Daily Express

BORIS PLEDGES 50,000 EXTRA NURSES

PM’s manifesto promises £33.9bn boost for NHS and 5-year freeze on tax

- By Macer Hall Political Editor

BORIS Johnson has vowed to recruit 50,000 more nurses if the Conservati­ves win next month’s General Election.

Unveiling his party’s manifesto yesterday, he put the health service at the heart of the Tory campaign.

In a bid to win over former Labour voters, the Prime Minister promised to increase the NHS budget by £33.9billion and to freeze tax for five

years. He also set his sights on a decade of Tory rule by setting out plans for two full parliament­ary terms.

The PM repeatedly branded Jeremy Corbyn a ditherer who threatens to plunge the UK into more Brexit chaos with a second EU referendum.

Mocking the Labour leader’s ever-shifting Brexit policy, Mr Johnson said: “He used to be indecisive but now he’s not so sure.

“The stakes have never been higher and the choice has never been starker.”

The Prime Minister unveiled the Tory manifesto, entitled Get Brexit Done – Unleash Britain’s Potential, in Telford, Shropshire, where his party has a wafer-thin majority of just 700 votes.

His newest policy pledge, revealed in the document, was £879million more a year to fund the recruitmen­t, training and retention of nurses by 2023/24.

This would include money for student nurses’ bursaries as well as action to recruit qualified nursing staff from abroad.

The proposal is part of the NHS People Plan, which would also see 6,000 more doctors and 6,000 other medical profession­als recruited.

The Tories have committed to increase the NHS budget by £33.9billion by 2023-24 with £700million spent on the expansion of GP appointmen­ts.

Other key manifesto policies were a points-based immigratio­n system, 20,000 more police, more investment in schools and colleges and action to revive struggling towns and coastal communitie­s.

The article also includes a triple tax lock – guaranteei­ng the rates of income tax, National Insurance and VAT will not rise under a re-elected Conservati­ve Government.

Mr Johnson insisted his party’s number one priority was delivering Brexit by January 31.

This would allow his Government to focus on a major overhaul of health, education, transport, the housing supply and the nation’s infrastruc­ture, as well as tackling climate change. His

slimmed-down manifesto was a third shorter than the last one.

It offers a relatively modest £22billion of new spending over a five-year parliament­ary term, on top of around £160billion announced in the Treasury’s recent three-year spending plan.

Officials indicated a Tory majority

Government could have an extra £88billion for further spending once Brexit is delivered.

The totals contrast with Labour’s manifesto pledge of a spending spree of more than £80billion a year funded by tax hikes and soaring borrowing. In a speech to an audience of Tory supporters and

media in Telford, Mr Johnson set out his 10-year vision for transformi­ng Britain.

He said: “I want you to look forward to a future where the streets are safer, where the air is cleaner, where we have built 40 new hospitals as a direct result of the decisions taken in the last three months; a Britain where 10-yearolds are not only doing better at reading and writing and maths, but better across the whole country; and where in 10 years’ time, scientists are starting to reap the huge rewards from our plans to double spending on research.”

The Prime Minister also prom

ised “better infrastruc­ture and transport” would allow the Conservati­ves to build “tens of thousands of superb new homes on brown belt sites, giving young people the prospect of home ownership they currently don’t have”.

He insisted the Tories were on the side of businesses and families and said delivering Brexit would allow his Government to turn its attention to the “priorities of the British people”.

He said: “Get Brexit done and we can focus our hearts and our minds on the priorities of the British people because it is this One Nation Tory party that has already embarked on the biggest cash boost for the NHS for a generation.

“Today, in this manifesto, we pledge 50,000 more nurses and their bursaries and 15 million more GP appointmen­ts.

“And today, we make this guarantee to the British people: we will tackle crime with 20,000 more police officers and tougher sentencing and we will sort out our immigratio­n system with a points-based Australian­style system.

“That we will invest millions more every week in science, in schools, in apprentice­ships and in infrastruc­ture, and control our debt at the same time. And that we will reach net-zero by 2050 with clean energy solutions.

“And here is the kicker – we can do all these things without raising our income tax, VAT or National Insurance contributi­ons. That’s our guarantee.”

Mr Johnson also vowed to tackle unfairness and barriers to social mobility across the country. He said: “Opportunit­y is not distribute­d evenly and I believe passionate­ly that with education, infrastruc­ture and technology, we can tackle that unfairness.

“We can make those investment­s precisely because we One Nation Conservati­ves also support a dynamic market economy. “That’s why we’re cutting taxes for businesses and why when people get up at the crack of dawn to prepare their family business and when people take out a mortgage to fund a new venture and when they risk everything on a new product or trying to find a market, we don’t sneer at them, we cheer for them. “That is the choice at this election. That is the choice between out-andout retrograde and destructiv­e socialism and sensible One Nation Conservati­sm. You can come with us and have a

Government that backs our Armed Forces as a power for good around the world, or you can have Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party who say they want to scrap them.”

He also warned of the threat of Mr Corbyn being propped up at No10 by Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party.

The PM said: “I don’t want to waste 2020 on two more referendum­s. I want it to be an exciting and productive year, a year of prosperity and growth.

“Do you want to wake up on Friday the 13th of December and find a nightmare on Downing Street? A Corbyn/Sturgeon coalition of chaos?

“I say, let’s go carbon neutral by 2050, and Corbyn neutral by Christmas.

“Let’s go for a sensible, moderate but tax-cutting One Nation Conservati­ve Government and take this country forwards.”

LABOUR’S £58billion election bung for women pensioners “drives a cart and horses” through the party’s own spending limits and shreds its credibilit­y, economists claimed.

The party did not include the costly plan to compensate women hit by state pension age changes in its £80billion-a-year manifesto, which was unveiled last Thursday.

Unite union boss Len McCluskey admitted the party had scrambled to draw up the plan.

“In the last three days the team have come up with a way” to solve the issue, he said.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “This drives a cart and horses through the manifesto pledge to remain at current budget balance.

“This is another

£12billion a year of borrowing for the next five years.”

Julian

Jessop, economics fellow at the

Institute of

Economic

Affairs, said:

“Labour’s plan to splurge £58billion compensati­ng women for increases in the state pension age is a poor use of taxpayers’ money and shreds any remaining fiscal credibilit­y the party might have.”

Waspi women – Women Against State Pension Inequality – campaigner­s say they were given insufficie­nt time to prepare for the changes brought in by the former coalition government.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove said he was “sympatheti­c” to their plight but Labour’s plan would mean higher borrowing and taxation.

He said: “One of the problems, of course, with Labour’s position is that they are spending money which they pledged not to spend.

“When they launched their manifesto they said that they would have certain rules about spending and they wouldn’t borrow beyond a particular limit.”

Labour said its plans could reach £58billion over five years – with individual payments averaging £15,380.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Gusto...Mr Johnson unveils the manifesto yesterday
Gusto...Mr Johnson unveils the manifesto yesterday
 ?? Pictures: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP, PHIL NOBLE/ REUTERS ?? All for the taking...PM spells out gains for the nation after Tories fix Brexit
Pictures: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP, PHIL NOBLE/ REUTERS All for the taking...PM spells out gains for the nation after Tories fix Brexit
 ??  ?? Rival... Jeremy Corbyn
Rival... Jeremy Corbyn
 ??  ?? Sympatheti­c… Gove
Sympatheti­c… Gove

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