Fraser Nelson

What happened to the Tory manifesto?

What happened to the Tory manifesto?
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During the love-in at the start of the coalition, no one really asked which Tory pledges bit the dust. It becomes relevant now: the Tory pledge to reduce immigration to the "tens of thousands," for example, was in their manifesto but not in the coalition agreement. Although verbally restated later, it is still seen as being a flexible pledge due to its absence in that document. There is no record of what was dropped, so we at CoffeeHouse have provided one below. I won't say it's a rip-roaring read. But for those who think manifestos mean something, it's good to have on the record.

UPDATE: I agree with Mycroft, below, that the first headline on this post – '190 Tory sacrifices' – was misleading. Writers never do their own headlines, but that's no excuse. Many of the below have already become government policy even if they were not in the coalition agreement. I'm not sure what we should make of the absence of the below policies from the coalition agreement. And a good deal of it, I suspect, had to do with brevity. My point is that no one has compared the two documents, and it may be of some use – whether now, or later – to put such a comparison on record.

The 190 Tory Manifesto pledges not in the coalition document

1. The economy


  • Reversing the planned National Insurance increase for employees earning over £20,000
  • Freeze on public sector  pay for one year in 2011, excluding the one million lowest paid workers
  • Cut ministers’ pay by 5 percent, followed by a 5 year freeze
  • Reduce the number of MPs by 10 percent
  • Cap public sector pensions above £50,000
  • Freeze all major new ICT spending
  • Immediate negotiations with suppliers to achieve cost reductions
  • Tighter control of public sector recruitment
  • Reductions in public sector property costs

2. Hi-tech manufacturing

PAGE 11:

  • Implement key recommendations from the Dyson review has become “We will consider the implementation of the Dyson Review to make the UK the leading hi-tech exporter in Europe”
  • Initiating a multi-year Science and Research Budget to provide a stable investment climate for Research Councils
  • Creating a better focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in schools
  • Establishing a new prize for engineering
  • Improve the performance of UK Trade and Investment with a renewed focus on high priority sectors and markets where the return on taxpayers’ money is highest
  • Regularly compare government support for exporters and inward investment against the services provided by our competitors
  • Work for the successful conclusion of the Doha trade round and support bilateral free trade negotiations between the European Union (EU) and other countries.

3. Savings/debt

PAGE 12:

  • When resources allow, starting to reverse the effects of the abolition of the dividend tax credit for pension funds
  • Reward those who have saved for their retirement by ending the effective obligation to buy an annuity at age 75
  • Raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million to help millions of people who aspire to pass something  on to their children, paid for by a simple flat-rate levy on all  non-domiciled individuals
  • Create a powerful Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) to take over the Financial Services Authority’s consumer protection role

4. Welfare/small business

PAGE 16:


  • Tory plans in which “long-term benefit claimants who fail to find work will be required to ‘work for the dole’ on community work programmes.  Anyone on Jobseeker’s Allowance who refuses to join the Work Programme will lose the right to claim out-of-work benefits until they do, while people who refuse to accept reasonable job offers could forfeit their benefits for up to three years” have been replaced with promises of “sanctions for those who turn down reasonable offers of work or training” and that the Coalition will “…ensure that receipt of benefits for those able to work is conditional on their willingness to work ”
  • For the first two years of a Conservative government any new business will pay no Employers National Insurance on the first ten employees it hires during its first year
  • Work to reduce  the very high marginal tax rates faced by many  people on low incomes who want to return to work or increase their earnings

5. Skills/Higher Education

PAGE 17:


  • Pledge to create 400,000 work pairing,  apprenticeship, college and training places over two years has become “We will seek ways to support the creation of apprenticeships, internships, work pairings, and college and workplace training places as part of our wider programme to get Britain working”
  • Give SME s a £2,000 bonus for every apprentice they hire
  • Establish a Community Learning Fund to help people restart their careers
  • Create a new all-age careers service so that everyone can access the advice they need
  • Public funding will follow the choices of students and be delivered by a single agency, the Further Education Funding Council
  • Delay the implementation of the Research Excellence Framework so that it can be reviewed – because of doubts about whether there is a robust and acceptable way of measuring the impact of all research
  • Provide 10,000 extra university places this year, paid for by giving graduates incentives to pay back their student loans early on an entirely voluntary basis

7. Cut business taxes


PAGE 19:

  • We will create an independent Office of Tax Simplification to suggest reforms to the tax system
  • Making the UK a more attractive  location for multinationals by simplifying the complex Controlled Foreign Companies rules
  • Consulting on moving towards a territorial corporate tax system that only taxes profits generated in the UK
  • Creating an attractive tax environment for intellectual property.

