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General Election 2015: who gets your vote?

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With the general election fast approaching, who will you be giving your vote? We at Seren give you a rundown of what each party has to offer, to make that all-important decision just a little bit easier

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Conservatives

ECONOMY

  • Eliminate the deficit and run a surplus by the end of the parliament
  • Aim for full employment for all those willing to work
  • Fund 3 million apprenticeships
  • Triple the number of start-up loans to businesses to 75,000

 

IMMIGRATION

  • “Ambition” to keep annual net migration in tens of thousands
  • EU migrants to wait four years before they can claim certain benefits or social housing
  • No out of work benefits for migrants or child benefit for dependents living outside UK

 

EDUCATION

  • Create at least a further 500 free schools in England by 2020
  • Immediate support to turn around failing schools
  • 30 hours free childcare for working parents of three- and four-year-olds

 

HEALTH

  • Increase NHS spending in England by at least £8bn above inflation
  • Seven-day access to GPs by 2020 & same day appointments for over-75s when needed
  • Improve access to mental health treatments

 

WELFARE

  • Make £12bn welfare savings
  • Household benefit cap cut from £26,000 to £23,000 a year
  • Replace JSA for 18-21-year-olds with a Youth Allowance limited to six months and end their automatic housing benefit

 

ENVIRONMENT

  • Spend more than £3bn to 2020 improving the environment
  • Phase out subsidies for new onshore wind farms
  • Invest £500m over the next five years towards making most vehicles zero emission by 2050

 

DEFENCE

  • Renew Trident with four new nuclear-armed submarines to maintain continuous at sea nuclear deterrent
  • No further cuts in the regular Armed Forces
  • Increase spending on defence equipment by 1% a year

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Labour

ECONOMY

  • No additional borrowing for new spending
  • Raise minimum wage to £8 an hour by 2020
  • Apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the grades

 

IMMIGRATION

  • 1,000 new border staff and exit checks
  • Make it illegal for employers to undercut British workers by exploiting migrants
  • Two-year wait before EU migrants can claim out-of-work benefits

 

EDUCATION

  • Protect education budget for 0-19 year olds
  • Cut university tuition fees to £6,000 a year
  • Ensure all primary schools guarantee access to childcare from 8am to 6pm

 

HEALTH

  • Extra £2.5bn funding for the NHS, to pay for 20,000 more nurses, 3,000 midwives and 8,000 GPs
  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act and cap the amount of profit private firms can make from the NHS at 5%
  • End 15 minute care visits

 

WELFARE

  • Guaranteed job for under-25s unemployed for over a year and for adults unemployed over two years, paid for by taxing bankers’ bonuses
  • Scrap the “bedroom tax”
  • Cap structural welfare spending

 

ENVIRONMENT

  • Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give energy regulator new powers to cut bills this winter
  • Prioritise flood prevention
  • End badger culling

 

DEFENCE

  • Strategic Security and Defence Review
  • Make it illegal to discriminate against or abuse members of the Armed Forces
  • International LGBT Rights Envoy and a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom

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Liberal Democrats

ECONOMY

  • End deficit by 2017/18 with a mixture of spending cuts and tax rises
  • Expand apprenticeships and develop national colleges for vocational skills
  • Raise £1bn from extra corporation tax on banking sector

 

IMMIGRATION

  • Restore full entry and exit border checks
  • End indefinite detention for immigration purposes
  • Phase out child benefit for children living outside the UK

 

EDUCATION

  • Guarantee qualified teachers, a core curriculum and sex education in all state schools
  • A plan to end child illiteracy by 2025
  • 15 hours a week free childcare from the end of paid parental leave

 

HEALTH

  • Increase real terms NHS funding at least £8bn a year by 2020, starting with an extra £1bn a year until 2018
  • £3.5bn extra for mental health including £1.25bn for children and teenagers and £250m for pregnant women and new mums with depression

 

WELFARE

  • Scrap housing benefit cuts for tenants with spare rooms unless they refuse a smaller property
  • A carer’s bonus of £250p.a. by 2020
  • A “yellow card” to give people a warning before benefits are withdrawn

 

ENVIRONMENT

  • Double renewable electricity by 2020, aim to decarbonise the power sector by 2030, leading to a zero carbon Britain by 2050
  • Plant 750,000 trees a year
  • Charge for plastic bags

 

DEFENCE

  • Ban arms exports to countries flagged up by the FCO’s human rights report
  • Help service personnel and veterans with mental health problems

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Plaid Cymru

ECONOMY

  • Help Welsh businesses grow by increasing business rates relief in Wales and supporting Welsh exports overseas
  • Introduce an Economic Fairness Bill to ensure that wealth is shared out fairly within the UK
  • Create 50,000 jobs in Wales by giving more Welsh public sector contracts to companies working in Wales

 

IMMIGRATION

  • Create a Welsh Migration Service to ensure that migration meets Welsh needs
  • Protect local workers by strengthening the Gangmasters Licensing Act, making it illegal to offer unfair advantage to migrant workers over local workers.
  • Work across the UK and EU to prevent modern slavery

 

EDUCATION

  • ICT and modern languages will be taught from an early age, and modern language GCSE made compulsory
  • New National Curriculum for Wales, ensuring a “positive understanding of the history of Wales”

 

HEALTH

  • Oppose and reject privatisation
  • Train and recruit 1,000 additional doctors for the Welsh NHS
  • Keep prescriptions free in Wales
  • Raise awareness of mental health issues and increase access to talking therapies

 

WELFARE

  • Scrap the bedroom tax
  • Ensure that the new single-tier pension is a Living Pension for all

 

ENVIRONMENT

  • Reduce energy emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020
  • Improve energy efficiency within the home

 

DEFENCE

  • Oppose the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons system
  • Create a new Minister for Veterans in the UK Cabinet
  • Wales to have a seat at United Nations

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Ukip

ECONOMY

  • Remove EU directives which hamper the British economy
  • Negotiate a bespoke trade agreement with Europe
  • Enhance the UK’s position at the World Trade Organisation

 

IMMIGRATION

  • Points system used to select migrants with skills and attributes needed to work in the country
  • Immigration capped at 50,000 people a year for skilled workers
  • Five-year ban on immigration for unskilled workers
  • Five-year wait before migrants can claim benefits

 

EDUCATION

  • Scrap sex education for primary school children
  • Allow secondary schools to become grammar schools
  • Scrap fees for students taking degrees in science, technology, maths or engineering on condition they pay UK tax and work in the discipline for five years upon completing studying
  • Abolish Key Stage 1 SAT tests at primary school level

 

HEALTH

  • Spend £200m on scrapping hospital car parking charges
  • Insist migrants and visitors to UK have private health insurance
  • Extra £1.2bn a year for social care

 

WELFARE

  • Five-year wait before migrants can claim benefits
  • Scrap housing benefit changes related to bedrooms
  • Restrict child benefit to two children and stop paying it all together for children who do not live in Britain

 

ENVIRONMENT

  • Protect the Green Belt
  • End so-called “green taxes” to cut fuel bills
  • Prioritise support for organic farms

 

DEFENCE

  • Create a Veterans Department to look after the interests of ex-service men and women
  • Keep Britain’s nuclear deterrent
  • Cut foreign aid from 0.7% to 0.2% of national income
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