End Austerity! What even is austerity? Cuts to public services – the SNP want no more of it! Instead of cutting, the SNP will put in tiny increases into public spending of 0.5% for each year of parliament.
The SNP will have an additional £140 billion to play with to invest in things like the NHS and education (that’s across the whole of the UK, not just Scotland). They’ll find the money from introducing more taxes…
– Hello 50p tax rate for top earners – so those earning the most contribute more to help the most vulnerable.
– Bankers get ready to pay an extra tax on those nice bonuses you get.
– A bank levy (posh name for a tax).
– A mansion tax (posh name for a house worth over a certain amount, you’d be surprised what is considered a ‘mansion’ in London).
– A crackdown on tax avoidance.
– No more non-doms (Dick and Dom can stay).
Vote to increase NHS spending in the UK by £24 billion by 2021 – adding £2 billion to the NHS Scotland budget.
The SNP will always vote against any privatisation of the NHS in England.
Oppose plans to renew Trident nuclear weapons (explainer). Instead that £100 billion – yes £100 billion – can be invested into nice(r) things. Like better childcare. And better education. And of course: a better NHS.
Minimum wage is going up… £8.70 to be precise. Not immediately but by 2020.
The SNP support the living wage across the whole of the UK. The SNP also want you to know that the Scottish Government already pays all its employees the living wage (pat on the back), and it urges the UK government to do the same (you’ve been warned UK).
Say no to….cuts to Child Benefit. Instead increase benefits so that incomes of the poorest in society do not fall even further behind the cost of living. The SNP got ya back peeps.
Absolutely zero cuts to the Disability Living Allowance, and the SNP will always vote against it too.
So long Bedroom Tax, it’s been fun.
Increase Carer’s Allowance so it matches Jobseekers’ Allowance (explainer). Carer’s Allowance is currently £62.10 per week.
Guarantee free university education in Scotland, and support the reduction of fees in the rest of the UK.
Give Educational Maintenance Allowance in Scotland to 22,000 more pupils and part-time students.
30,000 more apprenticeships for young people.
Expand free nursery education from 16 hours a week to 30 hours a week.
The SNP love being part of the EU and they will do all they can to make sure it stays that way.
The Help to Buy scheme which helps people get their feet on that tricky housing ladder – SNP will support its growth and aren’t against it.
SNP aim: 100,000 more affordable homes a year in the UK.
End those infamous zero-hour contracts.
Encourage people on benefits back to work by supporting an increase of 20% in Work Allowance – aka the amount people are allowed to earn before their benefit is cut.
Review plans to change retirement age from 66 to 67… it will make a difference to when people can start receiving their pensions.
SNP will encourage the UK government to follow their lead on ambitious carbon reduction targets – that’s making the UK a cleaner and greener country for everyone.
Delay and suspend fracking.
Make me safe: 1,000 extra police officers.
50/50 Men and Women on public and private boards please.
Equal pay – is it that much to ask?
Females listen to this: no VAT on sanitary products!
Goodbye Lords: Hello new, ELECTED second chamber.
First Past The Post is so yesterday – the SNP call for Proportional Representation as the new voting system – that’s where a party is allocated a number of seats in Parliament that is directly proportional to the number of votes they gained nationwide.
The SNP want you to know they will ALWAYS support independence and want Scotland to be its own country in its own right (flashback to 2014 and the SNP losing that referendum).
In the meantime: SNP MPs in Westminster will use their influence to make sure Scotland get what they deserve – aka promises of greater powers are kept and put into action.
The Scottish Parliament would be completely responsible for all their monies.
The SNP are also pretty anti a Conservative government, just so you know. #enemies
YOU’VE HEARD THE 2015 SNP MANIFESTO.
THERE’S NOT LONG TO GO NOW… WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR?
ELECTION DAY: MAY 7TH.
Stay up to date with all our explainers and:
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What else do you feel the SNP aren’t quite covering? Let us know in the comment box below.
The 2015 Liberal Democrat Manifesto has now been released. Want to make some sense of it…read on.
In a sentence: Opportunity, equality and prosperity to all!
Sound fair? Read on…
Raise tax-free allowance to £12,500.
Lib Dems are giving themselves until 2017/2018 to BALANCE THE BUDGET. How? By cutting less than the Tories, and spending less than Labour. Sounds like middle child syndrome.
Make sure the rich “pay their share” and corporations are unable to avoid the right taxes… ahem Amazon.
Local areas will have more control with the economic decisions that affect them.
This will be easier with an extra £2.5 billion to be added to England’s education budget.