8. Innovation and "sustainable development"

PAGE 20:


  • Creating a level playing field for open source ICT in government procurement
  • Opening up contracts to SME s by breaking up large ICT projects into smaller components
  • Ensure that all other major infrastructure projects are considered at planning inquiries which have binding timetables and which focus on planning issues – with final permission given by a Minister
  • Provide transitional arrangements for projects already before the IPC to ensure that these projects are not disrupted or delayed

9. Immigration

PAGE 21:


  • Limit access only to those who will bring the most value to the British economy
  • An English language test for anyone coming here to get married

Proposals for limiting abuse of student visas have been lumped together in Coalition document so some may be dropped. Specific measures are:

  1. extra scrutiny on new institutions looking to accept foreign students or existing institutions not registered with Companies House
  2. insist foreign students at new or unregistered institutions pay a bond in order to study in this country
  3. to be repaid after the student has left the country at the end of their studies
  4. ensure foreign students can prove that they have the financial means to support themselves in the UK
  5. require that students must usually leave the country and reapply if they want to switch to another course or apply for a work permit

10. Petrol and economy (again)

PAGE 23:

  • Consult on the introduction of a ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’. This would cut fuel duty when oil prices rise, and vice versa
  • Increase the private sector’s share of the economy in all regions of the country, especially outside London and the South East

11. "Spread prosperity"

PAGE 24:

  • Scrap Labour’s phone tax

PAGE 25:


allow councils to:

  • Keep above-average increases in business rate revenue so that communities which go for growth can reap the benefits
  • Give councils new powers to introduce further discounts on business rates
  • Introduce an immediate freeze of, and inquiry into, the Government’s punitive programme of back-dating business rates on ports

 12. Accountability and transparency

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  • Introduce and publish a standard set of cost measures that capture the key drivers of departmental spending
  • help departmental Finance Directors to manage resources more efficiently
  • Implement clear financial performance targets for senior civil servants
  • Create a focus on delivering strong financial management across government

13. Banking

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  • “Pursue international agreement to prevent retail banks from engaging in activities, such as large-scale proprietary trading, that put the stability of the system at risk” has become “We will take steps to reduce systemic risk in the banking system and will establish an independent commission to investigate the complex issue of separating retail and investment banking in a sustainable way; while recognising that this will take time to get right, the commission will be given an initial time frame of one year to report. ”
  • “Empower the Bank of England to crack down on risky bonus arrangements” has become “We will bring forward detailed proposals for robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses in the financial services sector; in developing these proposals, we will ensure they are effective in reducing risk.”
  • Increase competition in the banking industry, starting with a study of competition in the sector to inform our strategy for selling the government’s stakes in the banks
  • As the government comes to sell off its holdings in the banks, offer a ‘people’s bank bonus’, so that everybody in the country has the chance to buy a stake in the state-owned banks

14. Greenery

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  • Increase the proportion of tax revenues accounted for by environmental taxes, ensuring that any additional revenues from new green taxes that are principally designed as an environmental measure to change behaviour are used to reduce the burden of taxation elsewhere

15. Culture, Sport and the Lottery

PAGE 38:

  • Introduce a fair deal on grants to give voluntary sector organisations more stability and allow them to earn a competitive return for providing public services
  • Provide funding from the Big Society Bank to intermediary bodies with a track record of supporting and growing social enterprises
  • Develop a measure of well-being that encapsulates the social value of state action

PAGE 39:

  • The Big Lottery Fund will focus purely on supporting social action through the voluntary and community sector, instead of Ministers’ pet projects as at present
  • Sports, heritage and the arts will each see their original allocations of 20 per cent of good cause money restored
  • Part of the community sports budget of the National Lottery will be responsible for delivering an Olympic legacy, including the vigorous promotion of competitive sports through a national Olympic-style school competition

16. Families

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  • The Conservative pledge to “end the couple penalty” in the tax system has been watered down to “we will… reduce the couple penalty in the tax credit system as we make savings from our welfare reform plans.”
  • Pledge to freeze council tax for 2 years has become a pledge to “freeze Council Tax in England for at least one year, and seek to freeze it for a further year, in partnership with local authorities.”

