Both the Conservative and Labour Party presented their manifestos for the general election scheduled to take place on December 12. PM Johnson-led Tory party pledged to "get Brexit done" by January end on the other hand Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour vowed to hold a second referendum on Brexit.
During the launch of Conservative’s election manifesto, PM Johnson pledged to reintroduce his Withdrawal agreement which he had negotiated with EU to the House of Commons before Christmas. Tories’ want Parliamentarians to speed up the PM Johnson’s deal before Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU bloc on January 31, 2020. After then there would be a transition period- during which Britain would continue to follow EU rules, in the meanwhile both the parties would figure out a permanent trade deal. PM Johnson’s election manifesto set out not to defer the transition period further than the December 31, 2020 deadline.
Meanwhile, opposition Labour is playing the tune of "its Time for Real Change" and vows to conduct a second Brexit referendum if they come to power.
PM Johnson’s manifesto: Key policies
Vows to take Britain out of EU bloc in January 2020: In his December general election manifesto, PM Johnson has pledged that he would "get Brexit done" in January 2020, if he comes to power. He also promised to secure a trade deal from the EU next year and said that he would not prolong the post-withdrawal transition period further than December 2020. He also emphasised that Britain would be out of any single market and any models of the customs union.
Intended to bring a point-based immigration system: Regarding immigration, PM Johnson has favoured the Australian style of point-based immigration, which is of attracting "the brightest and the best" and vows to bring down numbers. It implies that very few lower-skilled migrants could live in Britain.
No major tax reduction: The latest manifesto revealed by the Conservatives pledges no major tax reduction and no big-ticket new spending items. However, there could be some more spending and a few more tax too.
Other policies include increasing the limit of National Insurance to £9,500 in 2020-21, with an aim to raise it to £12,500. Also, he committed not to increase VAT, National insurance and income tax rates and for the coming five years.
However, earlier PM Johnson had announced to increase income tax threshold for middle-earners to £80,000, during his Prime Minister leadership campaign but now it has been abandoned, as PM said that this is not the right time for that move.
He also vowed to increase the number of nurses by 50,000 to boost the NHS-England personnel by 2024-25. Also, it will be targeting to train 14,000 new graduates.
Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour’s manifesto: Key policies
If got the power, they could go for second Brexit referendum: During the launch of election manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn vowed that his party would renegotiate the Withdrawal deal within three months and said will conduct another Brexit referendum within six-months if they come to power. Labour's manifesto also revealed that they would provide EU nationals involuntary right to stay in the UK.
Labour’s pledged to improve health budget by 4.3% and aim to slash private provision in the NHS- This was another ambitious vow by the Labour’s in their manifesto, however, many think tanks and market experts called it a substantial surge in Health Budget and said that for this Labour will have to bring a lot of monetary resources to exercise this pledge.
Pledge to increase the minimum wage from £8.21 to £10.0: Labour’s pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10. However, this was there in Conservative’s manifesto as well as they also emphasised to increase minimum wage up to £10.5 in the next six years, but Jeremy Corbyn pledged to move it fast. This move will attract worker above 16-years old, as they will be getting £10 an hour within a year.
Vow to bring railway into public ownership: Labour in their latest general election manifesto pledged that they will bring back railway back to the public ownership once the current rail franchise expires and also promised to provide free bus services to those who are under 25, however, this service would be available for England only.
Provide EU citizens right to remain: In contrast to conservative's pledge to allow fewer skilled migrants into the UK, Labour vowed that EU citizens living in the UK would not be required to apply to continue working and staying in Britain.
The sweeping manifestos presented by both the leading political parties could confuse voters in the December 12, general election as both of them have come up with few eye-popping pledges, which could swing voters mood.
However, it is being perceived that if Labour comes to power, then Brexit deadlock could extend further as they have plans for the second referendum and can negotiate further round of Withdrawal deals with their European counterpart, which could risk Britain's economy unfavourably, and this time consequences would amplify and would not only hit-hard the UK's economy but Sterling Pound as well.
On the other side, if PM Johnson resumes his office again, it is highly expected that Britain would get out of this Brexit saga very soon, as they are already carrying a negotiated Withdrawal deal, which went through House of Commons successfully in late October 2019.
Meanwhile, opinion polls recently revealed that there are higher chances that Conservative will come back with a thumping majority in the House of Commons and have given very less probability for Labour getting power during the December 12, snap election.
However, after reports emerged over British fiscal deficit, that in the wake of higher expenditure against muted or lower-income avenues that could hit British fiscal deficit target negatively, the conservative party has taken a more prudent approach to averting any kind of fiscal deficit slippage. That's why, they are cutting down many of their earlier planned spendings, as recently they refused to bring down corporate taxes from 19% to 17%, stating that it’s not the opportune time for it.
On the other side, labours future policies could hit Britain's fiscal deficit target hard, as their plan to nationalise many utility businesses, provide free internet to all, free bus transport for those who are under 25 and many other could cost the government and could weigh adversely to the fiscal deficit target as well.
There is general believe that PM Johnson's victory would be more market-friendly and could help in settling this Brexit saga by the end of January 2020. However, only the final outcome will decide the UK’s future.
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