As the general election deadline draws closer we now have manifestos for all the major parties in the race.
Here, we provide an at-a-glance look at the smaller parties namely the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, Brexit Party and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and reveal how their plans for tax, benefits, housing and all things money-related could affect you.
You can use the jump links below to get to the party you want to find out more about.
The Green Party was the first of the smaller parties to launch a manifesto on 20 December 2019.
Dubbed If Not Now, When? it sets out a ‘Green New Deal’ with a range of policies the party aims to bring in should it win the election.
Read on to find out what the manifesto says about tax, benefits, school fees and more.
Green Party on tax
- Merge National Insurance, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, dividend tax and income tax into a single consolidated income tax.
Green Party on benefits
- Phase-out current welfare system (apart from housing benefit and carers benefit) and offer all UK residents a Universal Basic Income (UBI) paying £89 a week.
- Some groups, including pensioners, disabled people, lone parents and families, would be entitled to more under the UBI scheme.
Find out more: tax credits and benefits explained
Green Party on housing
- 100,000 new energy-efficient council homes a year. These would be delivered through low carbon construction as well as renovating, converting and extending existing buildings and empty homes.
- The new council homes would offer secure, lifetime tenancies, and be located and designed to ensure residents do not need cars.
- Provide rent controls for private renters.
- End the Help to Buy scheme, which the Greens say has helped grow developer profits.
- Abolish the current Right to Buy scheme and instead allow councils to set discounts locally and retain 100% of the income to reinvest in new and existing homes.
Green Party on jobs and pay
- Create millions of new jobs in renewable energy, transport, land management and other sectors transformed through the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.
- Invest £2bn a year in training and skills (including new apprenticeships), to help people access the new jobs created through the changes.
- Increase the living wage to £12 and extending it to those aged between 16 and 21.
- Reform pay disparities. It would ensure the maximum wage paid to any member of staff did not exceed 10 times that paid to the lowest-paid worker in the same organisation, and would cap bonuses.
- Address the gender pay gap by forcing firms to carry out regular equal pay audits.
- Gig economy workers would get the current minimum wage, along with access to job security, sick leave, holiday pay and pension provision.
- Promote more stay-at-home working, with working-hours heating, electricity and wi-fi costs reimbursed by employers for low-income workers.
Green Party on childcare
- 35 hours of free childcare for all children from the age of nine months.
Find out more: 13 ways to cut childcare costs
Green Party on household bills
- Improve the insulation of every UK home that needs it by 2030.
- Deliver major heating upgrades for 1m homes and other buildings a year, which will help lower energy bills.
- Make 8m rented homes A-rated for energy efficiency, or as close to this as possible, by 2030.
Find out more: energy performance certificates explained
Green Party on council tax
- Abolish council tax and business rates, and replace them with a land value tax (LVT).
- New LVT will charge the landowner a proportion of the capital value of the land each year (estimated to be around 1.4% of current values).
- Only landowners will have to foot the bill for property taxes, rather than renters and business owners.
Find out more: Which? property advice guides
Green Party on pensions and investments
- Pensioners would receive £178 a week – nearly £10 more than they currently get. This would be increased in line with inflation.
- Reinstate free TV licences for over-75-year-olds.
- Tax income from investments/assets at the same level as income from work, through the new consolidated income tax.
- End the double taxation of pension funds, which are currently subject to corporation tax and then income tax when paid out to individual pensioners.
Green Party on transport
- Make travelling by public transport cheaper than travelling by car by reducing train and bus fares, and bringing the railways back into public ownership.
- End the sale of new petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles by 2030.
- Create a network of electric vehicle charging points across the country and require all existing petrol stations and motorway service stations to offer electric vehicle charging points by 2025.
Green Party on holidays and leisure
- Crack down on excessive flight travel with a shake-up to VAT rules. Domestic flights would lose their VAT exemption and there would be an additional surcharge on domestic aviation fuel.
