Tom Inniss Journalist and podcaster

Who says what: GE 2017 manifesto breakdown

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With the general election vote just around the corner, it is time to put some serious consideration as to which party you will vote for on 8 June.

People tend to vote based on personalities, ie. who looks best on television. While there does have to be a degree of charisma to a leader, it is their policies, and their vision for the country that should ultimately guide your decision. Is what the party wants to do compatible with my values, and my needs?

These policies are all documented in the party manifesto. The manifesto details everything the party wants to do, and depending on the level of detail, can also break down costings or give detailed time goals. It is through these manifestos that a party gets it mandate.

A mandate is the authority to carry out policy, and it is assumed that the party with the majority of votes in a general election has the mandate to carry out their manifesto.

This article will examine the manifestos of the main parties, and detail what each has to say on issues of education, art and culture, and youth people generally. There are many more issues that can and indeed should be looked into, and links to all of the manifestos can be found embedded within, and reiterated at the end. Page numbers are provided so you can look up the policies and surrounding context for yourself.

This article is purely informative, and simply breaks down what the manifesto says.

There will be no opinion provided.


Conservative manifesto: Forward Together

Conservative Leader Theresa May

Conservative Leader Theresa May

Education

  • The Conservatives want to make “Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy”. That will need to tackle “long-ignored” lack of training and technical education. (p.8)
  • They will “establish funding streams to ensure investment for the long term, and make a modern technical education available to everyone throughout their lives.” (p.19)
  • This training will come from doubling the Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers to £2,000 a year by the end of Parliament (p.21).
  • They will continue their programme of free schools “building at least a hundred new free schools a year” (p.50)
  • Councils will be prohibited from creating new places in schools that have been rated as inadequate or requires improvement by Ofsted. (p.50)
  • Universities wanting to charge maximum tuition fee has to be involved in the sponsorship of academies or the founding of free schools. (p.50)
  • There will be new funding arrangements so new maths schools can be opened in every major city. (p.50)
  • The ban on selective schools will be lifted, subject to conditions, for example, pupils able to join at other ages, not just 11 (p.50)
  • Bursaries for top graduates to attract them into teaching, and forgiveness of student loan repayments (p.50-51)
  • Technical qualifications will be replaced by “T-Levels”, spread across 15 subjects such as “constructions, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science”. The number of of teaching hours will increase 50% to an average of 900 hours, and students will do a three-month work placement. (p.53)
  • Significatnly discounted bus and train travel for apprentices. (p.53)
  • introduce a right to request leave for training. (p.53)
  • Continue to roll-out Universal Credit. (p.53)

Culture

  • Conservatives will continue their “strong support for the arts” and ensure more of that support is outside London. They pledge to maintain free entry to permanent collections of major national museums and galleries. (p.25)
  • A new cultural development fund will be created to “turn around communities”. (p.25)
  • A “Great Exhibition of the North” will be held in 2018, to “celebrate amazing achievements in innovation, the arts and engineering.” (p.25)
  • Support will be given to a UK city to bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth games. (p.25)
  • Will support the development of a new Edinburgh Concert Hall, “reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city.” (p.25)
  • Channel 4 will remain publicly owned. (p.34)
  • Start moving significant numbers of UK Government civil servants and other public servants out of longer to cities around the UK. “We will do so in a way that encourages the development of new clusters of public services, private businesses and, where appropriate, universities. (p.34-35)
  • We will work with the nation’s most eminent museums and galleries to ensure their works and expertise are shared across the country. (p.35)
  • Ensure institutions such as BBC World Service and British Council are on a “secure footing so they are able to promote the best British values around the globe.” (p.39)
  • “In too many parts of our country, we have communities that are divided… along racial or religion lines”. There will be a new integration strategy that seeks to help people in “more isolated communities” to engage with the wider world”. (p.55)
  • “We will work with schools to make sure that those with intakes from one predominant racial, cultural or religious background teach their students about pluralistic, British values and help them to get to know people with different ways of life.” (p.55)
  • The Conservatives will not proceed with the recommendations from the Revision Enquiry. (p.88)

