PM Promises 'Good Life' For 'Working People'

David Cameron has claimed the Conservatives are the "party of the working people" as he made pledges on homeownership, £5,000 of free childcare and an income tax-free minimum wage.

Launching the Tory manifesto, Mr Cameron repeatedly made offers to voters who worked hard and wanted to get on the "good life".

The manifesto set out measures for families from cradle to grave - identifying measures to help people over six stages of their lives.

Mr Cameron opened his speech by saying: "At the heart of this manifesto is a simple proposition. We are the party of working people, offering you security at every stage of your life."

He promised 30 hours of childcare for three and four-year-olds - five hours more than promised in Labour's manifesto yesterday - to help working parents.

He said if the party is returned to power, it will give 1.3 million families the chance to buy their housing association home at least a 20% discount.

Speaking at a university technical college in Swindon, Mr Cameron laid out his vision for a "property-owning democracy" echoing the phrases used in Margaret Thatcher's 1983 manifesto.

And he said the Conservatives would introduce a tax-free minimum wage, linking the minimum wage to the income tax personal allowance so the lowest paid would never have to pay tax.

He urged voters not to "waste the last five years" and let "Labour drag us back" to the past, and asked to be allowed to "finish the job".

Mr Cameron promised: "This buccaneering, world-beating, can-do country - we can do it all over again."

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Among other measures included in the manifesto, which has the phrase "strong leadership, a clear economic plan, a better more secure future" on the cover, are:

:: Raising the personal allowance for tax to £12,500

:: Increasing the starting salary for the 40p rate to £50,000

:: No increase in income tax, VAT, National Insurance

:: Raising the inheritance tax threshold for family homes to £1m

:: Seven-day access to GP service

:: An annual £8bn boost for NHS funding

:: Repeal the Hunting Act

:: Increase state pension by at least 2.5% with a triple lock

:: 200,000 starter homes built

:: Committed to four-boat Trident nuclear deterrent

Mr Cameron's repeated pledges on a "good life" available to people in the UK prompted a question on whether he saw himself as the impoverished Tom and Barbara characters from the BBC sitcom, played by Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers, or the rich Margot and Jerry characters played by Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington.

To fund Right to Buy, the Conservatives would force councils to sell their most expensive properties when vacant - estimated to raise £4.5bn a year - and replace the properties sold.

However, the Housing Federation claims the cost to the taxpayer would be £5.8bn and 40 years of failure on house-building means the UK still does not have the homes needed.

Since Baroness Thatcher introduced Right to Buy in 1980, 1.88 million council properties have been sold - only 345,000 new social housing properties have been built.

As well as extending Right to Buy at a discount to housing association tenants, the party has promised a £1bn fund for building 400,000 new properties on brownfield sites.

Mr Cameron's claim that the Conservatives are the party for workers comes after Labour said it wanted to be seen as the fiscally responsible option for government.

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Conservative activists gathered for the manifesto launch were shown a video called The Note.

The video refers to the missive left for the coalition by the outgoing Labour treasury minister Liam Byrne after the 2010 election. It said: "There is no money."

But Labour has claimed the Conservatives have failed to explain properly how their measures will be funded.

The Tories say some £1.4bn a year of the funding will come from reducing the tax relief on pensions for those earning more than £150,000. Mr Cameron said their track record showed they could deliver on their pledges.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the Conservatives were "trying to fund Right to Buy on a bounced cheque".

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Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the Right to Buy policy was unaffordable and did not help millions of people trying to get on to the property ladder.