzers.

Global Debt

Deficit; UK debt as measured by GDP

In the red; government debt as a percentage of GDP… the debt-to-GDP ratio is the ratio between a country’s government debt and its gross domestic product (GDP). A low debt-to-GDP ratio indicates an economy that produces and sells goods and services sufficient to pay back debts without incurring further debt.

Don’t panic though – the International Monetary Fund thinks the UK can survive with high levels of debt forever. Phew.


The Fiscal Charter AKA George Osborne’s plan to save the UK economy.

George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer Outside 10 Downing Street

Chancellor George Osborne wants to make it law to run a surplus

Current Chancellor George Osborne has created the Fiscal Charter. It’s a proposed new law which bans the government from creating a deficit in “normal” circumstances. This is defined as when the economy is growing healthily.

On paper this sounds like a sensible idea, no?

However, if the charter is passed it would make it harder for governments to borrow money for public investment. Why is this bad? Labour List explains in language we can understand:

“No one thinks it is wise to max out the credit card to pay for the weekly grocery bill, but just as families have a mortgage to pay for their home, so it makes sense to borrow for the infrastructure – like broadband, transport, scientific facilities for universities – which will increase our economic productivity and growth.”

However, perhaps it’s not a good idea to compare economics to your household budget;



So, what’s the answer? Suggestions on a postcard, please.


Deficit learnings; the current motto is “don’t overspend”, but it wasn’t always like this.

It’s hard to know who to believe. It’s even more confusing when politicians disagree over whether spending more than your income is good or bad.

What we do know: lending and borrowing is risky, so you had better be sure people can pay it back.

Will the Fiscal Charter work? Think we’ve missed something? Let us know in the comments below or email


6 Life Lessons We Learned From Royal Bank of Scotland

RBS Sale Explained; Why is the government selling Royal Bank of Scotland?


1) It’s called risk for a reason, stupid.

Bankers like risk.

Financial Crisis in a Nutshell: The US market had lent BIG amounts of dollar to people in risky subprime mortgages (given to people with bad credit ratings). Basically, they shouldn’t have risked so much.

People: We can’t pay back what we owe.

Banker: Oh F*^&!


2) You really should save money for a rainy day.

When people started defaulting (failing to pay back money owed) on their mortgages, the banks, like Royal Bank of Scotland, should have been able to cover the losses with their capital (AKA savings). But they didn’t have enough saved. Bummer.

Banker 1: Don’t worry, we can use our savings to pay for it.

Banker 2: Ummm, about that.

Banker 1: Sh*%!!!


3) Always have a good friend to bail you out.

The Labour government decided to save Royal Bank of Scotland  by buying up shares in the bank. This meant RBS was declared solvent (able to pay your own way) and was able to get emergency funding from the Bank of England to keep going.

RBS was now essentially publicly owned; the UK government owns around 80% of RBS shares. By pouring money into a bank bailout, they hoped to prevent the bank from failing; which would have led to job losses and depositors losing money. In total around £107.6 billion of taxpayer’s money was spent on sorting the banks out.

Royal Bank of Scotland: Hey dude, nice… yo, can I borrow some money?

Labour government: Oh, guyyyyyyys, c’mon.

Royal Bank of Scotland: Pretty please.


4) If you can’t pay it all back don’t beat yourself up.

The government spent £46 billion buying shares in Royal Bank of Scotland. Now a report by independent financial advisers, Rothschild, states that now is the best time to have an RBS sale to start selling the shares.

The small print: because the values of the RBS shares have dropped since they were bought, the government is set to make a loss of £7 billion on the RBS sale.

But because the other banks the government have bailed out have done better; the government is actually set to make a profit of £14 billion. Eventually.

Royal Bank of Scotland: Yeah, so you’ll make a loss, but in the loooong run you’ll actually have more money. #Winning

UK government: Get. Out.


5) Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Even though the government is making a profit, they will still be £7 billion down after the RBS sale. So they’ve lost money from bailing out a bank which didn’t do the best job of keeping our money safe. That’s £7 billion which could have been spent on other things.

But as we said, the government is estimated to make a profit overall. So it could be a lot worse.

UK Government: £14 billion profit? Maybe we should do this bailout thing more often.

