General Election 2017 briefing: Everything you need to know about Thursday's campaigning

Theresa May launches the Conservative's manifesto today and reveals middle-class pensioners are to lose benefits under her party's plans to fund social care.

The Conservative manifesto will set out plans to begin means-testing winter fuel payments and to charge more people who currently receive free care in their own home. 

The money saved from means-testing the annual heating handout, worth up to £300, will be used to help close the £2.8 billion social care funding gap. 

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May - Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP

The Conservatives will also pass legislation to ensure nobody has to sell their home to pay for their care during their lifetime, and new rules will allow pensioners needing nursing home treatment to keep more of their assets.

The flagship policy marks a gamble as it risks angering core older Tory supporters. David Cameron repeatedly pledged to maintain universal pensioner benefits, but Mrs May’s team believes that pensioners can no longer be fully protected from austerity.

The Sun report that Mrs May will risk further angering older voters by scrapping the triple-lock on the state pension, which guarantees it rises by the highest of average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

UK General Election 2017 polling

The  Telegraph understands that the manifesto will also:

  • Pledge to end the controversial policy of universal free school lunches for infants to fund an extra £1 billion per year for education – a funding commitment that will see every school receive more money;

  • Ditch the tax triple-lock that guaranteed no rises in income tax, national insurance or VAT, but will contain a general commitment to lower taxes;

  • Keep a pledge to bring down immigration to the tens of thousands, but with no “arbitrary” deadline;

  • Maintain the current policy of increasing the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 by 2020 and the policy of increasing the 40p tax threshold to £50,000 by 2020;

  • Eradicate the deficit by the middle of the next decade;

  • Double the immigration skills charge – currently £1,000 per year – levied on companies for each non-EU national they employ. 

Countdown to the General Election

Writing in Thursday's Telegraph, Mrs May defends the welfare cuts by saying she is prepared to “take the big, difficult decisions that are right for our country in the long term”.

She says the manifesto, which will be unveiled in West Yorkshire, will “confront the great challenges of our time”.

While The Conservative's manifesto plans continue to be pored over by the public, press and political rivals today, Jeremy Corbyn will be addressing a rally in London, while Ukip's Roger Helmer will be talking energy at a press conference in Westminster.

The leaders of all seven main parties have been given invites to a debate on ITV at 8pm, but Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May have already said they'll be no-shows, leading to a straight five-way fight between the Lib Dems, Ukip, Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Labour now lead the Conservatives in just two regions

Top Stories

Boris Johnson was reprimanded on a visit to a Sikh temple in Bristol for talking about alcohol in the sacred building:Alcohol consumption is banned by the religion but the Foreign Secretary started talking about ending tariffs on the trade of whisky between the UK and India.

Jeremy Corbyn tweeted a fake quote attributed to Aneurin Bevan, the Labour architect of the NHS, as he pledged to “fight” for the health service:The words were never actually spoken by Mr Bevan - in fact the quote originates from a 1997 television play about the politician.

Political parties facing investigation over targeting of voters on Twitter and Facebook: The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a formal investigation into the political use of private data amid concerns over allegations involving an analytics firm linked to a Brexit campaign.

Britain can leave the EU by paying £5billion, says Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales: The estimate is a boost for Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and her Brexit secretary David Davis, who have been pushing back against claims the final bill could be as high as Eur100billion.


The Campaign Diary 

  • Theresa May launches the Conservative manifesto in Yorkshire 

  • Tim Farron is in Salford to take part in the ITV leaders debate

  • Jeremy Corbyn will be campaigning in London

Ukip energy spokesman Roger Helmer is launching the party’s energy policy at an event in Westminster

Quote of the Day

"I'm not going to say I've never occasionally sworn but I work extremely well and closely with Theresa May's team.”

Philip Hammond on his relationship with the Prime Minister

Tweet of the Day

Marginal Seat Briefing 

Torbay: The Conservative Kevin Foster took the seat of the Lib Dems with 3,286 votes in 2015.

The Lib Dems, who's held the seat since 1997, are hoping to win it back in June. 

Register Log in commenting policy

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting