How the new Tory government could affect you and your money

In  a surprise turn of events that nobody really predicted, the Conservative Party alone will form a government for the next five years. Here's how its manifesto pledges could affect you.

Pensions

The Tory campaign said the party would keep the State Pension in line with either inflation, average earnings or 2.5% - whichever’s highest. This is known as the Triple Lock.

The party also pledge to protect pensioner benefits such as free bus passes, TV licences and winter fuel payments, and to continue to allow pensioners to spend their pensions as they wish under new pension freedoms.

What we could have had

Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the SNP all said they'd keep theTriple Lock, and while Labour, UKIP and the SNP all pledged to protect pensioner benefits such as free bus passes, TV licences and winter fuel payments, Labour said it would have withdrawn help with winter energy bills from the richest 5% of pensioners and the Lib Dems wanted to remove eligibility for these kinds of benefits from pensioners in the 40% tax bracket.

UKIP promised to make the state pension age more flexible and introduce a pension age window that would widen over time.

Tax

The Conservatives pledged to remove inheritance tax on properties worth up to £1m by 2017, to link the minimum wage to personal income tax allowance, and to introduce a £50,000 threshold for the 40p tax band by 2020. The Tories also said they’d raise the income tax personal allowance to £12,500 (this is the amount you earn before you start paying tax),

What we could have had

Labour, the SNP, UKIP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru all wanted to abolish the housing benefit under-occupancy charge, otherwise known as the ‘bedroom tax’.

Labour and the SNP planned to introduce a ‘mansion tax’ on properties worth more than £2m along with a 50p tax rate for top earners, while UKIP wanted to end income tax on the minimum wage.

Energy

The Tories want the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) watchdog to continue its investigation into the energy markets, and plan to keep encouraging small suppliers to take on the Big Six, who still account for 90% of the market.

What we could have had

Had they won, Labour would have frozen gas and electricity bills until 2017 and reformed the energy industry.

UKIP wanted to abolish environmental taxes and levies to bring energy bills down and stop energy firms charging more to those on prepayment meters or who don’t pay via direct debit or use online account management.

The SNP pledged to introduce measures to make energy companies pass on savings from falling wholesale prices to their customers more speedily.

Housing

If you rent a housing association property, the Conservatives plan to let you buy it at a discount. They also pledge to build 200,000 starter homes for first-time buyers aged under 40.

What we could have had

Labour also wanted to build at least 200,000 new homes a year by 2020, and promised a “fairer deal” for renters. Ed Miliband pledged to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers on all properties worth up to £300,000 for the first three year of the a Labour government.

The heavily defeated Lib Dems wanted to build 300,000 new homes a year and 10 new garden cities. The party also planned a ‘rent-to-own’ scheme where your rent payments bought you a stake in a property.

UKIP would have liked to build one million new homes on brownfield sites by 2025, and to have used money generated from Right to Buy sales to build community housing.

Under an SNP government, we'd have been looking at 100,000 affordable homes across the entire UK each year.

The Greens wanted to legislate to stabilise house prices by making property investment and speculation less attractive, for example, by removing landlord tax incentives such as the deduction of mortgage interest as an expense.

Public transport

The Tories will freeze commuter rail fares “in real terms” for the whole of the next Parliament

What we could have had

Labour planned to freeze rail fares from 2016 and introduce a fare cap on every route. The Lib Dems wanted to ensure rail fares rose no faster than inflation over the Parliament as a whole.

The Green Party wanted to re-nationalise the railways and make all public transport more affordable and reliable.

Broadband

The Conservatives pledge to get super-fast (30Mb+) broadband to 95% of country or more by the end of Parliament, just like Labour and the Lib Dems planned.

 

What do you think?

In our poll, we asked which party you thought you’d be better off under. More than 4,000 votes were cast and the results were clear; 57% of us thought the Conservatives would look after our money the best.

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