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Boris Johnson vows to get Brexit done as he unveils Tory manifesto

Boris Johnson vows to get Brexit done as he unveils Tory manifesto

Boris Johnson lashed Jeremy Corbyn for ‘sneering’ at working people today as he unveiled the Tory manifesto – vowing to recruit 50,000 extra nurses and create 50million more GP appointments. The PM launched the platform in the key swing seat of Telford, vowing to ‘get Brexit done’ and open a ‘new chapter’ for the country. The

Boris Johnson lashed Jeremy Corbyn for ‘sneering’ at working people today as he unveiled the Tory manifesto – vowing to recruit 50,000 extra nurses and create 50million more GP appointments.

The PM launched the platform in the key swing seat of Telford, vowing to ‘get Brexit done’ and open a ‘new chapter’ for the country.

The Tories’ key election manifesto pledges

HEALTH 

A cash increase for the NHS of £33bn a year by 2023/24 compared to 2018/19 budgets.

Recruit, train and retain 50,000 nurses. 

50 million more appointments in GP surgeries.

Extend the Cancer Drugs Fund into an Innovative Medicines Fund.

Improved ‘health tourism’ enforcement.

Introduction of an NHS Visa so that applications are cheaper and dealt with quicker for health workers who want to come to the UK. 

An extra £1bn a year for social care services. 

CRIME 

A pledge to spend £750m to start delivery of the government’s promised 20,000 additional police officers. 

Initial funding to start delivery of the government’s £2.5bn commitment to create an additional 10,000 prison places. 

EDUCATION 

A £14bn package so that every secondary school receives £5,000 per pupil by 2020/21 and every primary school gets £4,000 per pupil by 2021/22. 

Some £700m in extra funding to boost help for children with special educational needs. 

DEFENCE

A total of £2.2bn in additional funding for the Armed Forces to pay for further modernisation.

The introduction of a Veteran’s Railcard.

The offer of wraparound childcare for military personnel.  

INFRASTRUCTURE

A overall package of funding worth £100bn to improve the UK’s roads and rail network.  

Spend £500m a year on a ‘Potholes Fund’. 

Spend £500m to reverse some of the cuts to the UK’s rail network resulting from the 1960s Beeching report. 

Introduction of a new flood defence programme. 

TAX 

Raise the threshold at which people start making National Insurance contributions to £9,500 in April 2020 with an ‘ultimate ambition’ to raise it to £12,500.

Increase the employment allowance from £3,000 to £4,000. 

Pause a scheduled reduction in the rate of corporation tax, keeping it at 19 per cent.  

Mr Johnson warned that Labour would keep the country in the ‘same rut’ by prolonging the Brexit process.

He joked he wanted a majority so the UK can be ‘Corbyn neutral by Christmas’. 

‘The stakes have never been higher and the choice has never been starker,’ he said. 

Painting the Conservatives as the party of small business, Mr Johnson said: ‘When people get up at the crack of dawn to prepare their family business, when they risk everything on a new product or try to find a new market… 

‘We don’t sneer at them. We cheer for them.

‘That is the choice between out and out retrograde Socialism and sensible One Nation Conservatism.’ 

The Tories have committed to increase the NHS budget by £33.9billion by 2023-24, increase state-school spending and hand millions of workers a pay rise by lifting the threshold for national insurance contributions.  

Mr Johnson also played up his law and order credentials – saying he will recruit an extra 20,000 police and broaden stop and search powers. 

He also renewed his vow to introduce a points-based immigration system.

Mr Johnson said his ‘vision’ would ‘level up’ the country – but stressed that unlike Labour it would be done without raising income tax, VAT or national insurance. 

A costings document published alongside the manifesto lays bare the difference with Mr Corbyn’s offer, which was released on Thursday.

While Labour proposed £83billion in tax rises to fund a huge spending splurge, alongside hundreds of billions on nationalisation, the Tories are pledging just £1.5billion a year in additional day-to-day spending.

The extra spending on public services amounts to around £3billion a year. 

The pivotal moment in the campaign comes after a massive new analysis by Datapraxis of 270,000 voter interviews conducted by YouGov predicted the Conservatives will win 349 seats on December 12. 

