May makes poll pledge to clamp down on immigration

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 20, 2017

The triple-lock, which guarantees pensions rise by the highest of average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent, will be replaced by a so-called "double-lock", with the figure of 2.5 per cent dropped from the equation.

Prime Minister Theresa May says her government will reduce net immigration to below 100,000 if it wins Britain's June 8 election, reaffirming a promise the Conservatives have made and broken since 2010.

"The next five years will be the most challenging that Britain has faced in my lifetime", she wrote in The Telegraph newspaper.

Where Thatcher championed the individual, Mrs May's manifesto says "we all have a debt to others".

Instead of taking part, Mr Corbyn led Labour's fightback following the launch of the Tory manifesto, saying: "Theresa May's nasty party has launched a shameful attack on older people - introducing a compassion tax to force those in need of social care to pay for it with their family home".

"Labour is standing up for pensioners and guaranteeing the triple lock on state pensions, as well as giving social care the funding it needs". Share prices of the big energy companies had previously fallen in response to the government's more hardline plans.

Spending more on an election campaign is no guarantee of winning: the Conservatives outspent Labour in 2001 but Labour still won a large majority, while in 2005 the funding was nearly equal but Labour won again.

But critics have warned that it left the elderly facing an uncertain future with no control over their care costs.

But May will also commit to removing winter fuel payments from the wealthy and to charge more people who now receive free care in their own home.

At present, care home residents with savings and assets (including the value of property) worth more than £23,250 must pay for their own care but the party's new manifesto pledge sees this wealth limit increase by more than four-fold to £100,000. Jeremy Corbyn's party highlighted analysis by living standards think tank the Resolution Foundation which suggested only the two million very poorest of the country's 12 million pensioners would continue receiving the payments.

Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Liberal Democrat chief Tim Farron, Ukip's Paul Nuttall, Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood and Green co-leader Caroline Lucas showed up for the prime time debate.

He was among the attractions at an exclusive conference staged "for thought leaders" by American investment firm SkyBridge capital - as his successor Theresa May unveiled her election manifesto in Yorkshire and ditched some of his key pledges from 2015.

Ms Sturgeon said the Tories were "in hock" to Ukip and Labour "simply isn't strong enough to hold the Tories to account".

The Conservative platform says Britain will enter European Union divorce negotiations "in a spirit of honest cooperation" - and will pay "a fair settlement" to meet its obligations as a departing member.

The higher charges would be particularly troubling for Britain's public healthcare service, the NHS.

"That's weak leadership - weak and unstable".

Instead, though, Mrs May seems to have fallen victim to some kind of Downing Street coup by hard-line Tory Brexiteers, gleefully convinced that that 52/48 per cent vote in June a year ago means that the British have turned into a nation of diehard xenophobes who would never tolerate any arrangement that allowed freedom of movement.

Other critics of the manifesto include the National Pensioners Convention, which has one million members.

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