Young people

  • “Restore the contract between the generations, providing older people with security against ill health while ensuring we maintain the promise of opportunity and prosperity for younger generations.” (p.63)
  • Publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of 2017. (p.72)
  • New rights to require social media companies to delete information about young people as they turn 18. (p.76)

Labour manifesto: For the Many, Not the Few

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Education

  • “Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use”. (p.34).
  • Scrap the grammar schools re-launch and free schools. (p.37)
  • Implement a new funding formula and address the underfunding of certain schools. (p.37)
  • Invest in school buildings and work to remove asbestos from existing schools. (p.37)
  • Reduce class sizes to less that 30 for five, six and seven year-olds. (p.38)
  • Remove VAT exemption on private school fees to pay for free school meals for all primary school children. (p.38)
  • Resolve “the public-sector pay cap, giving teachers more direct involvement in the curriculum… reducing monitoring and bureaucracy.” (p.38)
  • Consult on teacher sabbaticals and placements with industry to encourage interaction between education and industry. (p.38)
  • “Free lifelong education in Further education colleges, enabling everyone to… retrain at any point in life.” (p.39)
  • Restore Education Maintenance Allowance for 16-18 year-olds from lower and middle income backgrounds. (p.40)
  • Replace Advanced Learner Loans and upfront course fees with direct funding. (p.40)
  • Increase capital investment to equip colleges to deliver T_levels and an official pre-apprenticeship trainee programme. (p.40)
  • Scrapping tuition fees and reintroducing maintenance grants. (p.43)
  • Labour will launch a “creative careers advice campaign in schools.” (p.95-96).
  • Will “put creativity back at the heart of the curriculum, reviewing the EBacc performance measure
  • to make sure arts are not sidelined from secondary education.” (p.95)
  • Make sure education is “LGBT inclusive.” (p.111)

Culture

  • “Ensure libraries are preserved for future generations and updated with wifi and computers to meet modern needs” and “reintroduce library standards”. (p.88).
  • Will introduce £1bn Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade existing cultural and creative infrastructure, to be administered by the Arts Council over a 5-year period. (p.95)
  • Maintain free entry to museums and invest in the museums and heritage sector. (p.95)
  • Introduce a £160m per year arts pupil premium boost for primary schools to invest in projects that support cultural activities over the long term. (p.95)
  • Labour will review extending the £1,000 pub relief business rates scheme to small music venues. (p.96)
  • Work with the film industry, and the public and commercial broadcasters to find “rapid solutions to improve diversity.” (p.96)
  • Labour is “committed to keeping Channel 4 in public ownership and will guarantee the future of Welsh-language broadcaster S4C.” (p.97)
  • British Sign Language will get full recognition as a recognised language. (p.113)

Young people

  • Spend £90m a year to have school-based counselling to improve children’s mental health (p.38)
  • Mental health provisions will improve as a whole, and give mental health “the same priority as physical health”. (p.73)
  • Will prevent the private sector and subsidiaries of private companies from running child protection services. (p.86)
  • Will support further regulation of commercial fostering agencies, and commission a review for establishing a national fostering service. (p.87)
  • Will enshrine the European Convention on Right of the Child into domestic law. (p.87)
  • Labour “will ensure that young people understand and are able to easily remove any content they shared on the internet before they turned 18”. (p.96)
  • The voting age will be reduced to 16. (p.103)

