Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

UK's Theresa May renews vow to cut immigration below 100000

As she set out a vision for dealing with the "five great challenges" of the coming years, Theresa May promised there would be no increase in Value-Added Tax over the next parliament.

She promised that her government would be "relentless in tackling burning injustices" and would govern for "mainstream Britain".

Launching the manifesto in Halifax, a Labour-held marginal seat, May pitched her message beyond core Conservatives and towards disgruntled Labour and Ukip voters.

The Conservatives have pledged to secure the rights of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and British expats in Europe, as well as confirming Britain will remain part of the European Convention of Human Rights for the next Parliament.

Many Britons who voted previous year to leave the European Union were motivated by a desire to control immigration, which has soared as the EU has expanded.

The policy document said the current figure of 273,000 people heading to Britain was "still too high" and promised to slash the number to "sustainable levels".

It's fair to say the two publications were welcoming of the policies, hailing "May's plan for a fairer Britain" and informing readers "You won't have to sell home to pay for your care".

The size of Britain's "Brexit bill" is expected to be one of the first flashpoints in the exit talks.

May insists she is determined to make a success of Brexit, which poses huge risks for the British economy.

The party hopes the plan will deter businesses or government from avoiding their "obligations to improve the skills of the British workforce".

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The Conservatives have pledged to introduce smart meters to every households by 2020 and to introduce an energy tariff cap to protect those that stick with the worst deals from "abusive price increases".

But with another Tory promise to eliminate the budget deficit (this time by 2025) - the gap between government revenues and expenditure - there are some tough measures in the manifesto.

It scraps a guarantee that state pensions will rise by at least 2.5 percent a year, and abandons Cameron's promise not to raise income tax.

"There will be obstacles in our way", she said.

The Winter Fuel Allowance, which pays up to £300 to help pensioners with fuel bills - whether they need it or not - will be means tested.

May's stance radically differs from the neo-liberal, free-market policies championed by former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

May's political philosophy appears strikingly different.

Earlier this week, May said she would expand the rights of workers, including the ability to request up to a year of leave to look after sick relatives. It also outlines a more interventionist role in business and industrial strategy, and vows to eliminate opportunity gaps between the poor and the well-off, between men and women and between white and non-white citizens.

"Let us be in no doubt it will not be easy, there will be obstacles in the way, and many willing us to fail", said May. "We reject the cult of selfish individualism".

May said she would tighten laws on company takeovers and ensure that any foreign group buying important infrastructure did not undermine security or essential services. "There is good solid Conservatism".

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