‘Policies for the People’ is the tag line used for the interim manifesto that was launched at UKIP’s conference yesterday.
The party’s policy team have been working the document up for several months and although it is not a complete manifesto, it was decided that it should be launched at Conference.
In the introduction, leader Gerard Batten says he wants UKIP to be a populist party – a party whose policies are popular with the voters. He explained that the manifesto could not include every policy area or every detail but represents a summary of where UKIP is now. “It is a dynamic document and policies will be developed further in the future,” he says.
The first and presumably the most important policy is Brexit: UKIP stands for a complete and total withdrawal from the European Union.
Outside the European Union Britain will be a more prosperous nation. It will regain control of its trade policy, free business from unnecessary regulation, regain control of its agricultural industry and restore its fishing industry. Increased prosperity will mean more jobs and more tax revenue to pay for the things we all want for the British people.
On the NHS, UKIP believes it should be free at the point of delivery but points out that the service is in crisis, not just from a lack of adequate funding but because of the inefficient use of funds, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract liabilities, and ever-increasing demand from foreign nationals who should have no entitlement to use its services free of charge.
The manifesto points out that:
EU open borders have created a major drain on resources by bringing in around 3.8 million additional people. Many of these people will have no history of contributing significant tax revenue to help pay for the NHS but have the same entitlement as British citizens. When Britain leaves the EU, this entitlement must not be extended to any new arrivals.
It promises to terminate the PFI contracts which are ‘draining much needed funds out of our NHS’ and will waive tuition fees for doctors, nurses and midwives in exchange for a minimum five-year period to be worked in the NHS. The party would also scrap hospital car parking charges wherever possible.
On social care the party intends to increase funding by £2bn per annum and recognises that an increasing number of younger people are suffering from mental health. This needs to be addressed.
The party is committed to maintaining a strong and robust supportive safety net for those in genuine need, but which will not be a soft-touch on welfare. While it will end the current work capability assessments, it will not pay child benefits for non-UK resident children of foreign citizens and will prohibit foreign nationals resident here from benefits until the have paid UK tax for five years.
UKIP will introduce a selective and limited Australian style points-based immigration system. Immigration for permanent settlement must be strictly limited and workers on permits will be expected to possess private health insurance as a condition of entry to the UK, as will students.
The party insists it doesn’t have a housing problem – it has a supply problem, with demand being fuelled by mass uncontrolled immigration.
One of the most significant problems has been that immigrants from the European Union have enjoyed access to social housing on the same basis as British citizens. Post Brexit, UKIP would end this.
The party will abolish Stamp Duty (see section 21. Taxation) thereby saving house buyers £16.2bn per annum.
The manifesto claims that the state education system ‘is turning out a large number of children who are functionally innumerate and illiterate’. It will encourage the establishment of new grammar schools, and will waive tuition fees for further and higher education in subjects vital to our national life: science, technology, engineering, mathematics.
UKIP opposes gender confusion ideologies and the implementation of compulsory LGBT-inclusive relationships education in primary schools, due to be introduced from September 2019.
UKIP will scrap HS2. At an estimated cost of £100bn this vanity project is not affordable but will invest in the existing railways to improve capacity and journey times.
The transport policy is to support the transition to electric vehicles. However the electric charging infrastructure is not keeping pace. We will support the installation of charging stations by diverting funds from the electric car subsidy. We will also encourage off-street parking and charging provision in all new housing and industrial developments through the local planning process. The party also supports the development of driverless car technology.
On foreign aid, Britain’s foreign policy will not need to be linked to the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy after Brexit, which would inevitably involve us in the EU’s planned armed forces and embroil us in its foreign policy ambitions. We should put the needs of our own citizens first. Our foreign aid budget is often wasted on corrupt regimes, or given to countries that can afford their own atomic weapon and space programmes.
UKIP will scrap the target of 0.7% GNI for Overseas Aid and return £14 billion to HM Treasury to assist our own citizens in our own country.
The party has declared that we ‘should not get involved in international conflicts unless it can be clearly shown to be in the national interest’. It supports NATO but will withdraw from PESCO.
Britain’s Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force have been so reduced in size that they struggle to meet their commitments. UKIP is committed to adequately funding Britain’s armed forces. UKIP will initiate a defence review to consider our future defence requirements and the size and shape of our armed forces. UK manufacturers should get first call on providing our armed forces equipment.
UKIP is committed to maintaining the Trident nuclear deterrent.
Several other manifesto policies are outlined including those on veterans, police, the prison service, agriculture, fisheries, the economy, trade, industry, energy, the environment, small businesses, taxation, children and families, sexual exploitation and paedophile gangs, animal welfare, extreme Islam, the constitution, political reform, English identity, free speech and political correctness.
The full manifesto can be seen here.