The polling is brutal for Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn’s party set to lose 30 seats and potentially end up with just 213 MPs – that would only be marginally better than when the party was trounced in 1983 when it was led by Michael Foot.

A regular YouGov poll also reveals today that Labour’s manifesto launch last week when Mr Corbyn set out a series of eye-wateringly expensive spending plans has failed to move the dial with the public.

That poll puts the Tories on 42 per cent and 12 points ahead of Labour which is the same margin as was recorded before Mr Corbyn published his manifesto.

Meanwhile, a separate Opinium poll conducted for The Observer gives the Tories a staggering 19 point lead over Labour: 47 per cent to 28 per cent. 

Boris Johnson warned that Labour would keep the country in the ‘same rut’ by prolonging the Brexit process

Mr Johnson joked that Mr Corbyn 'used to be indecisive' on Brexit 'but now he's not so sure'

Mr Johnson joked that Mr Corbyn ‘used to be indecisive’ on Brexit ‘but now he’s not so sure’

The manifesto cover

Mr Johnson in Telford today

The Tory manifesto (left) was a safety-first affair, with the party riding high in the polls

The Prime Minister was given another poll boost today after a YouGov survey put the Tories on 42 per cent with Labour trailing on 30 per cent

The Prime Minister was given another poll boost today after a YouGov survey put the Tories on 42 per cent with Labour trailing on 30 per cent

A new Opinium poll puts the Tories 19 points ahead of the Labour Party, 47 per cent to 28 per cent

A new Opinium poll puts the Tories 19 points ahead of the Labour Party, 47 per cent to 28 per cent

Mr Johnson said securing Brexit would allow the government to turn its attention to the ‘priorities of the British people’. 

‘Get Brexit done and we can focus our hearts and our minds on the priorities of the British people because it is this One Nation Tory party that is already embarked on the biggest cash boost for the NHS for a generation,’ the Prime Minister said. 

‘Today in this manifesto we pledge 50,000 more nurses and their bursaries and 15 million more GP appointments and today we make this guarantee to the British people: we will tackle crime with 20,000 more police officers and tougher sentencing and we will sort out our immigration system with a points-based Australian-style system. 

The cost of Boris Johnson’s general election manifesto pledges

The Prime Minister today set out the policies which he hopes will help him retain the keys to 10 Downing Street. 

Here is a breakdown of some of the most eye-catching along with how much they will cost:

Day-to-day spending increases 

NHS: Recruiting 50,000 extra nurses, training them and keeping them. Cost: £759m

NHS: Fifty million more GP appointments. Cost: £399m

Hospital car parking: Making car parking free for certain groups of people. Cost: £93m

Justice: Improved community sentencing scheme. Cost: £77m

Overall cost of increased day-to-day spending: £1.5bn 

Tax cuts

Tax: Increasing the threshold at which people make National Insurance contributions to £9,500 in April 2020. Cost: £2.2bn

Tax: Increasing the threshold at which employers make National Insurance contributions from £3,000 to £4,000. Cost: £470m

Business rates: Further extension of business rates discounts. Cost: £320m 

Overall cost of tax cuts: £3.2bn 

Increased tax revenue

Corporation tax: Keeping the rate at 19 per cent instead of dropping it to 17 per cent. Will generate: £3bn

Health: Extending the health immigration surcharge to EU citizens after Brexit. Will generate: £320m

Overall increase in tax revenue: £3.3bn  

Capital spending

Transport: Reverse some of the cuts to the rail network resulting from the 1960s Beeching report. Cost: £500m

Transport: A fund to tackle potholes. Cost: £500m

Housing: A new system of Home Upgrade Grants to make buildings more energy efficient. Cost: £150m

Flooding: A new flood defence programme to make the nation more resilient. Cost: £680m

Overall capital spending cost: £3.3bn 

‘That we will invest millions more every week in science, in schools, in apprenticeships and in infrastructure, and control our debt at the same time. 

‘And that we will reach net-zero by 2050 with clean energy solutions. 

‘And here is the kicker – we can do all these things without raising our income tax, VAT or national insurance contributions. That’s our guarantee.’ 