- Ban advertising for flights, and introduce a frequent flyer levy. This would apply to people who take more than one return flight a year.
- Encourage more domestic holiday travel by removing VAT from UK hotels and attractions.
- Reduce VAT on food and drink served in pubs, bars and restaurants, on hotel bookings and on theatre, concert, museum and gallery tickets.
Green Party on schools and university
- Remove charitable status from private schools, which means parents would have to start paying full VAT on school fees.
- Scrap tuition fees for students.
- Write off existing debt for former students who have paid up to £9,000 a year in fees.
Green Party on Brexit
The Greens want a People’s Vote to decide the way forward on Brexit, in which it would campaign to remain.
What would the Green Party’s pledges cost?
The Green Party says that the pledges set out in its manifesto would cost £141.5bn a year, paid for by a mix of borrowing, tax reforms and savings measures.
Plaid Cymru has launched its manifesto, called Wales, it’s us. It sets out plans to build greener homes, bring in a new tax credit for renters and provide free public transport for under-21s in full-time education.
Here, we provide an at-a-glance look at Plaid Cymru’s plans for tax, benefits, housing and all things money-related that could affect you.
Plaid Cymru on tax
- Reverse the planned cut on corporation tax.
- Restrict income tax relief on pension contributions to 20%.
- Increase National Insurance contributions for higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers to 4%.
- Support a new tax credit of up to £25 for those who pay more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities.
- Establish Employment Action Zones in rural and industrial areas with high unemployment, offering special employer NI exemptions and enhanced tax credits for research and development.
- Continue the devolution of financial powers, including corporation tax and Air Passenger Duty.
Plaid Cymru on pensions and investment
- Support Waspi women and provide compensation.
- Support calls by the UK Mineworkers Pension Association to get the 50-50 split of pension surplus renegotiated.
- Protect the state pension triple lock.
- Require BBC to reverse cuts to free TV licenses.
Find out more: state pension explained
Plaid Cymru on housing
- Introduce a £5bn Greener Homes programme to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty.
- Build 20,000 green social homes.
- Create a National Housing Company to borrow against rents to build new public rental housing, with a target of 20,000 over five years.
- Ensure all new housing is insulated to the highest standards, with solar water-heating and photovoltaics for electricity generation.
- Require local authorities and social landlords to provide more disabled friendly and lifetime housing that’s suitably adapted for people’s needs.
Plaid Cymru on jobs and pay
- Implement a Green Jobs Revolution to ensure Wales becomes 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy by 2030, creating thousands of highly-skilled jobs.
- Oppose the use of zero hours contracts.
- Support a legal ban on employers making women redundant throughout pregnancy and until six months after their return from maternity leave.
- Call for maternity and paternity pay and leave to be extended in the case of babies that are born prematurely.
- Ensure all public sector workers in Wales and those in the private sector who work for businesses in receipt of public money earn a real living wage.
- Recruit an extra 1,600 police officers – two for each community.
- Support devolution of public sector pay.
Plaid Cymru on benefits
- Support the devolution of personal independence payments, carers allowance, attendance allowance, disability living allowance, winter fuel payments, cold weather payments, severe disablement allowance, industrial injuries disability benefits, funeral expenses payments, Sure Start maternity grant and discretionary housing payments.
Plaid Cymru on social care
- Create a National Health and Social Care Service to provide free social care at the point of need.
- Establish a parity of pay and terms and conditions between social care and health care workers.
- Bring in a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis service, that will work alongside emergency services.
- Create a Community NHS Rehabilitation Service for patients following treatments, to manage chronic conditions and tackle causes of ill health such as access to income support and poor housing.
Plaid Cymru on transport
- See the electrification of all major rail lines by 2030, and open new rail stations.
- Scrap the HS2 project.
- Oppose the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport.
- Support the devolution of Network Rail operation in Wales.
- Make public transport free for all sixth form students and apprentice in Wales below the age of 21.
