As the country prepares to go to the polls on December 12 for the third General Election in the last four and a half years, what is in the party manifestos regarding financial services?

Conservative

  • Exit the European Union via the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson – all Conservative candidates have signed a pledge to vote in favour of the agreement. The UK’s exit on January 31 would then trigger a second phase of negotiations. The transition period – lasting until December 2020 – will preserve the existing UK-EU trade relationship while talks are held relating to their future trade relationship
  • No increases in income tax, VAT or National Insurance
  • The National Insurance lower earnings threshold will rise to £9,500 in 2020. There is also ‘an ultimate ambition’, with no timescale mentioned, to raise this to £12,500
  • Maintain the pension ‘triple lock’, where the state pension rises by the highest of 5%, the Consumer Prices Index rate of inflation and average earnings growth
  • Conduct a review designed to assist those who earn between £10,000 and £12,500 and who have been missing out on pension benefits because of a loophole affecting people with net pay pension schemes
  • EU migrants will only be able to access unemployment, housing, and child benefit after five years
  • It will no longer be possible to claim child benefit for children living overseas
  • Encourage a new market in long-term fixed rate mortgages to reduce the cost of deposits
  • Maintain corporation tax at 19% – the party previously had a policy of reducing this to 17% in the longer term

Labour

  • Delay Brexit beyond the current exit date of January 31 and instead negotiate a new deal with the EU, which is likely to include a permanent customs union. A referendum will then be held where the options will be to leave the EU on the basis of the new deal, or remain in the EU
  • The threshold for the 45% income tax band will be reduced to £80,000, while those earning £125,000 or more will be subject to a new 50% tax band
  • Income tax and National Insurance thresholds will be frozen for those earning less than £80,000
  • Dividend income and capital gains will be taxed according to the income tax regime
  • Corporation tax, currently at 19%, to rise to 21% from April 2020, 24% from April 2021 and 26% from April 2022. Companies with annual turnover of less than £300,000 will pay 21% from April 2021
  • Increase the living wage to £10 per hour and extend its scope to all employees aged 16 or over
  • Design a system of recompense for women affected by the rise in state pension age
  • Maintain the state pension age at 66
  • Maintain the pension ‘triple lock’
  • Large companies will be forced to give a 10% ownership stake to their employees
  • One-third of places on company boards to be reserved for elected worker-directors
  • A reduction in average full-time weekly working hours to 32, implemented over the next decade

Liberal Democrat

  • Revoke Article 50 on the first day of a Lib Dem government and remain in the EU. The party would be willing to co-operate with any other party who promises a referendum
  • Staff in listed companies with more than 250 employees will be granted a right to request shares
  • Listed companies with more than 250 employees will need to have at least one employee representative on their boards and this person must have the same legal duties and responsibilities as other directors
  • Companies with more than 250 employees will be required to monitor and publish data on gender, BAME, and LGBT+ employment levels and pay gaps
  • Increase all income tax rates by 1%, with the funds earmarked for NHS spending
  • Increase corporation tax to 20%
  • Introduce a new minimum wage for employees on zero-hours contracts that is 20% higher
  • Design a system of recompense for women affected by the rise in state pension age
  • Allow councils to raise council tax by as much as 500% where a home is purchased as a second home
  • Provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under the age of 30

Brexit Party

  • Leave the EU without a deal on January 31 2020
  • Abolish inheritance tax
  • Reduce VAT on domestic fuel to zero
  • Companies with pre-tax profits of less than £50,000 will not have to pay corporation tax
  • Design a system of recompense for women affected by the rise in state pension age

Scottish National Party

  • A Brexit referendum with Remain on the ballot paper
  • Increase the living wage to £10 per hour and extend its scope to all employees aged 16 or over
  • A doubling of the Employment Allowance from £3,000 per year to £6,000. This allowance is the National Insurance discount that is provided as a reward for companies that increase employment levels
  • Maintain the pension ‘triple lock’
  • Campaign for a reduction in the payday loan price cap and for a new price cap on credit cards and unauthorised overdrafts

 

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article