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The highlights of the Conservative manifesto, launched on Tuesday by David Cameron with the pledge “a brighter, more secure future”, included three main new policies:

1. Extension of Right to Buy scheme

Mr Cameron promised 1.3m housing association tenants the chance to buy their homes on the same terms as council tenants with an extension of the Right to Buy scheme. He said the money generated from sales would be used to create a £1bn brownfield regeneration fund for councils to prepare the ground for the development of new homes. The Tories said the funds would also be used to build 80,000-170,000 properties a year.

2. Pre-school childcare provision to be doubled

The Conservatives said they would give working parents of 3 to 4-year-olds 30 hours of free childcare a week, doubling the current provision of 15 hours a week during term time. The new offer comes on top of the party’s previous promise of tax-free childcare. Mr Cameron said the extra hours would help families be more financially secure and save £5,000 a year.

3. A guaranteed tax-free minimum wage

Mr Cameron said that no one earning the minimum wage in the UK will pay income tax if he is re-elected. This would be achieved by linking annual increases in the tax-free personal allowance to increases in the minimum wage, instead of to inflation. The policy follows an earlier commitment to increase the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 by 2020 — cutting income tax for 30m people, and taking a further 1m out of income tax altogether. He said: “It means we can proudly say that this is the party of working people. For millions of workers not just the party of low income tax — the party of no income tax.”

Other policies include:

● Lifting the inheritance tax threshold on family homes to £1m by 2017

● No above-inflation rises in rail fares until 2020

● An extra £8bn a year for the NHS by 2020

● Open 500 free schools

● A referendum on EU membership by 2017

● Build 200,000 starter homes

● An increase in the higher-rate income tax threshold to £50,000

● Reduce tax relief on pension contributions for people earning over £150,000

● Freeze BBC licence fee at £145.50 a year

● Create 3m apprenticeships

● Lift the cap on university places

● Freeze the amount of government spending per school pupil

● Reduce the benefits cap to £23,000 a year

● Control immigration from the EU by reforming welfare rules

● English tests for visa extension - foreigners who want to extend their visas will have to undergo “new language tests” before getting approval

● Scrap the Human Rights Act, which was implemented by Tony Blair in line with EU rules, and “curtail” the role of the European Court of Human Rights

● Provide 5G phone services across the UK

Letter in response to this report:

Why is no political party promoting healthy living? / From Martin Hewes

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