PAGE 42:

  • Scrap Labour’s plans for an expensive and intrusive council tax revaluation
  • Pledge to protect disability living allowance and attendance allowance
  • Protect pension credits
  • Extend the right to request flexible working to all those in the public sector, recognising that this may need to be done in stages
  • Oblige Jobcentre Plus offices to ask employers if their vacancies could be advertised on a part-time or flexible basis
  • Introduce a new system of flexible parental leave which lets parents share maternity leave between them, while ensuring that parents on leave can stay in touch with their employer
  • Review the way the childcare industry is regulated and funded to ensure that no providers, including childminders, are put at a disadvantage

PAGE 43:

  • Coalition manifesto contains vague pledge to “ crack down on irresponsible advertising and marketing, especially to children” which replaces the following
  • Prevent any marketing  or advertising company found to be in serious breach of rules governing marketing to children from bidding for government advertising contracts for three years
  • Ban companies from using new peer-to-peer marketing techniques targeted at children, and tackle marketing on corporate websites targeted at children
  • Establish a new online system that gives parents greater powers to take action against irresponsible commercial activities targeted at children
  • Empower head teachers and governors to ban advertising and vending machines in schools
  • Bring all funding for early intervention and parenting support into one budget, to be overseen by a single, newly-created Early Years Support Team

17. The NHS

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  • Spreading the use of  the NHS tariff, so funding follows patients’ choices
  • Making sure good performance is rewarded by implementing a payment by results system, improving quality (This pledge only applies to GPs in the Coalition document)
  • We will give the public a strong and independent voice through HealthWatch, a statutory body with the power to investigate and support complaints
  • Give GPs the power to hold patients’ budgets
  • Set NHS providers free to innovate by ensuring that they become autonomous Foundation Trusts

 PAGE 47:

  • Ensure that every patient can access a GP in their area between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week
  • Create local ‘maternity networks’ to ensure that mothers can safely access the right care, in the right place, at the right time
  • Increase the number of single rooms in hospitals, as resources allow, helping the battle against infection and providing  safety and privacy
  • We will not pay hospitals in full when a patient is left with an avoidable infection                     
  • Encourage clinical trials of innovative techniques to diagnose and treat cancer
  • Support the roll out of screening programmes for common cancers
  • Coalition document omits specific pledges relating to the proposed dentistry contract:
  • Tie newly-qualified dentists into the NHS for five years
  • Allow dentists to fine people who consistently miss appointments

PAGE 48:

  • For people with a chronic illness or a long-term condition, we will provide access to a single budget that combines their health and social care funding, which they can tailor to their own needs
  • Turn the Department of Health into a Department for Public Health so that the promotion of good health and prevention of illness get the attention they need
  • Enable welfare-to-work providers and employers to purchase services from Mental Health Trusts

18. Schools

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  • Raise the entry requirement for taxpayer funded primary school teacher training
  • Expect new graduates to have at least a 2:2 in their degree in order to qualify for state-funded training

PAGE 52:

  • Specific pledge to pay the student loan repayments for top Maths and Science graduates for as long as they remain teachers, by redirecting some of the current teacher training budget replaced with more general pledge to seek to attract more top science and maths graduates to be teachers
  • Reinforce powers of discipline by strengthening home-school behaviour contracts
  • Promote the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics and ensure that teachers are properly trained to teach using this method
  • Establish a simple reading test at the age of six
  • Reform the National Curriculum so that it is more challenging and based on evidence about what knowledge can be mastered by children at different ages
  • Ensure that the primary curriculum is organised around subjects like Maths, Science and History
  • Encourage setting so those who are struggling get extra help and the most able are stretched
  • We will make other exams more robust by giving universities and academics more say over their form and content.
  • Create 20,000 additional young apprenticeships
  • Allow schools and colleges to offer workplace training

PAGE 53:

  • Publish all performance data currently kept secret by the Department for Children, Schools and Families
  • Ensure that the schools inspectorate Ofsted adopts a more rigorous and targeted inspection regime, reporting on performance only in the core areas related to teaching and learning
  • Any school that is in special measures for more than a year will be taken over immediately by a successful Academy provider

19. Crime, Justice and Policing

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  • Make it clear that anyone convicted of a knife crime can expect to face a prison sentence
  • Introduce mobile knife scanners on streets and public transport
  • Extend the length of custodial sentences that can be awarded in a Magistrates’ Court from six to twelve months
  • Examine the case for greater Parliamentary scrutiny of sentencing guidelines.
  • To help stop sexual violence before it occurs, we will ensure that the school curriculum includes teaching young people about sexual consent.
  • Scrapping the stop form entirely and reducing the burden of stop and search procedures