The Tory leader revealed proposals including free car parking at hospitals – including for the two million ‘blue badge’ disabled drivers and passengers, as well as frequent outpatients and staff on night shifts. 

He hailed it as a commitment to end ‘unfair’ NHS car parking charges for protected groups – including disabled and terminally ill patients and their families. 

The manifesto pledges that no NHS trust will be left with less money because of this change.  

Mr Corbyn had earlier vowed to abolish hospital car parking fees altogether, but a Conservative source told The Sunday Telegraph that lifting the charges for everyone would leave ‘fewer spaces’ for people visiting sick relatives because car parks would fill up with additional vehicles.

In a clear pitch to motorists, a promise to embark on the country’s ‘biggest ever’ pothole-filling programme, with an injection of £2 billion as part of the Government national infrastructure strategy.

The Tories promised a ban on the export of plastic waste outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) group of developed nations in an attempt to ensure less plastic is dumped in the oceans.   

On climate change, the manifesto simply stuck to the existing commitment to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050. Labour had suggested it could go for a 2030 date but ended up fudging the issue. 

With older people traditionally more likely to go out and vote, the manifesto commits to maintain the pensions ‘triple lock’, winter fuel payments and the older persons free bus pass. 

The Tories are also promising a £1billion boost for after-school and holiday childcare with the aim of providing on-site childcare for 250,000 more primary school children over the summer.

The manifesto will commit £6.3billion for energy efficiency measures to cut fuel bills for 2.2million homes targeting social housing and ‘fuel poor’ families, while maintaining the current energy price cap.

There will be a £3billion national skills fund as the first step towards creating a new ‘right to retrain’. 

Jeremy Corbyn is pictured campaigning outside an Amazon depot in Sheffield. The Labour manifesto set out plans to raise income tax for people earning £80,000 or more, introduce a new ‘super-rich rate’ for people earning over £125,000

Jeremy Corbyn is pictured campaigning outside an Amazon depot in Sheffield. The Labour manifesto set out plans to raise income tax for people earning £80,000 or more, introduce a new ‘super-rich rate’ for people earning over £125,000

Mr Johnson confirmed that he wants to bring his Withdrawal Agreement Bill back to Parliament before Christmas if he wins the election. 

Although the bill cannot complete its passage through Parliament before the festive break, it is a clear signal of intent to get it through in time for Britain to leave the EU by the January 31 deadline.

Following the election, the new House of Commons is due to sit for the first time on Tuesday December 17.

Tories are on course for a majority, polls find 

Boris Johnson is on course to win a 48 seat majority at the general election on December 12, a major new poll shows, as the Prime Minister prepares to launch the Tory manifesto today. 

Mr Johnson will unveil his blueprint for Britain at an event in Telford this afternoon and he will do so with his Conservative Party riding high in the opinion polls. 

A massive new analysis by Datapraxis of 270,000 voter interviews conducted by YouGov predicts the Tories will win 349 seats when the nation goes to the ballot box in less than three weeks. 

But the polling is brutal for Labour, with Mr Corbyn’s party set to lose 30 seats and potentially end up with just 213 MPs – that would only be marginally better than when the party was trounced in 1983 when it was led by Michael Foot. 

A regular YouGov poll also reveals today that Labour’s manifesto launch last week when Mr Corbyn set out a series of eye-wateringly expensive spending plans has failed to move the dial with the public. 

That poll puts the Tories on 42 per cent and 12 points ahead of Labour which is the same margin as was recorded before Mr Corbyn published his manifesto. 

Meanwhile, a separate Opinium poll conducted for The Observer gives the Tories a staggering 19 point lead over Labour: 47 per cent to 28 per cent.

The first two days are likely to be taken up with the swearing in of the new MPs, potentially with the State Opening and the Queen’s Speech on the Thursday.

That could mean MPs sitting the following Monday – the start of Christmas week – to allow the WAB to be formally introduced, although it is not clear whether there could be any further progress before the holiday.

MPs in the last parliament voted to back the bill at second reading, but the Prime Minister withdrew it after they refused to support a timetable motion to fast-track it through the Commons in just three days.

