Privately Owned Property Crisis Biggest housing crisis in a generation! Home ownership: lowest point for 30 years People being forced into private rental sector “where they have very little security and even families with children can be forced to move at short notice”
Labour – the solution Focus on affordable housing in communities: “Get Britain Building Again” - at least 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 Tackle land banking Local Authority powers re first time buyers
Are housing targets achievable? Planning constraints Lack of available land Land banking No building by the state Housing Association red-tape Shortage of skills and materials Fewer smaller builders
The current position based on the 2015 Conservative Budget Was it designed to be an election friendly budget perhaps? Income Tax – Personal Allowance increased to £10,600 for 2015/16 – This will rise to £10,800 in 2016/17 and £11,000 in 2017/18 – Starting level of 40% tax will rise from £41,865 to £42,385 for 2015/16 with further increases to £42,700 in 2016/17 and £43,330 in 2017/18 Sounds impressive? On a £45,000 salary this means you take home £33,425 as against £33,241 last year. An increase of £184 or £15.33 per month.
The current position based on the 2015 Conservative Budget A couple of point scorers! New savings tax allowance of £1,000 from April 2016 (reduced to £500 for higher rate taxpayers) Ability to move money in and out of ISAs without infringing the tax free contribution limit New ‘Help to buy’ ISA for those saving for a deposit
The current position based on the 2015 Conservative Budget Capital Gains Tax – 28% rate of tax remains for individuals and trusts (or 18% for basic rate taxpayers) – Personal Allowance increased to £11,100 for 2015/16 for individuals and £5,550 for trusts – Entrepreneurs relief remains for now but qualifying conditions have been tightened with immediate effect – Introduction of Capital Gains Tax for non-UK residents on sale of UK property from 6 April 2015 Inheritance Tax – Personal Allowance remains at £325,000 for 2015/16 – Potential threat to Deeds of Variation
Conservative offering To increase the Personal Allowance to £12,500 To raise the earning threshold at which people start paying tax from £41,865 to £50,000 When – by 2020……
Conservative offering To raise the Inheritance Tax threshold but to what level is unclear – anyone remember the same promise in 2007? ‘Leaked documents’ suggest a new £175,000 tax free band per person applying to family homes or main residents passing to a direct descendant
What David Cameron says……. “When you're taking the country through difficult times and difficult decisions you've got to take the country with you. That means permanently trying to make the argument that what you're doing is fair and seen to be fair.” David Cameron
‘Mansion Tax’ – Annual Tax – Would rise in line with house prices – The rate has not yet been revealed but based on the amount that Labour are hoping to raise best guesstimates would suggest that the average figure will be about £11,111 per household
What Ed Miliband says…. “The new generation of Labour is different. Different attitudes, different ideas, different ways of doing politics.” Ed Miliband
The Lib Dem Offering To increase the Personal Allowance to £12,500 by 2020 but with an immediate rise to £11,000 in April 2016 To increase the rate of Capital Gains Tax from 28% to 35% To lower the Personal Allowance for Capital Gains Tax from £10,900 to £2,500
The Lib Dem Offering Originally Lib Dem were very much in favour of the ‘Mansion Tax’ with proposals of 1% paid annually on any property over £2,000,000 The proposal has now been re-branded as an increase added to the top bands of council tax
What Nick Clegg says…. “Our Sheffield and London homes are worth well over a million but the bank owns most of them - we are mortgaged up to the gills.” Nick Clegg
UKIP Offering Remove tax on minimum wage Reduce income tax from 40p to 35p for people earning between £42,285 and £55,000 Raise the Personal Allowance to £13,500 by 2020 Abolish Inheritance Tax at a cost of £3 billion!