The Public: Don’t you even think about it.

6) Blame is for stress heads.

People have blamed the bankers for the financial crash, others have blamed the government for not putting enough regulation in place to stop this from happening.

Change is coming; we explored how the new rules mean HSBC is separating its high street branches from the investment side of the bank.


Royal Bank of Scotland; word on the street… speculation it seems:

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 16.50.40

Do you think the government was right to bail out Royal Bank of Scotland? Should we have an RBS sale now or holding out for a better profit? Should the bankers be punished more for what they did?

What The Budget 2015 Means For Young People

First we had a budget in April; didn’t understand that. Now we’ve had a summer “emergency budget”? What’s that all about?


Hands up who was confused by the Budget 2015?

Changes to the Personal Allowance of Tax from Budget 2015

FYI; 81.6% of the UK fall into paying the basic rate of tax

George Osborne’s first budget of the new Conservative government was full of contradictions. On the one hand he is cutting £12 billion pounds from benefits (boo); one the other he’s creating a National Living Wage of £7.20 PH (YAY!)

The Emergency Budget 2015 Explained

The announced changes were met with cheers from the Tories, and outrage from the Opposition (Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, UKIP Plaid Cymru and the rest).

The Guardian has reported that the new “Living Wage” isn’t enough to make up for the cuts to welfare. People who claim tax credits could be £1,000 worse of a year according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Doesn’t sound great.

So how does the new budget 2015 affect you? The BBC has created a Budget Calculator. You can try it out for yourself on the BBC website; we thought we’d explore how the changes could affect different people.


Tax and Moneys

For Starters

Let’s say you’re 21/22. Perhaps you’ve just left university, maybe not.  You have a job on the minimum wage (currently £6.50 PH) working 40 hours or so a week. Your annual earnings would probably be around £13,000.

Calculation from the BBC showing if you are better or worse off from Budget 2015

£80 better off. Get in! Via BBC

Because the tax-free allowance is going up to £11,000 you’d end up around £80 better off. Yipee!


There’s more

So, lets look at the claim from the Guardian that due to changes to tax credits some people could be £1,000 worse offTax Credits are benefits (extra £££) given to people who look after children, to disabled workers and those on lower incomes.

In the new budget “working-age benefits, including tax credits and Local Housing Allowance, will be frozen for 4 years from 2016-17”

The calculator says a married couple with a combined income of £21,600 and two children could be worse off by £1,113. Hmm.

Calculation from the BBC showing if you are better or worse off from Budget 2015

Looks like the Guardian was right. Ouch. Via BBC

This was based on one partner earning £19,000 a year on full-time hours; the other working part-time and earning £2,600. Both at 25 (still young!) and the age you’ll become eligible for the new “Living Wage”.

Though they are £80 better off thanks to changes to income tax, on the whole they make a loss because they are getting less tax credits. In fact, the calculator suggests that in order to keep the same income they had before, the partner (who originally earned £2,600 a year) would have to earn an extra £10,978.56! Whether this is the case, we don’t know. But we sure hope not!

Calculation from the BBC showing if you are better or worse off from Budget 2015

Breaking even

Removing the two children from the equation means we’re back to £80 better off. Does this mean we shouldn’t have kids?!

Looks a bit like The Guardian 1, Osborne 0.


So are things better for older people?

An older married couple with a combined income of £85,000 would actually be £221 better off. Say what?

Calculation from the BBC showing if you are better or worse off from Budget 2015

Osborne’s changes are designed to help those on “middle incomes” Via BBC

This is again because of the changes to the tax thresholds where you pay the higher rate of tax.

Does this mean the budget will be better for the rich and worse for the poor? Although the media might say “YES”, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Like any example these calculations are very specific. Everyone has different circumstances so it’s probably impossible to come up with a basic rule which covers everyone.

It’s also worth saying (because the BBC did) that these figures are estimates only. They don’t include all the changes made; just the ones made to income and earnings.

People are still unhappy though. And if you’re under 25 you might be too. Whilst others get the fancy new “Living Wage” of £7.20 PH you’re going to be stuck on £6.50 PH. Minimum-bleugh.