PAGE 57:

  • Give police the power to identify offenders in order to protect the public and prevent crime
  • Return charging discretion to the police for minor offences
  • Process criminals more quickly by videolinking custody cells and courts
  • Directly elected individuals in charge of police forces will be responsible for setting the budget and the strategy for local police forces
  • Redevelop the prison estate and increase capacity as necessary to stop early releases out of necessity
  • Extend early deportation of foreign national prisoners to reduce further the pressure on our prison population
  • Introduce a system where the courts can specify minimum and maximum sentences for certain offenders. These prisoners will only be able to leave jail after their minimum sentence is served by having earned their release, not simply by right

PAGE 58:

  • Apply our payment by results reforms to the youth justice system
  • Pilot a scheme to create Prison and Rehabilitation Trusts so that just one organisation is responsible for helping to stop a criminal re-offending

20. Political reform

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  • Save £100m through cutting parliamentary perks and bureaucracy (Coalition document pledges to cut perks and bureaucracy but makes no mention of specific savings)
  • Seek an agreement on a comprehensive package of reform that will encourage individual donations and include an across the board cap on donations
  • Ensure that ex-Ministers are banned from lobbying government for two years after leaving office
  • Ensure that ex-Ministers have to seek advice on the business posts they take up for ten years after leaving office
  • Rewrite the Ministerial Code to make clear that any former Minister who breaks the rules on appointments will be forced to give up some or all of their Ministerial pension
  • Introduce new rules to stop central government bodies using public money to hire lobbyists to lobby other government bodies

PAGE 67:

  • Ensure every vote will have equal value by introducing ‘fair vote’ reforms to equalise the size of constituency electorates, and conduct a boundary review to implement these changes within five years
  • Allowing MPs the time to scrutinise law effectively
  • Providing more free votes, and protecting the principle that issues of conscience – like abortion – remain subject to a free vote
  • Making the use of the Royal Prerogative subject to greater democratic control so that Parliament is properly involved in all big national decisions
  • Scrap Labour’s failed target regime and instead require every department to publish a business plan

PAGE 69:

  • Require senior civil servants to publish online details of expense claims and meetings with lobbyists
  • Apply national transparency principles to local government, with the threshold for publication of spending items and contracts set at £500, and for the publication of salaries the same as at the national level
  • Any quangos that do not perform a technical function or a function that requires political impartiality, or act independently to establish facts, will be abolished
  • Examine the case for giving Select Committees the power to prevent increases in quango budgets
  • Strengthening the role of the Chief Information Officer to get a grip on government ICT projects
  • Appointing senior private sector nonexecutives to departmental boards to deliver better value for money

21. Localisation

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  • Developers will have to pay a tariff to the local authority to compensate the community for loss of amenity and costs of additional infrastructure. The tariff will replace the payments and levies on development that have grown up under Labour. A portion of this tariff will be kept by the neighbourhoods in which a given development takes place, providing clear incentives for communities which go for growth
  • Significant local projects, like new housing estates, will have to be designed through a collaborative process that has involved the neighbourhood
  • Abolish the power of planning inspectors to rewrite local plans
  • Amend the ‘Use Classes Order’ so that people can use buildings for any purpose allowed in the local plan
  • Limit appeals against local planning decisions to cases that involve abuse of process or failure to apply the local plan
  • Encourage county councils and unitary authorities to compile infrastructure plans
  • Give local planning authorities and other public authorities a duty to co-operate with one another
  • Specific promise of raising stamp duty to £250,000 for first time buyers replaced with a pledge to review the effectiveness of the raising of the stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers
  • Match pound-for-pound the council tax receipts that local authorities receive from new homes to encourage sensitive local development
  • Create new local housing trusts to allow communities to grant planning permission for new housing within villages and towns                  

PAGE 75:

  • Abolish Home Information Packs
  • Pilot a new ‘right to move’ scheme and introduce a nationwide social home swap programme, so social tenants can transfer their tenancy to another home or part of the country
  • Respect the tenures and rents of social housing tenants

PAGE 76:

  • Scrapping the hundreds of process targets Labour have imposed on councils
  • Ending the ‘predetermination rules’ that prevent councillors speaking up about issues that they have campaigned on
  • Encouraging the greater use of ward budgets for councillors
  • Tighten the rules on taxpayer-funded publicity spending by town halls