Guarantee education funding and support from nursery all the way to the grand old age of 19.
Put qualified teachers in every class AND they’ll have to have a minimum of a B grade in GCSE English and Maths in order to teach.
Free school meals for all primary school pupils.
No more state schools that make profit.
Promote STEM subjects in schools and encourage those young entrepreneurs.
How many times have you had to use osmosis since you left school? Lib Dems will introduce a “curriculum for life” – so that’s actually learning useful things such as finance skills (seriously how do you even do a tax return?), first aid, lifesaving skills, citizenship, sex and relationship education.
Aim to double the number of businesses offering apprenticeships.
Throw in an extra £8 billion to the NHS.
Mental health = physical health = same status and importance. How? Throw in extra £500 million to mental health care.
Get tough with tax evasion and avoidance by removing lots of loopholes for the sneaky peoples.
Finish what they started: something called Universal Credit – which means people will always be better off in work than on benefits.
If your company has more than 250 employees, you better start publishing differences of pay between the hes and the shes. This sounds familiar…I think this was poached from the Conservative Manifesto, or vice versa. Funny that.
Leading by example: by April 2016 all those working in government departments will receive a living wage, and the Lib Dems will encourage all public sectors to pay a fair living wage too.
Can you say DaDa? Expand “shared parental leave” and paternity leave to encourage fathers to take time off with their young children.
Increase free childcare for all 2 year olds from 15 hours a week to 20.
Too many free bee’s for Nana: if you’re a pensioner and receiving an income that pays tax at the higher rate of 40% (aka. a larger income), Lib Dems are cutting you off from Winter Fuel Payments and free TV licenses BUT you will still keep your free bus pass.
Plant a tree for every child born. Yep, that’s a lotta trees.
Waste not, want not: aim to have England recycling 70% of their rubbish.
A Green Transport Act: every new bus/taxi must be ultra low emission by 2030, and every car by 2040; low emission zones in busy towns and cities.
A Zero Carbon Britain Act: all about reducing greenhouse gases, so that’s less coal and more of this buzzword: decarbonizing.
A Green Buildings Act: painting the houses green? Not far off. Lib Dems will introduce a discount on council tax for homes that improve their energy efficiency – that’s what you call an incentive.
Rent To Own: where your monthly payments slowly buy you a stake in the property. KaCHING!
Help to Rent: deposit loans to help the young’uns get their first place.
Almost every household to have high speed broadband.
A sort of mansion tax but with a different name: High Value Property Levy (see what they did there?). This will be for properties over £2 million and will have a banded structure, like council tax, so it is proportionate to the value of your home.
Keep the current cap on a household’s benefits and try and measure this against what the average family income is. What even is an average family?
Encourage landlords to lower their rent by paying them this thing called Housing Benefit directly.
16 and 17 year olds: you have the vote.
Give more powers to Wales, just like Scotland. These are called devolved powers.
Make actual rules for these election TV debates, because, let’s be honest, the will they/won’t they saga has been annoying/boring.
Better border checks because we wanna know who’s coming in and who’s going out.
End FGM in the UK and abroad – yes FGM, that’s female genital mutilation, happens right here in the UK with an estimated 20,000 girls at risk.
Remain in the EU.
16-21? Say hello to your new discount bus pass.
Rail upgrades across the country and general transport improvements.
Opposed to airport expansion and any new airport in Greater London area.
Enough with the Facebook stalking: Lib Dems will protect your internet privacy rights with a Digital Bill of Rights so everyone can control their own personal data.
The General Election is just around the corner…
Will you be voting for the Liberal Democrats on May 7th?
Stay up to date with all our explainers and:
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What else do you feel the Lib Dems aren’t quite covering? Let us know in the comment box below.
Become independent, control our borders and believe in Britain – it’s the UK Independence Party’s 2015 Manifesto
It’s in the name really: United Kingdom INDEPENDENCE Party.
As UKIP outline in their 2015 manifesto they want out of the EU. Why? They say we’ve lost the rights to make our own laws and the EU has far too much control over our laws, foreign affairs, tax and trade agreements. As more countries join the EU our share of the vote goes down – so even when the UK votes against stuff we often still end up with it as UK law.
Add in the surge in popularity for the idea of an EU army and police force – able to act in Britain of course, and UKIP think it’s time to go.
UKIP want an EU REFERENDUM as soon as possible – if the public vote to go then we can either leave immediately, or activate the Lisbon Treaty, giving us two years to go (this is the option UKIP prefers)
Objectives for a British Exit (BREXIT): sort a good trade deal with the EU and make sure we stay good mates: sharing intelligence, powers of extradition in case our criminals try to escape there, disaster relief and so on. So you give us that, and we’ll go off and do the rest ourselves. OK? Not asking for much, is it?!