What the calculator doesn’t include

The budget 2015 wasn’t just about tax and income; it covered a whole range of topics. The speech was even a few minutes longer than usual. Crazy times.

Forget University

One of the major policy brought in by the coalition government which affected young people was the raising of tuition fees. The new budget only raised them in line with inflation; but Student Maintenance Grants are being scrapped. These are non-repayable £££’s which are given to students from low-income backgrounds.

Instead of grants students will have to take out Student Maintenance Loans instead. Conservatives say “Don’t worry, you won’t have to pay them back until you’re earning £21K +”. As well as paying back tuition fees.

At the moment around half a million students in England receive grants. However some people aren’t too bothered;


Where am I going to live?

So, you need somewhere to live. Don’t count on the government paying however. The Conservatives are stopping the automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.

Housing benefit is a regular £££’s to help pay your rent. It’s paid by your local council.  You can claim it if you’re on a low-income or claiming other state benefits.


Why the hate for the young?

So, not the best of times if you’re young and/or a student. George Osborne says he wants to make the tax and benefits system fairer.

“We have to move Britain from a low-wage, high-tax, high-welfare society to a higher-wage, lower-tax, lower-welfare economy.

For Britain is home to 1% of the world’s population; generates 4% of the world’s income; and yet pays out 7% of the world’s welfare spending. It is not fair to the taxpayers paying for it. It needs to change.

The best route out of poverty is work. It is not acceptable that in an economy moving towards full employment, some young people leave school and go straight on to a life on benefits.

– George Osborne’s Budget 2015 speech


It’s not just young people who are affected by the budget. But even so, the Guardian asks “What have young people done to deserve George Osborne’s contempt?”. We’d love to hear from Mr. Osborne himself. So if you’re reading, George – is it personal?!


Budget 2015 learnings; some good, some bad, some ugly.

Is Budget 2015 unfair to young people? Or should people stop moaning about benefits and go and get a job?

Subscribe to our weekly explainer The Week: Decoded, like us on Facebook and follow @scenesofreason

2015 Conservative Manifesto Explained in 6 Minutes

Key Message: Let us finish the job…


We have created 1,000 jobs for each day in Parliament since 2010

We have halved the deficit as a share of our economy




Get the debt down! Reduce government spending by 1% each year for two years. Put simply: Save £1 a year in every £100 that government spends. If I had £1 for every time I spend £100 I’d have saved £1.50…

Get rid of the Budget Deficit by 2017/18. Deficit = gap between what the government spends and what it receives in taxes

Not only that: the Conservatives want to run a Budget Surplus by 2018/19. Surplus = bring in more money in taxes than it spends and have some left over…



The Deficit Decoded

The Deficit Decoded



Give more money to hardworking people: The amount you earn before you pay any tax is going up to £12,500. On a bigger salary? The amount you earn before you pay higher 40% rates of tax will also go up to £50,000 from £31, 786.


The Minimum Wage will continue to go up to £8 by 2020 and after the first budget of the new government anyone working 30 hours on the Minimum Wage won’t pay ANY tax at all.

Business will be encouraged to pay the Living Wage and the amount you’re allowed to earn before you pay tax will automatically go up as the Minimum Wage rises.


Labour manifesto.002

Homes worth up to £1 million will be exempt from inheritance tax under new laws.

The Conservatives are big on apprenticeships: they want to create 3 million AND if you’re an apprentice under 25 you won’t have to pay national insurance meaning more money for you.

Big Changes to state benefits as they are combined into one Universal Credit system which will continue to be rolled out. The whole idea: Work pays and if you can work, you should. The amount of benefits one household can receive will go down to £23,000 and working age benefits will not go up for two years – with exemptions for disability and pensioner benefits.


Young people pay attention: instead of job seekers allowance for 18-21s, there will now be “youth allowance” where after 6 months you will have to be in an apprenticeship or do community work to receive benefits.

Go Equality… for companies with more than 250 employees. You guys are the chosen ones and will have to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees. Here’s hoping there is a reason why it isn’t for all companies.

Don’t trust banks? They will be supervised more strictly by the Bank of England. More safeguards will be put in place so your money will be more protected should the economy go wobbly again. Let’s hope we can trust the B of E then hey?!

