There was little new in UKIP's manifesto and unsurprisingly immigration was a key feature. Boasting an independently costed manifesto they pledged to cut the international aid budget and, in a nod to the ongoing media coverage of the SNP, a promise to revisit the Barnett Formula.
Despite speaking on familiar ground and in an important seat, Farage seemed under a lot of pressure – we assume not only because the event was being held in a hotel which also hosts “Fawlty Towers” themed nights. He was visibly sweating and lacked his normal charisma. Whereas both Miliband and Cameron seemed to revel in their manifesto launches, Farage seemed deeply uncomfortable, perhaps due to UKIPs decreasing poll ratings. Overall the manifesto launch was more of the same. Whilst the Conservatives used their launch to introduce new ideas and Labour used theirs to boost their economic credibility, there seemed little theme to UKIPs. It is unlikely to persuade swing voters, and must be seen as merely a core, but diminishing, voter strategy. On top of this Farage did not set out any red lines in the case of coalition negotiations, though it is unlikely that UKIP would be in a position to demand many concessions.
- UK to leave the European Union. An Australian-style points based system and a five-year ban on unskilled immigration
- Migrants must have approved health insurance and will be eligible for benefits and able to apply for permanent residence only after they have paid tax and national insurance for five years.
- Cease granting of “permanent leave to remain” status.
- Bring back the “primary purpose rule” to stop sham marriages.
- Holding of a referendum on ending the UK’s membership of the European Union as soon as possible.
- Negotiation of trade agreement with the EU to enable British businesses to continue trading.
- An extra £3bn a year into the NHS in England by the end of the parliament. Ensure that GPs’ surgeries are open at least one evening per week, where there is demand for it.
- Initiate pilot programmes in English hospitals to put GPs on duty in A&E departments seven days a week.
- Funding for 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 more nurses, 3,000 more midwives and the construction of a dedicated, fully staffed military hospital
- Investment of £130m a year into researching and treating dementia by 2017. Introduce a duty on all health service staff to report low standards of care.
- Abolition of inheritance tax and an increase in personal allowance to at least £13,000. Raise the threshold for paying 40% income tax to £55,000 and introduce a new intermediate tax rate of 30% on incomes ranging from £43,000 to £55,000.
- Scrapping of Barnett formula, replaced with a “needs-based” system.
- Increase the transferable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners to £1,500.
- Removal of tuition fees for students taking approved degrees in science, medicine, technology, engineering and maths on condition that they practise and work and pay tax in the UK for five years after graduation.
- Decrease the amount of paperwork teachers deal with and enforce current restrictions on class limits. Scrap teachers’ performance-related pay.
- Abolish key stage 1 SATs, set at the age of seven.
- Students from EU to pay the same fee rates as international students. Protection of existing grammar schools from change in status. Students to have option to take apprenticeship qualification locally instead of four non-core GCSEs.
- Support “age-appropriate” sex and relationship education at secondary level, but not for primary school children.
- Support right of parents to home-school their children. Support and funding for free schools.
- A commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence initially, looking to increase it substantially after that.
- Increase intelligence capability and create new “overarching role” of director of national intelligence.
Business and jobs
- Allow British businesses to employ British citizens first.
- Creation of 6,000 new jobs in the police, prison service and in the UK Border Force.
- A cut in business rates for small businesses. Retain zero-hours contracts but subject them to a binding code of conduct.
- Push local authorities to offer at least 30 minutes’ free parking in town centres, high streets and shopping parades.
Law and order
- Deportation of foreigners who commit crimes in Britain. Repeal of Human Rights Act and introduction of new “British bill of rights”.
- Reversal of opt-in to EU law and justice measures, including European arrest warrant.
- Put 3,500 more frontline personnel into the police and prisons services.
- Remove UK from the jurisdiction of the European court of human rights.
- Cut by £9bn, prioritising disaster relief and schemes to provide water and inoculation against preventable diseases.
- Close the Department for International Development (DfID) and merge its essential functions with the Foreign Office.
- Opposition to bedroom tax. Child benefit to be paid only to children permanently resident in the UK, and future child benefit to be limited to first two children only.
- ï¿¼Priority in social housing to be given to ex-service personnel and those returning from active service. Creation of a minister for veterans and a veterans service card.
- Train and fund the cost of 800 advisers to work in 800 foodbanks.
- A planned brownfield building revolution to create 1m new homes by 2020.
- Removal of stamp duty on the first £250,000 for new homes constructed on brownfield sites.
- Encourage moves by local authorities to prioritise people with “strong local connections” when making housing allocations. Prevent non-British nationals from accessing Right to Buy or Help to Buy schemes.
- Promote a “unifying British culture open to anyone who wishes to identify with Britain and British values”.
- End the use of multi-lingual formatting on official documents, which will be published only in English and, “where appropriate”, Welsh and Gaelic.
- Amendment to smoking ban to give pubs and clubs choice of opening “smoking rooms”.
- The Department for Culture Media and Sport is among those earmarked for abolition or merger with other departments.
- Scrapping of HS2 project. Maintenance of concessionary bus passes and requirement that foreign trucks contribute to upkeep of UK roads and fuel duty. Ensure that speed cameras are used as deterrent and not as “revenue raiser”.
- Remove toll roads when possible and oppose “pay as you go” road charging schemes.
- Support reopening of Manston airport.
- Support for development of shale gas (fracking) provided safeguards are in place to protect local communities.
- Repeal Climate Change Act. Encourage redevelopment of British power stations.
- Abolish “green taxes” and levies and withdraw from EU’s emissions trading scheme.
- Establish commission to investigate ways to assisted and rejuvenate the coal industry.
- Hold a national referendum every two years on the issues of greatest importance to the public, gathered via an approved petition, provided it has 2 million signatures.
- A “right of recall” allowing for a recall ballot on an MP, if 20% of constituents demand it.
- Campaign for a new proportional voting system.