HIGHLIGHTS - UK's Conservative Party election manifesto


  • World
  • Tuesday, 13 Apr 2010

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Conservative Party will publish its policy programme on Tuesday for the May 6 general election.

Following are some of the main points of the party's manifesto to be unveiled by leader David Cameron.

PUBLIC SECTOR COOPERATIVES

"Giving public sector workers ownership of the services they deliver is a powerful way to drive efficiency, so we will support co-operatives and mutualisation as a way of transferring public assets and revenue streams to public sector.

"We will support would-be entrepreneurs through a new programme 'Work for Yourself' which will give unemployed people direct access to business mentors and substantial loans."

SACK MPS

"At the moment, there is no way that local constituents can remove an MP found guilty of serious wrongdoing until there is a general election.

"That is why a Conservative government will introduce a power of 'recall' to allow electors to kick out MPs, a power that will be triggered by proven serious wrongdoing. And we will introduce a Parliamentary Privilege Act to make clear that privilege cannot be abused by MPs to evade justice."

ABILITY TO RUN SCHOOLS

"Drawing on the experience of the Swedish school reforms and the charter school movement in the United States, we will break down barriers to entry so that any good education provider can set up a new Academy school. Our schools revolution will create a new generation of good small schools with smaller class sizes and high standards of discipline."

HOME-BUYING

"We will permanently raise the stamp duty threshold to 250,000 pounds ($385,700) for first-time buyers, meaning nine out of ten of them will pay no tax on their first home purchase.

"A Conservative government will make it easier for social tenants to own or part-own their home. We will introduce a 'foot on the ladder' programme to offer an equity stake to good social tenants, which can be cashed in when they move out of social rented accommodation."

COUNCIL TAX

"We will give residents the power to instigate local referendums on any local issue if 5 percent of the local population sign up, and they will also be able to veto any proposed high council tax increases. We will stop Labour's plans to impose supplementary business rates on firms if a majority do not give their consent."

ELECTED POLICE

"We will replace the existing, invisible and unaccountable police authorities and make the police accountable to a directly-elected individual who will set policing priorities for local communities. They will be responsible for setting the budget and the strategy for local police forces, with the police retaining their operational independence."

PUBS AND POST OFFICES

"Our new 'community right to buy' scheme will give local people the power to protect any community assets that are threatened with closure. In addition, we will:

- give people a 'right to bid' to run any community service instead of the state.

- reform the governance arrangements in football to enable co-operative ownership models to be established by supporters."

TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT

"Drawing inspiration from administrations around the world which have shown that being transparent can transform the effectiveness of government, we will create a powerful new right to government data, enabling the public to request -- and receive -- government data sets in an open and standardised format.

"We will open up Whitehall recruitment by publishing central government job vacancies online, saving costs and increasing transparency."

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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