General enquiries: info@bromak.com
Contact your local Bromak
  • Bromak Head Office: 01204 532 500
  • Bromak Yorkshire: 0114 213 0900
  • Bromak Midlands: 01827 211 022
  • Bromak South : 01206 239 066
  • Bromak North East: 0191 337 0720

Construction and The 2015 Election

15th April 2015

You would struggle to turn on your TV, listen to the radio or open a newspaper at the moment without being faced with some election related news. With the current potential future leaders lining up to battle it out for our votes we’re looking at how the policies that will affect the construction industry and employees in the sector.

With the current uncertainty over the next UK Government concern is also being felt in the construction sector. Of those who responded to the 2014 Q4 Construction News barometer survey 58% of major contractors said they were concerned that the general election could stall construction activity.

So, what do each of the parties have to offer in the way of economy, housing, welfare, tax and pensions?

Conservatives

Economy

  • Eliminate the deficit and run an overall surplus by the end of the parliament
  • Aim for full employment where “anyone who wants a job is able to get a job”
  • Use money saved in reducing the benefits cap to fund 3 million apprenticeships
  • Triple the number of start-up loans to businesses to 75,000

Housing

  • Extend the “Right to Buy” to 1.3m housing association homes in England
  • 200,000 homes built for first-time buyers aged under 40, at 20% discount
  • New Help to Buy ISA’s for first-time buyers to help them get a deposit for a house
  • Create a £1bn brownfield regeneration fund to unlock sites for 400,000 homes

Welfare, Tax and Pensions

  • Maintain the freeze in working-age benefits for two years
  • Household benefit cap cut from £26,000 to £23,000 a year
  • Replace JSA for 18-21-year-olds with a Youth Allowance limited to 6 months & end automatic Housing Benefit for this age group
  • Raise personal allowance to £12.5k and 40% tax threshold to £50k
  • No rise in VAT or National Insurance contributions.
  •  Legislate to keep people working 30 hours on minimum wage out of tax
  • 30 hours of free childcare per week for working parents of 3&4-year-olds
  • Maintain the triple lock on the state pension, so it rises by the highest of prices, earnings, or 2.5%
  • Protect universal pensioner benefits such as free bus pass, TV licence, and Winter Fuel Payments
  • Reward savings by introducing a new single-tier pension
  • Give people the freedom to invest and spend their pension however they like
  • Deliver the biggest programme of investment in roads since the 1970s
  • Deliver the biggest investment in railways since the Victorians, including 850 miles of electrified railways

Labour

Economy

  • Balance the books by cutting the deficit every year, with a surplus on the current budget and national debt falling in the next Parliament. No additional borrowing for new spending
  • Raise minimum wage to more than £8 an hour by 2019
  • Apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the grades

Housing

  • Get 200,000 homes built a year by 2020
  • Guarantee three year tenancy agreements in the private sector and a “ceiling” on rent increases
  • Prioritise local first-time buyers in new housing areas
  • Prioritise capital investment in housing to build more affordable homes

Welfare, Tax and Pensions

  • Guaranteed job for under-25s unemployed for over a year and for adults unemployed over two years, paid for by taxing bankers’ bonuses
  • Scrap the “bedroom tax”
  • Tax credits to rise in line with inflation from next year
  • Cap structural welfare spending
  • Re-introduce the 50% top rate of income tax for people earning over £150k, and the 10% starting rate
  • No rise in VAT, NI or basic and higher rates of income tax
  • Introduce a “mansion tax” on houses worth over £2m
  • Abolish non-dom status.
  • Reform the pensions market so that pension providers put savers first and protect consumers
  • Keep “triple lock” on state pensions so they rise by the highest of inflation, earnings or 2.5%
  • Cut tax relief on pensions for wealthier savers
  • Restrict Winter Fuel Payments for the richest five per cent of pensioners
  • Access to childcare from 8am-6pm for parents of primary school children
  • Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give energy regulator new powers to cut bills this winter

Lib Dems

Economy

  • Deal with deficit by 2017/18 with a mixture of spending cuts & tax rises
  • Expand apprenticeships and develop national colleges for vocational skills
  • Raise £1bn from extra corporation tax on banking sector

Housing

  • Increase housebuilding to 300,000 a year
  • Set in motion at least 10 new Garden Cities
  • 30,000 Rent to Own homes a year by 2020
  • Ban landlords from letting out poorly insulated homes