22. Civil Liberties

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  • Strengthen the powers of the Information Commissioner to penalize any public body found guilty of mismanaging data
  • Cutting back intrusive powers of entry into homes, which have been massively extended under Labour
  • Requiring Privacy Impact Assessments of any proposal that involves data collection or sharing
  • Ensuring proper Parliamentary scrutiny of any new powers of data-sharing

 PAGE 80:

  • Collect the DNA of all existing prisoners, those under state supervision who have been convicted of an offence, and anyone convicted of a serious recordable offence
  • Review the criminal records and ‘vetting and barring’ regime and scale it back to common sense level

23. Devolution

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  • Stop the practice of ‘double-jobbing’, whereby elected representatives sit in both Westminster and Stormont.
  • Introduce new rules so that legislation referring specifically to England, or to England and Wales, cannot be enacted without the consent of MPs representing constituencies of those countries. (The Coalition document just promises a commission to investigate the west Lothian question)

 24. Energy and the environment

PAGE 92:

  • Giving incentives for smaller-scale energy generation, including capturing heat that is currently wasted
  • Coalition document promises reform of Ofgem but does not mention specific measures
  • Reforms to ensure it focuses on executing energy policy
  • Tasking Ofgem with monitoring the spare capacity in the energy market and making provisions for additional capacity where required
  • Transferring Ofgem’s competition policy and consumer protection powers to the Office of Fair Trading

PAGE 93:

  • Improve the energy efficiency of everyday appliances by drawing on the experience of the ‘top runner’ scheme from Japan
  • Ensure that 10 per cent of the staff directly employed by ‘Green Deal’ providers are apprentices, helping to build a green collar workforce for the future
  • Keep Energy Performance Certificates to help people improve the environmental rating of their property
  • Fight for wholesale reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to encourage sustainable practices

PAGE 96:

  • We will pioneer a new system of conservation credits to protect habitats
  • Pressing for financial support from within a reformed EU budget to be given to developing countries to halt deforestation
  • Support the Campaign for the Farmed Environment and seek to create a more effective system of environmental stewardship
  • Ensure that consumers have the right to choose non-GM foods through clear labelling

PAGE 97:

  • Not permit any commercial planting of GM crops until and unless it has been assessed as safe for people and the environment
  • Develop a legally-binding protocol covering the separation of GM and non-GM material, including clear industry liability
  • Negotiate for further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to deliver greater value for money while supporting the sustainability of British farming
  • Minimise and reform on-farm inspections
  • Abolish the Agricultural Wages Board
  • Introduce a Responsibility Deal on waste – a voluntary arrangement among producers to cut back on the production of
  • Waste and improve its disposal
  • Scrapping Labour’s plans for new bin taxes on families
  • Put a floor under the standard rate of landfill tax until 2020 to encourage alternative forms of waste disposal

25. Defence and foreign policy

PAGE 105:

  • Establish a new Permanent Military Command for Homeland Defence and Security to provide a more structured military contribution to homeland security
  • Ban any organisations which advocate hate or the violent overthrow of our society, such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and close down organisations which attempt to fund terrorism from the UK

PAGE 106:

  • Reform the defence procurement process to ensure the delivery of equipment on time and on budget
  • We will release spending on unnecessary and bureaucratic EU defence Initiatives and spend the money on our Armed Forces
  • Re-evaluate our position with the European Defence Agency
  • Ensure our servicemen and women are treated in dedicated military wards in hospital

PAGE 110:

  • Press to keep the EU’s doors open to those countries, including Turkey, that wish to join, conditional on the rigorous application of the accession criteria (The coalition document merely states “we support the further enlargement of the EU”)
  • Always be ready to assist Cypriots in their efforts to agree a just, balanced and lasting settlement to reunite their island

26. Europe

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  • Introduce a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority stays in this country (Coalition document pledges to “examine the case” for a Sovereignty Bill)
  • Negotiate for three specific areas – the Charter of Fundamental Rights, on criminal justice, and on social and employment legislation – for powers to return to the UK

27. International aid

PAGE 117:

  • Spend at least £500 million a year to tackle malaria.(The Coalition document does not specify a sum but pledges to prioritise aid spending in areas such as malaria)
  • Work to bring about improved transparency of aid spending by other development organizations

PAGE 118:

  • Stop giving aid to China and Russia and review which other countries should get British aid