- Create a trans-Wales railway to connect coastal communities, with a second phase linking north to south.
- Bring in a Cross-Rail for the Valleys, from Porth to Pontypool.
- Expand the Traws Cymru bus network with coaches powered by renewable energy.
- Create a new publicly owned regional bus company for Newport, Cardiff and Swansea.
- Increase spending on active travel routes and promote walking and cycling – including a bicycle reward scheme.
Plaid Cymru on shopping
- Designate town centres as Opportunity Zones, with tax relief and capital investment to encourage green development.
Plaid Cymru on holidays and leisure
- Introduce a new bank holiday on 1 March for St David’s Day.
- Increase funding for tourism promotion for Wales.
- Maintain free entry to museums.
- Work with National Museums Wales to create a dedicated National Gallery for Contemporary Art.
Plaid Cymru on schools and university
- Provide an extra £300m a year for schools and colleges.
- Continue to work towards the aim to provide free higher education for all.
Plaid Cymru on childcare
- Bring in a £35 per week payment for every child from low-income families.
- Introduce Free Care and Education for all one to three-year-olds, which includes free childcare and early years education.
Find out more: 13 ways to cut your childcare costs
Plaid Cymru on Brexit
Plaid Cymru strongly opposes Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, and instead wants Wales to remain the EU as a member country in its own right. It has campaigned for a Final Say referendum to give people the choice between a deal or remaining in the EU.
What would Plaid Cymru’s pledges cost?
Some of Plaid Cymru’s plans depends on funding being given from the Westminster government. It wants to increase the current borrowing limit of £1bn over five years to £5bn over five years, and says this would be well within the fiscal guidelines proposed by both the Conservatives and Labour for the UK as a whole.
The plan for free social care is expected to cost £300m a year, which is considered to be achievable within the overall Welsh budget of £17m.
Plaid Cymru’s proposed tax changes are expected to raise an additional £20bn a year, and additional borrowing is suggested to fund increased capital investment.
The Brexit Party set out its policies in a document dubbed the ‘Contract with the People’ on 22 November 2019.
The party claims that ‘manifesto’ has become a ‘dirty word’ that contains only vague promises, arguing that its contract instead contains deliverable pledges.
Here, we explain what the Brexit Party’s contract would mean for your money.
Brexit Party on tax
- Abolish inheritance tax (IHT)
- Abolish corporation tax on the first £10,000 of pre-tax profits
- Replace business rates with a simpler system to help smaller businesses outside London
- Introduce an online sales tax to fund the business rates change
Brexit Party on jobs and pay
- Introduce a new apprenticeship scheme
- Scrap the Apprenticeship Levy and introduce tax incentives for employers to take on apprentices
- Invest £2.5bn in fishing and coastal communities to create new jobs and tourism
- Invest in strategic industries to create jobs in steel, railways and defence
- Maintain grants paid by the EU to UK businesses such as farmers, fisheries, universities and research bodies
- Provide transitional relief to key sectors like the automotive industry
- Create ‘freeports’ (zones where normal tax and customs rules do not apply) to encourage investment and create new jobs
- Boost lending to small and medium enterprises
Brexit Party on benefits
- Undertake a 12-month review of the system and bring in reforms within two years
- Those who have paid into the system will get accelerated payments (five-week maximum)
Brexit Party on household bills
- Partner with service providers to offer free basic broadband in deprived regions and free Wi-Fi on all public transport
- Phase-out the BBC licence fee
- Cut VAT on domestic fuel to reduce energy bills, saving an average of £65 per household
- Reduce import tariffs to zero on certain foods, footwear and clothing
Brexit Party on housing
- Simplify the planning consents for brownfield sites
- Make it easier for councils to borrow from central government to build houses
- Allow more flexibility in the number of affordable homes within a development scheme
- Change the process for outline planning consent
Brexit Party on pensions and investments
- Review the position of women unexpectedly short-changed by recent rises to the state pension age
Brexit Party on NHS and social care
- Invest in social care and the NHS with more medical staff and less waste
- Postcode should not be used to determine your care or health
- No privatisation of the NHS; transfer parts of failed private initiatives over to public ownership
- Scrap the requirement for nurses and midwives to have a degree to encourage more applications
- Introduce a nursing qualification in social care
- Introduce 24-hour GP surgeries
- Ring-fence the NHS budget
Brexit party on schools and universities
- Scrap interest on student loans to improve the debt recovery rate
- Abolish target of getting 50% of young people into higher education
Brexit Party on transport
- Invest £50bn in local road and rail schemes in development-starved areas
- Scrap HS2
Brexit Party on Brexit
The Brexit Party wants to leave the European Union and deliver Brexit.