The announcement of the tax lock comes after Mr Johnson let slip last week that the manifesto would include a commitment to raise the threshold for national insurance contributions.

Initially it will go up to £9,500 saving 31 million taxpayers around £100-a-year. However Mr Johnson’s suggestion it could rise to £12,500 – saving £500-a-year – is described as an ‘ambition’ and it is unclear whether it will be met in the next parliament. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘Yes, it’s true that we are not prioritising tax cuts for high earners at the moment. ‘We are looking, of course, at the moment, to do what we can to help people with the cost of living.’ 

He added: ‘The only other potential prime minister, I’m afraid at this election, is Jeremy Corbyn supported by Nicola Sturgeon, and every independent analysis I have seen suggests that his pledges which are being added to every day would lead to massive tax increases for people across this country. 

‘We’re cutting taxes, managing things sensibly, putting huge investments now into the NHS and into public services. 

‘We will continue to do that throughout this Parliament.’ 

Asked about social care, Mr Johnson said a Tory government would pledge another billion pounds every year, adding that they will have a long-term plan that achieves two things. 

‘First of all, ensures that everybody has dignity and security in their old age, and secondly that nobody has to sell their home to pay for the cost of their care,’ he said. 

The Labour Party has already launched its manifesto, and leader Jeremy Corbyn will be looking for a positive reaction to his plans as he goes out and about today.

Mr Corbyn is expected to be campaigning in the South East.

Tories WILL maintain armed forces numbers, insists PM 

Boris Johnson today insisted a Tory administration would maintain armed forces numbers – despite leaving the pledge out of the party’s manifesto. 

The PM dismissed claims that military chiefs  are preparing to reduce the size of the army, and potentially even ‘loan out’ one of the UK’s flagship aircraft carriers to an ally. 

Mr Johnson said: “We will not be cutting our armed forces in any form – we will be maintaining the size of our armed forces. 

“That’s because we are increasing funding in our armed services. 

‘We are maintaining our Nato 2 per cent commitment and more. 

‘Actually, we are going to be increasing our funding by 0.5% above inflation every year of this parliament because we believe in our armed forces.’ 

It comes after he was criticised by other parties for his decision to remain ‘neutral’ in a proposed public vote on a new Brexit deal which the party intends to negotiate with Brussels.  

The poll analysis carried out by Datapraxis suggests that Mr Johnson could make do with a middle of the road manifesto launch. 

But the PM will be hoping that his blueprint can deliver a fatal blow to Labour and guarantee him victory on December 12. 

The Datapraxis work for The Sunday Times suggests that the Tories could win 349 seats which would give Mr Johnson a majority of 48. 

That would represent an increase of 57 seats on where the Conservatives are currently. 

Meanwhile, Labour is projected to finish with 213 seats, down 30, a result which would consign Mr Corbyn to history as one of the party’s least successful leaders. 

The poll analysis is also bad news for the Liberal Democrats with Jo Swinson’s party due to go backwards from 20 seats to just 14 while the SNP is expected to wipe the floor in Scotland by winning 49 seats, up 14 on the party’s 2017 mark.

The latest YouGov poll puts the Tories on 42 per cent, Labour on 30 per cent, the Lib Dems on 16 per cent and the Brexit Party on three per cent. 

Mr Johnson will today pledge to reintroduce his Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) – the legislation needed to actually make an orderly Breexit happen – in December if he is re-elected as PM. 

He said it would be his ‘early Christmas present’ for voters who are fed up with wrangling over Britain’s departure from the EU.

‘As families sit down to carve up their turkeys this Christmas, I want them to enjoy their festive-season free from the seemingly unending Brexit box-set drama,’ he said in a statement ahead of the launch event in the West Midlands.

‘The Conservative manifesto, which I’m proud to launch today, will get Brexit done and allow us to move on and unleash the potential of the whole country.’    

Mr Johnson, pictured on his way to Telford today, is on course to win a 48 seat majority, according to new polling analysis

Mr Johnson, pictured on his way to Telford today, is on course to win a 48 seat majority, according to new polling analysis

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