Liberal Democrats manifesto: Change Britain’s Future

LibDem leader Tim Farron

LibDem leader Tim Farron

Education

  • Will invest £7bn in children’s education through increasing school budgets and pupil premium – and introduce a fairer national funding formula. (p.25).
  • Triple the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1,000. (p.25)
  • Oppose anyone selective schools and give local authorises proper democratic control over admissions and new schools. (p.25)
  • “Reverse all cuts to front-line school and college budgets, protecting per-pupil in real terms”. (p.26)
  • End the 1% cap on teachers pay. (p.27)
  • Introduce a clear and properly funded entitlement to genuinely high-quality professional development for all teachers – “25 hours per year by 2020, rising to the OECD average of 50 hours by 2025. (p.27)
  • Rule out state-funded profit-making schools. (p.28).
  • Introduce a slimmed down core national curriculum which includes personal, social and health education, financial literacy, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Sex and Relationship Education – that involces LGBT+ relationships, pornography and sexual content. (p.28-29)
  • Protect availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum and act to remove barriers to pupils studying these subjects. (p.29)
  • Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects. (p. 29)
  • Ensure that “all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling. (p.30)
  • “Reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students”. (p.30)
  • Review the financing of higher education “in light of the latest evidence of the impact of the existing financing system on access, participation and quality”. (p.30)
  • Aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices – and increase number of apprentices from BAME backgrounds, balance gender equality, and encourage under-represented groups to apply. (p.31)
  • Ensure that courses started in custody can be completed on release. (p.75)

Culture

  • Maintain free access to national museums and galleries. (p.65)
  • Protect the independence of the BBC and set up a BBV licence Fee Commission. (p.65-66)
  • Maintain Channel 4 in public ownership and protect the funding and editorial independence of Welsh language broadcasters. (p.66)
  • “Create creative enterprise zones to grow and regenerate the cultural output of areas across the UK. (p.66)
  • Protect sports and arts funding via the National Lottery. (p.66)
  • Commence part two of the Leveson inquiry as soon as practicable. (p.72)
  • Ensure that trans prisoners are placed in prisons that reflect their gender identity. (p.75)
  • End imprisonment for possession of illegal drugs for personal use, and introducing legal regulated cannabis. (p.76)
  • Mandate televised leaders’ debates in general elections, and allow for empty-chairing of leaders who refuse to attend. (p.90)
  • Introduce trials of weekend voting. (p.90)
  • Introduce legislation to allow for all-BAME and all-LGBT+ parliamentary shortlists. (p.90)
  • Establish a review for MP job-sharing arrangements. (p.91)

Young People

  • Protect Erasmus+ and other EU-funded schemes which “increase opportunities for young people”. (p.10)
  • Roll out access and waiting time standards for children, young people and adults – including no more than two weeks wait of young people who experience a first episode of psychosis. (p.18)
  • “Examine the case for introducing a dedicated service for children and young people based on the Australian ‘headspace’ model and building on many youth information, advice and counselling services”. (p.18)
  • Introduce a new Young Person’s Bus Discount Card for young people aged 16-21, giving two-thirds discount. (p.57)
  • Reverse cuts to housing benefit for 18-21-year-olds and increase rates of Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit for 18-24-year-olds at the same rate as minimum wages. (p.59)
  • Help to Rent scheme that provides government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30. (p.61-62).
  • Lower the voting age to 16 on all elections and referendums across the UK. (p.90)
  • Make more effort to register young people qualifying to vote for the first time, and those moving to universities. (p.90)

UKIP manifesto: Britain Together

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall

UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall

Education

  • Introduce emotional health and wellbeing into the Ofsted inspection framework. (p.22)
  • End sex education in primary schools. (p.24)
  • Renew focus on mental arithmetic skills and learning times tables, and encourage children to learn languages from year 1 of primary school. (p.24)
  • Selection of different schools: technical, vocational, selective grammars ands specialist. (p.25)
  • A grammar school in every town, with transfer examinations up to the age of 16 to ensure those who develop academically at a slower rate still “have the opportunity of a grammar school place”. (p.25)
  • On-the-job education for young people, where young people attend classes at a vocational school and receive on-the-job training at a company. (p.25)
  • “UKIP will stop paying tuition fees for courses which do not lead at least two thirds of students into a graduate level job, or a job corresponding to their degree, within five years after graduation”. (p.25)
  • EU nationals will no longer receive student loans. (p.25)
  • Restore maintenance grants. (p.25)
  • Abolish student fees in for STEM students, providing they work in their discipline and pay tax in the UK for five years after completing their degree. (p.25)
  • Career development will assume a more important role in the national curriculum “and is assessed accordingly. (p.25)
  • Introduce ’employability’ lessons into the syllabus, “teaching ‘soft skills such as interview skills, team-working and time-management, networking, making a good first impression and developing social skills”. (p.26)
  • Schools should establish links with local businesses. (p.26)
  • Information on setting up your own business ill be incorporated into the syllabus. (p.26)
  • “Reverse the policy of closing special schools” and make other schools accessible to disabled learners. (p.26)