What Nigel Farage says… “I think frankly when it comes to chaos you ain't seen nothing yet.” Nigel Farage
The Green Party Offering To introduce a Living Wage To introduce income tax at 50% on earnings over £100,000 Original proposals also included introducing a ‘citizen’s income’ of £72 per week in place of the Personal Allowance This has now been scrapped
The Green Party Offering To introduce a new wealth tax of up to 2% on multi-millionaires Original proposals included introducing a ‘citizen’s income’ of £72 per week in place of the Personal Allowance This has now been scrapped
What Natalie Bennett says… “The Greens are the only alternative to the ‘indistinguishable’ big Westminster parties.” Natalie BenneNatalie Bennett
Can we trust any of these manifestos? Years of spin The expenses scandal The Leveson scandal
Agriculture and Commercial Property Mark Reynolds
Agriculture Is it important to Britain? 464,000 people in agriculture Agriculture produces 60% of food consumed in the UK UK food and non-alcoholic drink related exports rose to £12.8 bn in 2013 Farming output rose to £25.7bn in 2013 Net worth of UK farming estimated to be £220bn in 2012 Yes it is!!! But what do the parties say?
Traditionally closely allied to farmers and landowners “[M]ake no mistake about it, the farming industry's affiliation with the Conservatives is nearly as old as the hills……. There is, of course, an obvious symbiosis between a Conservative party which stands for traditional capitalist enterprise and good old wealth, and the 35,000 or so landed gentry who today own half of Britain.” – Land Magazine The Conservatives – party of the countryside?
Typical landowners and possible Conservative voters
What the Conservatives have to say Elizabeth Truss, Defra Secretary of State, to NFU members at last September’s Tory party conference: “Your industry is bigger than the aeronautical and motor industry, it’s a huge industry and it’s not been viewed like that within the economy in the past… We need to get that message across about how vital it is to our well- being and for our own security.” food and farming needs to be at the centre of the economic agenda we need our farmers to have access to the technology and opportunities that others have around the world “This Government is committed to supporting farming and the industry’s vital role in the rural economy”
George Eustice Minister of State for Agriculture and Food : “It's our objective to grow the agriculture industry. We've got further to go with regulations – we've cut farm inspections by 30,000 a year and guidance by 80 per cent. We need to open markets, including new export markets. We also want to do more to make sure the public are buying British produce that's grown here. The first job of Government is defence and protecting the industry and that's why we will take the tough decision to roll back disease such as bovine TB, which is devastating the industry as it is.” Otherwise the Tories have been largely silent on agriculture and the rural economy Notably for those in rural communities. The Tories have abolished the Agricultural Wages Board
Labour – Rural Policies Labour focus on the higher cost of living in rural Britain. They pledge to: Deliver winter fuel payments early to pensioners using off grid energy Bring the off-grid energy sector under the remit of the regulator Devolve billions of pounds and powers, including over public transport networks, to country regions. Tackle the cost of doing business in rural area by freezing business rates and energy bills for small and medium enterprises.
Liberal Democrats – Rural Polices Largely silent on the countryside. The Lib Dems have said: “We need to support young people, investment in transport, broadband and business support. We need to build on the regional growth fund and give more power locally to make decisions” New measures announced in the Budget to make it easier for farmers to plan and invest for the future: “We are increasing the period over which self-employed farmers can average their profits for income tax purposes from 2 years to 5 years”
In the Lib-Dems 78 pages pre-manifesto voted on at their last conference the only reference to agriculture was in relation to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. There was no mention of any policy that was specifically aimed at dealing with rural or agricultural issues.