Conservative Plan: Tax the banks on their debts to stop them borrowing silly amounts and DON’T allow them to pay less tax by knocking down their profits with their losses from previous years.

Help small businesses to grow with loans from the “Help to Grow” scheme, and give them “the most competitive taxes of any major economy”. Young Entrepreneurs will get the chance to start-up their own businesses when the “Start Up Loans” Programme is expanded. YAY FOR SCENES OF REASON!!!

Sell more British products = stronger British economy. The Conservatives have a target of £1 trillion in British exports and will work on a 25 year plan to sell more British food. Nom nom.


Keep it cheap: rail fares will NOT go up. Train companies will not be allowed to raise ticket prices above inflation levels (inflation: where value of money goes down, but how much stuff costs goes up)

Invest the North! £13 billion will go on transport in the north of England AND £38 billion for the UK’s railway network in the next five years. This includes work on High Speed 2 (ultra-fast train line between London and the North) and development of High Speed 3 (proposed line going further north) connecting up the country.

Not impressed? Well, let’s throw in £15 billion to improve roads around the UK. Austerity, wha?


Time to get tough: We need to improve at stuff like maths, science and grammar as we’re currently dropping down the league tables. 17,500 extra maths and physics teachers will be brought in. Kids will have to sit exams at the end of Primary School and retake when they start Secondary School if they fail. Where’s my calculator?

More free schools for those who want them. Free Schools can be set up by parents, charities, universities, trusts and can choose their own curriculum of what to teach as long as it’s “broad and balanced”. Sound good? Not everyone agrees with dismantling the education system…

Increase the number of women in charge of national sports departments to inspire women in sport AND support school sports funding with £150 million a year. That will probably go on lost tennis balls..

Protect the children! Bring in age verification for access to all websites containing pornographic material and age-rating for all music videos. We suggest they also do tutorials on how to delete your browser history. Just sayin’.

For the academics: there will be loans for post-grads and PhD students, entry to major museums and galleries will be kept free and you’ll have no rise in the BBC licence fee.


The number of MPs will be reduced from 650 to cut the cost of politics and make votes of more equal value. Constituency boundaries will be reviewed and altered to make sure that everyone is represented equally around the country. And let’s see more jobs in the public sector going to women and more female MPs please.

How the UK parliamentary system works….

More control will be given to Scotland (as promised after the referendum) and Wales will also get more powers to govern themselves. Large cities (e.g. Manchester) which choose to have elected mayors will also get more choice of where their budget is spent.

English MPs will have more say over matters only affecting England, including on Income Tax. And the whole situation of which MPs can vote for what will be sorted out properly. Umm, haven’t we heard that before?



Get 95% of the UK covered for superfast broadband by 2017. Netflix binge, anyone? Oh, and don’t worry if you have to get back to work. The Tories are upping the amount of free childcare for working parents of 3-4 year olds to 30 hours.

Time to get tough on those who break the rules though: random drugs tests, mobile phone blocking tech and measures introduced to tackle corruption in prisons, plus banning orders for extremist organisations.

Also say goodbye Human Rights Act (e.g. right to live, right to not be tortured) which originated in Europe and say hello to the British Bill of Rights: breaking a link with Europe and tellin’ em the Brits make the rules round here.

Also new rules for Migrants from the European Union:  no council houses until you’ve lived here for four years. No job seekers benefits either and if you haven’t found a job in 6 months, you’ll have to go…

Everyone who works for public services will need to speak English.




It’s not all doom and gloom: Conservatives want to invest at least £7.5 million a year in relationship support.

But if you’re a fox, get worried: Tories want to give Parliament the opportunity to get rid of the Hunting Act…




Time to decide: straight “in-out” referendum on our membership of the European Union by the end of 2017.

Before that though the Tories will reclaim power from the EU, so the UK government makes the majority of our decisions.

And we’ll be keeping the pound as well. None of that Euro nonsense here please.

0.7% UK income will go on helping those in need in other countries. Aren’t we nice?

The UK will also continue to work to get rid of Islamic State and stabilise the situation between Israel/Palestine. Oh, and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And stay pals with the USA. And sort out Russia. 

Worried we’re getting too involved and we need to look after ourselves first? Army reserves will be expanded to 35,000. So you can sleep easy.