Welfare, Pensions and Tax

  • Cap benefit rise at 1%p.a. for two years
  • Scrap housing benefit cuts for tenants with spare rooms unless they refuse a smaller property
  • A “yellow card” to give people a warning before benefits are withdrawn
  • Keep the “triple lock” – raise pensions by the highest of inflation, wages or 2.5%
  • Complete introduction of the single tier pension
  • Raise the income tax threshold to £12,500
  • Raise up to £1.5bn from a tax on homes worth over £2m
  • Bring in £14bn from tax rises on corporations and the wealthy, and reduced tax avoidance
  • Increase charges to “non-doms”, raising £130m

UKIP

Housing

  • Prioritise social housing for people with parents born locally
  • Protect greenbelt by making it easier to build on previously developed land
  • Establish a brownfield agency to provide grants and loans
  • Referendums on major planning decisions

Welfare, Tax and Pensions

  • Scrap housing benefit changes related to bedrooms
  • Increase personal tax allowance to £13,500
  • Scrap inheritance tax
  • Introduce a 35% tax rate for incomes between £42,285 and £55,000, and a 40% rate thereafter
  • No tax on the minimum wage
  • Make big businesses pay their fair share of tax
  • No increase in the retirement age
  • Dedicated annuities advice

Green Party

Housing

  • Build 500,000 social rental homes by 2020
  • Bring 350,000 empty homes back into use
  • Cap rent and introduce 5-year tenancies
  • Abolish the right to buy council homes
  • £85bn programme of home insulation, renewable electricity generation & flood defences
  • Provide 500,000 social homes for rent by 2020 and control rent levels

Welfare, Tax and Pensions

  • Consult on introducing a Basic Income, a fixed amount paid to every individual
  • End workfare – where the unemployed must work for benefits
  • Axe the “bedroom tax” and work capability assessment
  • Raise £30 billion a year by 2019 by cracking down on tax dodging
  • Raise £25 billion a year by 2019 through a wealth tax of 2% on people worth £3m or more
  • Salaries above £150,000 a year incur 60% income tax rate
  • Raise £20bn a year by 2019 with a financial transaction tax (a “Robin Hood” tax) on banks
  • Introduce a Citizen’s Pension of £180 a week linked to the rise in average earnings, this means all pensioners would receive a non-means tested sum
  • End austerity and restore the public sector, creating jobs that pay at least a living wage

SNP

Housing

  • Wants an end to “bedroom tax” policy
  • Pledge to build 30,000 new homes in the lifetime of this Holyrood parliament
  • Stands by affordable homes policy and the abolition of the right-to-buy social housing which becomes law in 2016

Welfare, Tax and Pensions

  • Holyrood should control working age benefits
  • Wants an end to “bedroom tax”
  • Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments roll out should stop until new welfare powers come to Scotland
  • Wants control of National Insurance contributions
  • Would give tax incentives for research and development
  • Wants control of the personal tax allowance to “lift more low earners out of tax”
  • Wants control of child and working tax credits
  • Wants to “re-shape and simplify” pensions to suit needs of Scottish pensioners
  • Has questioned UK plans to increase retirement age to 67 by 2028; saying because of lower life expectancy in Scotland pensioners would be “short-changed” by thousands of pounds
  • Wants new job-creating powers for Holyrood
  • Wants independence to “determine our own destiny and build the best future for Scotland”

Plaid CYMRU

Housing

  • Implement rent controls to help tenants
  • Ensure impact on Welsh language of new housing developments is properly measured
  • Support energy efficient housing improvements to reduce family energy costs

Welfare, Tax and Pensions

  • Wales to get same powers as Scotland. Also similar funding – additional £1.2bn each year
  • Scrap Bedroom Tax
  • Oppose a ‘welfare cap’ on total amount of social security spending
  • Prepare for devolution of welfare by developing a Welsh employment and benefits system
  • Independent review on the use of benefit sanctions
  • Re-introduce 50p income tax rate for those earning over £150,000
  • Increase level at which National Insurance contributions are paid to same level as income tax
  • Taxation powers, including air passenger duty, corporation tax and some income tax powers
  • Living Pension for all pensioners, set at level of pension credit
  • Support moves to allow early access to pensions
  • Investigate flexible pension rights for self-employed
  • Living wage for all employees by 2020
Go Back

To use the services provided by Bromak you must agree to the Terms of Business

Yes No