Culture

  • Review advertisement, broadcast and editorial codes to ensure men and women are treated with dignity and promote healthy body images. (p.22)

Young People

  • “Provide up to 100,000 new homes for younger people every year”. (p.5)
  • “We will also ensure employers are legally free to choose to hire a young unemployed British person under the age of 25 ahead of a better qualified or more experienced foreign applicant”. (p.14)
  • Will nit legalise classified drugs, including cannabis, because “cannnabis was used by 5.3 million 16-24 year-olds in the last year, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists” and teenagers are “five times more likely to develop depression and anxiety”. (p.22)

Green Party manifesto: The Green Party for a confident and caring Britain

Green Party Co-Leaders: Jonathan Bartley & Caroline Lucas

Green Party Co-Leaders: Jonathan Bartley & Caroline Lucas

Education

  • Increase real term spending per pupil and protect that increase. (p.13)
  • Bring academies and free schools into the local authority system, abolish SATS and reduce lass sizes. (p.13)
  • Scrap university tuition fees, fund full student grants and increase public investment in further and higher education. (p.13)
  • Restore Education Maintenance Allowance and enable apprenticeships to all qualified young people aged 16-25. (p.13)
  • Free universal early education and childcare for all children, with formal education starting at age 7. (p.13)
  • Abolish Ofsted and reform the curriculum so it is pupil-centred. (p.13)
  • “Ensuring that every child with Special Educational Needs or Disability has access to a mainstream education, in accordance with the UN Convention for Persons with Disabilities.” (p.13)
  • End privatisation in education. (p.13)
  • introduce non-biased political education and promote active citizenship. (p.15)

Culture

  • Bring mental health care in line with physical health care. (p.11)
  • “Increase funding for local authorities so they can provide good quality public services and invest in our communities, creating thousands of jobs.” (p.11)
  • Remove VAT from sanitary products and ensuring they are provided free of charge to those in extreme financial need. (p.15)
  • Protect the BBC and tighten the rules on media ownership so no individual or company can own more than 20% of a media market. (p.21)
  • “Action to tackle racism and discrimination on the basis of faith or disability, real equality for LGBTIQA+ people, equal rights for mixed gender couples to have a Civil Partnership.” (p.21)

Young People

  • Support start-ups and creative enterprises through community credit and green investment, to provide opportunities for young people to be creative and innovative. (p.5)
  • Lower the voting age to 16. (p.15)
  • Reinstate housing benefit for under-21s, “stop declaring young people “intentionally homeless and invest in community house-building projects to provide affordable secure housing options for young people”. (p.15)
  • Scrap age-related wage bands and raise the national minimum wage to living wage levels for all. (p.15)
  • Guarantee the rights of young people to study, work, travel and live in the EU, “including through schemes like Erasmus”. (p.15)
  • More funding for sexual health awareness campaigns, greater access to free condoms and sexual health clinics. (p.15)
  • “Help first-time buyers by aiming for house price stability – axing buy-to-let tax breaks and backing community-led approaches to building affordable homes”. (p.17)
  • Phase-in free local public transport for young people, students, people with disabilities and older people. (p.23)

List of manifestos

About the author

Tom Inniss

Tom is a journalist and feature writer with interests in politics, technology and culture. He currently works as the editor of Voice - an online magazine for young people interested in art and culture.

Tom Inniss Journalist and podcaster

Tom Inniss

Tom is a journalist and feature writer with interests in politics, technology and culture. He currently works as the editor of Voice - an online magazine for young people interested in art and culture.

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