UKIP will raise the amount before you pay tax to £13,000
The amount before you pay 40% will rise to £55,000 and a new 30% rate will be added for incomes between £43,500 and £55,000 – to help middle earners.
Inheritance Tax will be abolished altogether as UKIP believes assets bought with money you were taxed on should not be taxed again when you die.
NO MORE TAX DODGING FOR BIG BUSINESSES – bring back a law which stops companies choosing which EU country they pay tax in. That’ll learn you.
Take back control of the borders! No more immigration for migrants in unskilled jobs for a five year period and reduce high skilled jobs visas to 50,000 a year. This should ease the pressure on public services which UKIP say are struggling to cope because of immigrants coming in and using them without paying taxes.
Get lots more border staff and bring in an Australian Style Points System which looks at the skills you have to ensure you can benefit the country before you’re given a visa. The UK currently does a points system ONLY if you’re from outside the EU.
No benefits for migrants including free NHS treatment until they have paid tax and national insurance for five years. This also applies to social housing. All visitors and immigrants must have their own health insurance.
Foreign criminals will not be allowed to enter and migrants who commit crimes resulting in jail time will be deported.
Keep the NHS free and spend £12 billion more to ensure it stays that way and is able to function properly.
No more privatisation either. And that cheeky EU/USA secret trade deal that might mean we have to put bits of the NHS up for sale to US companies? You can do one as well.
Let’s have 8000 more GPs and waive tuition fees for medical students who work in Britain for 5 years after qualifying. And 20,000 more nurses, 3000 extra midwives.
£1.5 billion will go into mental health and dementia services. And there will be NO hospital parking charges.
Social care for the elderly will go into the control of the NHS for a simpler system. Social care funding will also rise by £1.2 billion. Home care visits will be longer than the current 15 minute times allotted.
No more lowering of benefits if you have an empty spare room – that’s just wrong. What’s also wrong is pretending you’re ill: If you’ve been sick and your doctor thinks you’re well again they will LEGALLY have to grass you in to the government. No-where to hide, scroungers.
However more people will be trained up to help in 800 food banks across the country.
You’ll only get child benefits for two children. BUT you’ll still get 15 hours free childcare AND all primary schools will have to offer childcare from 8AM to 6PM – so you can get back to work and pay for them!
Fathers for Justice rejoice – UKIP will work for 50/50 shared parenting in child residency to become the norm.
We need more doctors, engineers and nurses so cut Uni tuition fees for science, technology, maths and medicine. From primary school kids will be encouraged by a “science leader” to take an interest in the subject.
Reduce class sizes and teacher paperwork so that quality of teaching is better. And let people go straight onto A levels from 16, rather than having the stress of AS level exams.
First aid training will become part of the curriculum.
Create more affordable homes and make sure local people get first access. People with local connections to the area will get priority for council housing and only British Nationals will be helped by Right to Buy schemes.
Get people to rent out their empty homes by upping council tax if it’s left empty for more than two years. And give local people more control over where houses are allowed to be built.
Build 1 million houses on Brownfield sites (land previously used for industrial or commercial space) by 2025 and local people will have more say in where they are built. No tax on selling these if the property’s worth is below £250,000.
Rich home owners breathe a sigh of relief: No mansion tax at all.
The Manifesto for UKIP says linking London to the North of England via the proposed super-fast High Speed 2 network is silly–Instead spend the money on protecting the legacy of the car industry by taking away road tax for cars over 25 years old.
Who wants to pay to drive? No more toll roads and oppose the EU’s plan to price up European roads.
Also we need more airports around the South East. Take Manston Airport. We could re-open that as it’s “ideally placed to take low cost airlines” and is “close to the railway network”. Nothing to do with it being in Nigel Farage’s constituency….
Instead of a really expensive Climate Change Act let’s get Fracking for Shale Gas! And only invest in renewable energy where they can deliver CHEAPLY. And we must save the coal industry because in the past it gave us loads of jobs…
British workers need to come first: stop the EU encouraging companies to look abroad first and allow them to pick Brits over foreigners.
Enforce the minimum wage and keep zero hour contracts because some people do find them useful. But make them fairer ensuring people can look for other work and get a good notice period for when they’ll be needed.
