Conservative manifesto pledges

15 May 2015

Before the General Election there was much speculation about what changes would be implemented from the different manifestos published in the lead up. Now we know the conservatives are at the helm for the next five years we can home in on what their manifesto pledges are.

The Conservatives have always voiced their belief that the UK is ‘stronger together’. They have pledged to work to ensure a stable constitution that is fair to the people of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and will:

  • give English MPs a veto over matters only affecting England, including on Income Tax;
  • honour in full, commitments to Scotland to devolve extensive new powers;
  • implement the agreed settlement for Wales, handing over more responsibility to the Welsh Assembly; and
  • maintain Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom on the basis of the consent of its people.

Summary of main manifesto pledges


Income Tax

No increase to income tax or National Insurance in the next Parliament.

Increase the Personal Allowance to £12,500.

Increase the 40p Income Tax threshold to £50,000.

Nobody working 30 hours on the Minimum Wage will pay Income Tax on what they earn.

A new Tax Free Minimum Wage law will be applied from the first Budget after the General Election so that the Personal Allowance automatically rises in line with the National Minimum Wage.

National Minimum Wage

Support National Minimum Wage to be over £8 by the end of the decade.

Continued support of the Living Wage.

Take further steps to eradicate abuses of workers, such as non-payment of the Minimum Wage, exclusivity in zero hours contracts and exploitation of migrant workers.

Paid Volunteering Leave

Give those who work for a big company and the public sector a new workplace entitlement to Volunteering Leave for three days a year, on full pay.


End taxpayer-funded six-figure payoffs for the best paid public sector workers.

Gender pay gap

Companies with more than 250 employees will be required to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees.

Agency Workers

Repeal restrictions banning employers from hiring agency staff to provide essential cover during strikes.

Illegal working and exploitation

Introduce tougher labour market regulation to tackle illegal working and exploitation.

Small business support

Establish a new Small Business Conciliation service to mediate in disputes, especially over late payment.

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to become permanent with expansion to its role and capacity.

European Union – in or out

Hold an in-out referendum by the end of 2017. This of course could have a significant impact on employment law in the UK.


Lower the amount of benefits that any household can receive to £23,000.

Continue to roll out Universal Credit, to make work pay.

Bring in tax-free childcare to support parents back into work.

Give working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds 30 hours of free childcare a week.


CIPP comment

As expected there is not enough detail in the manifesto to fully realise what impact some of these measures will have on the payroll profession and employers. The Policy Team will report further details as they emerge over the coming weeks and months.