It wants a clean-break Brexit to immediately take control of ‘our own laws, borders, money, fishing and defence’.
The Brexit Party says by cancelling HS2 and cutting 50% of the foreign aid budget it could save £13bn, which form part of a Brexit dividend to invest into Britain’s regions.
What would the Brexit Party’s pledges cost?
The Brexit Party didn’t provide any costings with its contract.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) launched its manifesto dubbed Let’s Get the UK Moving Again on 28 November 2019.
It’s a 12-point plan containing policies that the DUP would use to negotiate with bigger parties seeking its support.
These are the DUP’s money pledges:
DUP on tax
- Personal tax allowance should rise with inflation each year
- National Insurance allowances should be raised until they match the personal tax allowance
- Keep corporation tax under review to remain competitive with other countries
DUP on jobs and pay
- Raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 by the end of the Parliamentary term
- Reduce the National Living Wage starting age from 25 to 21
- Increase public sector pay to make up for losses under austerity
- Increase Employment Allowance for National Insurance payments to £4,000
- Abolish the Apprenticeship Levy
DUP on pensions and investment
- Maintain the state pension ‘triple lock’
- Compensate for the unfair treatment of women state pensioners
- Scrap the tapered annual allowance and review the annual allowance for defined benefit schemes
- Create a pensions dashboard for self-employed people
DUP on benefits
- End the benefits freeze, with rises in line with inflation
- Working tax credit should increase with inflation plus 0.5%
- Raise the two-child limit on Universal Credit to three and then four in this parliamentary term
DUP on household bills
- Scrap the TV licence fee
- Free TV licence for over 75s (for as long as the licence still exists)
- Retain Winter Fuel Payments as a universal benefit
- Zero VAT on domestic electricity and gas to reduce household energy bills
- Zero VAT on sanitary products
- Reduce insurance premium tax by 1% every year of the parliamentary term
- Maintain the freeze on fuel duty
- Support 5G network rollout and full-fibre networks for the UK
DUP on holidays and leisure
- Abolish Domestic Air Passenger Duty
- New National Cultural Wealth Plan to increase touring exhibitions, display artefacts in other national museums and create shared exhibition spaces across the UK
DUP on social care
- Set up a royal commission across parties to modernise social care system
DUP on transport
- Cut VAT to zero on electric vehicles for domestic use
- Reduce VAT for hybrid cars
- Increase car charge point grant to £750
- Scrap HS2
- Expand public transport bus fleet
- Make Northern Powerhouse rail (HS3) a priority
- Explore the feasibility of building a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland
- Invest in fixing the A75 and A77
- Build a third runway at Heathrow
- Bring forward ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars to 2035
- Introduce a diesel scrappage scheme
DUP on Brexit
The DUP wants to see a sensible Brexit deal but no borders in the Irish Sea.
What would the DUP’s pledges cost?
There were no costings with this manifesto.
Which?’s consumer agenda
Which? has outlined its agenda for the next government, which sets out six commitments that we want all political parties to make to deliver positive, tangible improvements for individuals across the UK.
This includes providing banking services that work for everyone, better protection over unsafe products and fairer pensions.
Find out more in our consumer agenda for government.