Make things better for small businesses by encouraging people to town centres with free parking and cutting business property tax for companies in properties worth under £50,000
And allow young people to start apprenticeships in the place of four non-core GCSE subjects
Farmers are great and we need them to give us good British food – so let’s give them a farm payment of £80 per acre and get food labelled so we know which country it’s come from.
Also put cameras in abattoirs to make sure there’s been no maltreatment of animals (if there is the punishment will be tripled) and vote on genetically modified foods.
Not just farmers – get rid of EU rules that screw over British fishermen and make sure that only Brits can fish for 12 miles offshore.
Save Britain’s heritage by creating a minister to look after old, listed buildings and boost tourism.
Re-instate the good old British boozer as a staple of British society – cigarette packets will be branded again and smoking rooms will be back (though properly ventilated this time).
UKIP promise 3,500 more staff for police and prisons. There will be no privatisation of the police force at all. And no European Union police force on our streets please.
British Law will be the highest power once we’ve removed ourselves from the European Court of Human Rights. Foreign prisoners will be deported immediately – BYE. This will mean lots more places to lock up British baddies.
Qualified prisoners will teach other wrong ‘uns reading and writing – and we’ll pay them! But any money will go towards compensation for whoever they’ve wronged.
Criminals don’t get the vote. Obviously.
Only MPs for English constituencies get a say on English matters. Every two years there will be a public vote on the most popular petition that gets over 2 million signatures.
And if 20% of you don’t like your MP you can trigger a by-election and try to get them voted out!
Also let’s bring in Proportional Representation (PR). It’s much fairer than the current system as the % of votes won by your party = % of seats your party gets in parliament. And it probably means UKIP will get more MPs…
UKIP will promote British culture – and reject multiculturalism. Other cultures and religions welcome so long as you accept British culture as top dog. Any ideas should be open to discussion – so let’s have none of this “offense culture” where people are scared to say what they think.
So: No more multi-language formats on official documents. You get English and you’ll enjoy it… OK, fine you can have some Welsh and Gaelic.
There will be 100% zero tolerance on Female Genital Mutilation and in schools and public services there will be a legal requirement to report suspected cases.
St. George’s Day becomes a Bank Holiday. Wales also gets one on St. David’s Day. More holidays = Love UKIP
At least 2% of all the moneys will go to defence – as recommended by NATO. At least £4 billion more will be spent on defence by 2020.
More needs to be done for our brave British soldiers – so they won’t pay any tax, will get their own hospital and loans to start up their own businesses. And there will NEVER be an EU army on our watch.
When pension age does rise to 69 you’ll be able to retire at 65 but you’ll receive a little less pension money. Your call.
Pension Advice services will get their budgets doubled so you know what you’re going for and it’ll be illegal for anyone to cold call you about pensions.
First of all save £9 billion a year by leaving the European Union. Then reduce money going to overseas aid to 0.2% total income. Seems to work for America.
Scrap High Speed 2 and save £4 billion to be used more wisely. Reduce spending by £5.5billion by making public spending more equal across the UK – rather than some of the country getting more than others. Scotland we’re looking at you.
Make Westminster cheaper: Reduce the number of MPs and make sure constituencies are the same size and axe a number of government departments (Sayonara to Energy and Climate Change, International Development, and Culture Media and Sport), and a big clamp down on MPs expenses.
Go Fracking! Establish a sovereign wealth fund from the tax profits of Fracking – all funds go towards social care of older people.
At the back: Handy charts and figures from an independent consultant showing how much their policies will save and where spending will go. Oooooh, fancy.
Leader Nigel Farage claims this is the only manifesto to be properly costed.
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The Green Party have just released their manifesto for 2015. So what do you need to know?
In a nutshell: out with the old and in with the Green.
That means: Heal the planet, have a more equal and just society, and definitely a more democratic government.
Sound interesting? Read on…
OH AND ALSO…
THE GREEN PARTY MANIFESTO – HOW?
Nice thoughts. Great sentiment. Achievable?
THURSDAY 7th MAY
IT’S JUST AROUND THE CORNER
For the full Green Party manifesto click here.
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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…
TAX, TAX, TAX:
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.
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.
WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION
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.
“AN NHS WITH THE TIME TO CARE”
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.
ENERGY AND HOW TO LOWER THOSE PESKY EMISSIONS
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?
HOME SWEET HOME
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.
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.
SHAKE UP THE POLITICAL SYSTEM
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
SURE THIS ALL SOUNDS GREAT BUT WHERE WILL THEY FIND THE MONEY?
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.
Stay up to date with all our explainers and:
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What else do you feel Labour aren’t quite covering? Let us know in the comment box below.