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What are the key policies of the Tories, with an emphasis on how their policies will affect business, especially smaller businesses?

Taxation:

  • Pledged to increase the personal allowance for income tax to £12,500, and raise the higher rate threshold to £50,000.
  • Triple lock, guaranteeing no rise in income tax, NI and VAT to be scrapped.
  • No increase in VAT.
  • Cut corporation tax to 17 per cent.

Executive pay

  • Legislate for pay packages to be subject to annual votes by shareholders.
  • Listed companies to publish the ratio of executive pay to the workforce.
  • Companies with more than 250 staff required to publish data on male/female pay gap.

Late Payments

  • Will ensure that businesses that don’t abide by the Prompt Payment Code will lose the right to bid for government contracts. They are also pledging to make one-third of all government purchases from SMEs by the end of the next parliament; a promise that, if honoured, would potentially mean billions of extra income for SMEs.

Employment

  • Proposed to double the Immigration Skills Charge to £2000 per year for each non-EU worker employed by a business.
  • They have also vowed to offer a National Insurance holiday for businesses that take on ex-offenders, disabled people, and those with mental health issues.
  • They are targeting having the median Living equalling 60 per cent of median earnings.

Skills/productivity

The UK has one of the lowest levels of output per hour in the G7 – only in Japan is it lower, which may explain the glut of minimum wage jobs.

  • Planning to launch new vocational qualifications called T-levels covering 15 subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, health and science.
  • Meet OECD average for 2.4 per cent of GDP investment in R&D.

Telecoms/broadband/5G

  • The only party to put a figure on the investments they will make – i.e. £740m. They are saying 2020 for universal access to superfast broadband and a target of around 40 per cent coverage for FTTP by 2027 – which by the way is not especially high by EU standards. They will bring back fibre vouchers for businesses. Plan to have the majority (51 per cent) of the population covered by a 5G signal by 2027.

Social Care

  • Means test winter fuel payments.
  • Social care to be paid  after they have died, from value of their assets, but not first £100,000, to be capped, but we don’t know at what level.

Education

  • Lift ban on new selective schools – meaning bring back grammar schools.
  • Build 100 free schools a year.
  • Increase education budget by £4 billion a year.
  • Free school meals for infants to be replaced by free breakfasts.

NHS

  • To increase spending by £8 billion a year.
  • Recover cost of medical treatment for non-UK citizens.

Pensions

  • Remove treble lock, guaranteeing pensions to rise either with inflation, earnings or  by 2.5 per cent a year, whichever is the higher with a double lock, removing the guarantee of 2.5 per cent rises a year if this is the greater.

Immigration

  • Cut immigration to the tens of thousands.
  • Control immigration from EU.
  • Toughen requirements for student visas.
  • For more, see Immigration to UK falls. 

Foreign Aid

  • Commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid.

Defence

  • Commit to spend two per cent of GDP.

Housing

  • Build one million  homes by 2020 plus an extra 500,000 by 2022.

Voting

  • Reduce the number of MPs to 600
  • Boundary review.
  • Voters must present identification at polling booth.

Fox hunting

  • A free vote.

Energy

  • Fixed cap on energy tariffs.

Environment

  • Support fracking, which is almost the opposite of Labour policy.

See also

What the pre-election manifestoes mean for small businesses

 

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