UKIP WILL support: Agriculture through a modified Single Farm Payment scheme: “Our comprehensive ‘all-in’ policy will include: NO modulation or cross- compliance. NO interference in cropping. NO set-aside (EFA).” To qualify: Land MUST be farmed to ELS standard. Grassland farms automatically qualify. Applicants must be ‘risk takers’ - no ‘slipper farmers’. Negative list to include airports, golf courses, race tracks, urban parks. £80 per acre on lowland, pro-rata decrease on marginal and hill land, capped at £120,000 Rural Economy What UKIP have to say
UKIP WILL get rid of: unnecessary regulations that make farmers’ lives more difficult NO compulsory EID (individual Electronic ID for sheep) NO requirement for re-registration of pesticides; ‘Asulam’ and other minority pesticides could be available for use NO blanket ban on burial of fallen stock (sites to be approved) White asbestos cement (e.g. building cladding) no longer classed as hazardous. Blue and brown asbestos remain under strict control. NVZs: impartial scientific appraisal should result in some specific relaxations. Intensive livestock units removed from IPPC regulations
What do they have to say? Quite a lot – Controversial policy on land which they say is held in trust by human society on behalf of other species and future generations Land should not be treated as a capital investment Clear framework for land use planning to be established which puts a high priority on the natural environment and land should only be used in ways which maintain and sustain the environment A system of Land Value Taxation to be introduced so that unearned benefits from land be shared by the community. Land Value Taxation to be paid annually on the value of land and not the building or developments on it. Green Party Rural Polices
Long Term Aim To create self-reliant communities that retain the fruits of local investment and activity and preserve the conditions where people can live in ways which care for habitats and wildlife and allow them to fulfil spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and physical needs. Short Term Aims Revitalise the economy and life of rural communities; Legislate to reform land tenure and access to land; Legislate to stop further destruction of wildlife habitats, the soil, the landscape, ancient monuments and our countryside heritage; Enact policies that will make the whole countryside more hospitable to wildlife, entailing increased protection for wildlife and habitats and delivery of meaningful landscape-scale conservation and restoration;
Increase the area and quality of woods, orchards, agroforestry, hedges and other tree cover; Ensure food security, integrating human health and wellbeing, environmental protection, animal welfare and decent livelihoods for farmers, farm workers and growers; Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop appropriate renewable energy especially at local and community level.
Commercial Property What the parties say The parties have very little to say about commercial property. However, most do mention business rates: The Conservatives will extend small business relief until April 2016 inflation linked increases to business rates will be capped at 2% until April announced a comprehensive review of business rates in the budget
The Liberal Democrats Increasing help for the High Street: increasing the business rates discount for smaller retail premises with a rateable value of £50,000 of below to £1,500 to 31 March 2016 Doubling small business rate relief for a further year to 31 March 2016 to provide support for 575,000 of the smallest businesses, and ensuring 385,000 small businesses pay no rates at all. Capping the rise in the business rates multiplier at 2 per cent to benefit all businesses Extending transitional rate relief to support 16,000 small business facing significant bill increases due to the ending of transitional rate relief.
Labour promises to cut business rates in 2015 and then freeze them in 2016 for over 1.5 million business properties. UKIP UKIP will set up a Treasury Commission to design a turnover tax to ensure big businesses pay a minimum floor rate of tax as a proportion of their UK turnover. They are silent on business rates but some of their candidates are calling for the abolition of business rates. Green Party The Greens would abolish business rates and replace them with Land Valuation Tax.
Business: The economy, employment, health and Europe David Engwell
The Economy Probably the issue on which the current government would like to fight the election
The Conservatives Deficit to be eradicated by 2018 Spending cuts not tax rises Cut in Corporation Tax
Labour Labour will eradicate the deficit and get to surplus “as soon as possible” Changes to income tax bands Increase in Corporation Tax 5% pay cut for all government ministers
Lib Dems The Lib Dems will introduce “strict new fiscal rules” so that the deficit has gone by April 2018 Many of their tax changes are to personal taxes
The Conservatives The Conservatives will create 3m apprenticeships, paid for by benefit cuts
Labour Labour propose a number of measures: Guaranteed job for under 25s unemployed for a year Ban zero hours contracts Increase the minimum wage to £8/hr Companies to publish gender pay gap 1m new high tech jobs by 2025
Lib Dems The Lib Dems would: increase the national minimum wage for apprentices from £2.73/hr to £3.79/hr Create 1m new jobs
The SNP The SNP propose gender quotas on all public boards.
Health In the context of a growing and ageing population, this is possibly the most important issue of the election.
Health All of the main parties propose to increase spending on the NHS over the next parliament: Conservatives “in real terms” Labour - £2.5bn per year Lib Dems - £8bn per year by 2020
General Practice – The Conservatives The Conservatives pledge that 5,000 more GPs will be trained by 2020 All patients to have access to a GP from 8am-8pm 7 days/week by 2020
Labour Labour will train 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 care workers and 3,000 midwives Patients will be entitled to a GP appointment within 48 hours of requesting one
Lib Dems The Lib Dems will promote integrated care by pooling health and social care budgets