NHS spending will increase by at least an additional £8 billion by 2020. The Conservative want 7-day a week access to your GPs, no more wasted paper when you’ll be given access to your own electronic medical records and continued investment into research for cures for Cancer and Dementia. The Better Care Fund will integrate health and social care = a streamlined health service where less money is wasted. Well, that’s the idea anyway…



Let’s all save the planet. Tories will work towards targets set in the UK Climate Change Act, even though some say they’re falling short of the target… 

 Invest £500 million to make all cars zero emission vehicles. No more exhaust clogging up the planet. Why is this important? CLIMATE CHANGE OF COURSE 

Christmas tree farm in Iowa.

More please

Local people will have more control over planning and can protect Greenbelt land (areas of open land where no building is permitted) and new “blue belt” areas will protect marine habitats. Spend £3 billion to clean up rivers, lakes and enhance England’s countryside over the next five years. And plant another 11 million trees.

Just in case you were worried about all the new transport plans mentioned earlier: £300 million will ensure less light pollution from new roads and any plant or animal life disrupted in the construction of High Speed 2 will be replaced. Phew.

Animal lovers rejoice: an international ban on trade in ivory and polar bear skin and ‘endangered species’ status for polar bears is also part of the plan.

The UK will push for a strong global deal to limit carbon emissions at the Paris Climate Summit in December. C’est très bon.


Getting more people into homes: 200,000 starter homes created and sold at 20% below the market price for first time buyers who are under 40. The Right to Buy Scheme where you can purchase your council property will be extended to those in housing associations.

Continue to increase state pension in the “triple lock system”: pensions rise each year either by 2.5% or in line with inflations and earnings – whichever is highest. Other pensioner benefits such as free bus passes, TV licences and the Winter Fuel Payment will be protected.

The Conservatives have already changed up the pension system



Watch out, Tax Avoiders – they’re coming for you.

Increase the annual tax for non-doms (And what the hell is a non-dom?!)

Find £30 billion: £13bn from making the government more efficient and making departmental savings, £12bn from welfare savings (benefits), £5bn created from clamping down on those pesky tax evaders…

Earn more than £150,000? Conservatives will restrict tax relief on pensions for the top earners. So you can pay less in without being taxed = more money for the government.

Manifesto Decoded: SO. MANY. GIVEAWAYS.

View the full Conservative Manifesto here….



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What else do you feel the Tories aren’t quite covering? Let us know in the comment box below.

2015 Labour Manifesto Explained in 6 minutes

Yesterday the Labour party released their manifesto.

This is a BIG DEAL.

In their 86 page manifesto, they set out what they will do if elected on May 7th.

That means lots of promises, some sweeping statements, and lots of persuasion to try and win our votes.

Luckily for you, we’ve saved you a bit of time. We’ve decoded what Miliband be sayin’…


Labour Say: Every policy will be paid for without needing any additional borrowing. Labour will reduce the deficit (gap between what the government spends and what it receives in taxes) every year and run a surplus (bring in more money in taxes than it spends and have some left over.) “as soon as possible” … but they don’t actually say when this would be…



People with an income of £150,000 and more will contribute a squidge more with a 50p rate of tax… this is an increase from 45% at the moment. Don’t know what that actually means? Neither did we, but we wrote four lines to try to explain…




No increase in the basic rates of income tax or national insurance. So the amounts of tax you pay stay the same, but the amount you earn before you pay these different rates will change.

Introduce a lower 10p starting rate of tax for low earners.

Raise the minimum wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019.


Labour manifesto.002


Goodbye to the bedroom tax. Does that mean we don’t have to learn what that is?



Zero hour contracts? You’re done with, you’re history, adios. Didn’t know what they are, Zero Hour Contracts: explained. 

Promote a living wage – a living wage being what people realistically need to earn to be able to live on.

Compulsory Job Guarantee – Young people out of work for a year get a paid starter job – which they must take or lose benefits.

Guarantee apprenticeships to students with the right grades. Companies working with major government contracts must offer apprenticeships.

Enhance technical education (think engineers, mechanics etc.) and training by creating new technical degrees and supporting part-time study.

