Rishi Sunak has unveiled the 80 page UK Conservative Party manifesto with £17 billion worth of tax cuts and £1 billion of extra spending in an attempt to turn around his party’s ailing fortunes and to narrow Labour’s lead in the polls. 

So, what are the measures the party is proposing and what does it say about Scotland?

On Scotland, there is not a great deal of specific policies with the Scottish Conservatives due to publish their manifesto later this month.

The Prime Minister does stress in the document that “we believe governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland now have the right balance of powers to deliver for people there”, drawing a line on any more devolved powers.

It also goes on to say that "devolved governments are held responsible for their powers" adding that the party would bring in legislation to "deliver comparable data across the UK so that the performance of public services can be compared".

There are funding commitments for Scotland, with a pledge to “continue to directly invest in communities across Scotland” and “protect the UK’s internal market and the integrity of our United Kingdom”. This has been a particular point of irritation for Scottish Government ministers.

The Tories have pledged to extend the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, a post-Brexit fund for another three years, with £540m each year divided up by the devolved nations. 

The manifesto claims “the SNP remain focused on the constitution while Scotland has moved on”, adding the Tories “will continue to oppose this – the 2014 vote was decisive”.

There is a pledge to “press for the permanent removal of tariffs on Scotch whisky with the US government”, but no commitment to eradicate the barrier.

There is also a confirmation of the party's commitment to “continue laying the groundwork for nuclear projects to be taken forward in Scotland”. The Scottish Government has said it will block any development using planning laws, which are devolved to Holyrood.

National insurance cut and welfare spending reduced
The manifesto includes another 2p cut to the rate of national insurance by 2027, taking the employee rate to 6p in the pound at a cost of about £10 billion. The party is also pledging to abolish the main rate of self-employed national insurance by the end of parliament at a cost of £2 billion in five years.
The Tories say they will pay for this with welfare reforms, which they estimate would save £12 billion. However, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that such a savings target “looks difficult in the extreme”.

Rishi Sunak began a series of welfare reforms before the election and is now promising to finish the job if the Conservatives win. This includes making more people with mental health and mobility problems look for work and removing benefits entirely from those who refuse to take jobs after a year.

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He is also promising to reform sick notes by taking responsibility away from GPs and giving it to a new occupational health service, while giving more support to the long-term sick.
Disability benefits would also be overhauled to prevent “unsustainable” rises in claims. The Tories estimate this would free up £12 billion to put towards tax cuts by reducing future increases in spending. Independent experts warn such savings are extremely ambitious.

Triple lock plus
The party is promising to introduce what it described as a “triple lock plus” for pensioners, ensuring that the state pension is never taxed. The tax-free personal allowance for pensioners would rise by whichever is highest out of inflation, wages or 2.5%. The Conservatives say this would cost £2.4 billion and would be paid for by clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion.

Child benefit threshold
The Tories have set out plans to raise the threshold at which families pay the Child Benefit Tax Charge from £60,000 to £120,000. They say this will benefit 700,000 families by an average of £1,500. The party says that the £1.3 billion-a-year cost would also be funded by clamping down on tax avoidance.

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Rishi Sunak plans to increase UK spending on defence to 2.5% of GDP a year by 2030 at a cost of £6 billion a year.
The party say the plans will be funded through existing plans to shrink the size of the civil service by 70,000, saving £3.6 billion and by giving the Ministry of Defence a share of an already-announced increase in government research spending. But experts have questioned whether these savings are possible.

Gender recognition
Plans to amend the Equality Act are also included in the manifesto. It says the party will introduce legislation to make clear that “sex means biological sex” instead of a person’s self-determined gender.

National service
The manifesto confirms the Tories plans for all teenagers to take part in either military national service or community volunteering when they leave school. They say this policy will cost £1 billion by 2029.

The manifesto commits the Tories to introducing an annual legal cap on work and family visas issued each year, but will not set a target.
It also recommits to the government’s Rwanda policy, arguing that once deportation flights start - with a commitment to start in July -  it will begin deterring people crossing the Channel in small boats.
The manifesto also says the party will work with other countries to “rewrite” asylum treaties to make them fit for the “challenges” of illegal migration.

The manifesto announces a new target to process asylum claims within six months in order to end the use of hotels for housing migrants.

European Convention on Human Rights
The manifesto does not commit to reassessing the UK’s membership of the European Convention on Human Rights, but it does state that “if we are forced to choose between our security and the jurisdiction of a foreign court, including the ECHR, we will always choose our security.”

The party says it will raise NHS spending in England above inflation every year, including recruiting 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors.
This will be done by investing more than £2.4 billion to fund a 27% expansion in training places for new doctors and nurses by the end of the next parliament.
More broadly the Tories have said they will invest in artificial intelligence to speed up diagnostics, reduce the time doctors and nurses spend on paperwork and improve NHS productivity.

Social care
Rishi Sunak has pledged to go ahead with Boris Johnson’s delayed social care reform for England. 
Under the policy, the lifetime amount people have to pay for care would be capped at £86,000, with the state picking up costs beyond this. Under a more generous means test, people with assets below £100,000 would get help before the cap, while those with less than £20,000 pay nothing.

Climate change
The Conservatives say that they are committed to the UK’s overall net-zero reduction targets but will not do so in a way that increases costs for consumers.
They have put back a date for a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 until 2035 and have also delayed the introduction of fines on the boiler manufacturers who fail to sell a rising proportion of heat pumps.manufacturers who fail to sell a rising proportion of heat pumps.


The manifesto contains a new pledge to build 1.6 million new homes in England over the next parliament — 100,000 more than its pledge in 2019, which the party failed to deliver.It says these homes will be “well-designed” and in the “right places”, while protecting the countryside.The manifesto includes details of a £1 billion scheme to help first-time buyers with government-backed mortgages that would allow them to buy a home with just a 5%  deposit. The plan, modelled on the Help to Buy scheme that closed last year, could be used for all home purchases of less than £400,000. The previous scheme had a threshold of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in the capital.

The manifesto also includes a pledge to permanently get rid of stamp duty tax in England for first-time buyers of properties costing up to £425,000. This was currently due to expire next March.