Work benefits for 18 to 21-year-olds to be replaced with a new Youth Allowance depending on recipients being in training and targeted at those who need it most.

Dad, can I have some money? Labour will double paid paternity leave for fathers from two weeks to four weeks

Parents who need childcare you have an extra 10 hours, so do what you will.  Labour are promising to give 25 hours of free childcare for working parents of 3 and 5 year olds. That’s up from 15 hours.



Ensure smaller class sizes for 5, 6 and 7 year olds.

Private Schools have to muck in and help with raising educational standards in state schools before they get economic help from the government.

Ensure all young people study English and Maths to age 18…. get those calculators out kids.

Cut university tuition fees from £9,000 a year to £6,000.



You will be able to see a GP within 48 hours, no questions asked.

By 2020 you will be seen within a week for cancer appointments and tests, and training and support will be offered to GPs so they can spot the early signs of the motherfu….

Mental health will be given the same priority as physical health.

Encourage the use of mindfulness in young people… Is yoga going to become a compulsory sport then Ed?

Invest £2.5 billion more than the Conservatives into the NHS to fund 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 more nurses and 3,000 more midwives.


Health, education and international development will be protected from any cuts. That’s right – NO CUTS. REPEAT: NO CUTS TO HEALTH, EDUCATION AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.



Turn up the heating… Labour will freeze energy prices until 2017.

Work to remove the carbon from our electricity supply by 2030.

Create a million green jobs (working in the low-carbon energy sector). Do we get jobs in all the other colours as well?

Push for an ambitious target at the Climate Change Summit in Paris cut global emissions to zero in the second half of this century. We wonder what Climate change is anyway? CC:decoded. 



At least 200,000 new homes to be built by 2020, and Labour promise to give private renters a fairer deal too.

Work towards Three Year rents becoming the norm (rather than 6 or 12 month short contracts) and stop landlords hiking the price up each year.



Are you 16 or 17?  YOU WILL BE GIVEN THE VOTE! #congrats

Rail fares will be frozen for a year.

Call the police…10,000 frontline police jobs protected in the next three years.

Migrants from the EU will not be able to claim benefits until they have lived here for two years. At the moment migrants have to wait three months and then pass a residence test (asking about their situation, skills, and duration of stay) before they can claim benefits for up to 6 months. After 6 months you then have to prove you’re likely to get work to continue receiving money.

Make it illegal to undercut wages by exploiting migrant workers.

Everyone who works for public services will need to speak English.


Labour manifesto.003


Go equality: large companies will have to publish their gender pay gap situations.

Stay in the EU but with reform so it works for Britain. What would that reform be?…Let us know if you find out.



Out with the old… Get rid of the House of Lords and replace with a more democratic system: Senate of Nations and Regions where you must be ELECTED in. Want to know how the current system works?

Move power and control from Westminster… create an English Devolution Act, handing £30 billion of resources and powers to cities and county regions across the country.

No more cheeky jobs on the side …. ban MPs from holding paid directorships and consultancies.

Ministerial pay will be cut and frozen until the books are balanced. Ever wondered what the Prime Minister earns? Check out page 3 of this House of Commons Fact Sheet



Restrict tax relief on pension contributions for the highest earners: if you’re a rich pensioner the amount of money you can put into your pension fund without being taxed will be lowered equalling more money going to the government in tax.

A bank bonus tax or an extra tax on bankers’ bonuses.

Introduce a British Investment Bank to help UK businesses grow.

Abolish non-dom status so all those who make the UK their home will pay tax in the same way as all of us. Don’t know what a non-dom/ dom-nom/ noddy dommy is? You’re not alone, find out here.

Live in a property worth over £2million? Lucky you… Labour will introduce a mansion tax on properties worth over £2million.

Introduce a levy (tax) on tobacco firms.

All you Jimmy Carrs and Gary Barlows… watch out! Labour will be tackling and clamping down on tax avoidance.


MANIFESTO DECODED:  Labour wants you to think they have competent, realistic plans for sorting out the British economy. Labour’s big problem in the past has been that the public think they can’t be trusted with the dolla. Attacking this issue head on is a bold tactic.

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What else do you feel Labour aren’t quite covering? Let us know in the comment box below.