The Tory manifesto pledges axed from the Queen's speech

Andy Wells

The Conservatives have scrapped several toxic policies from their manifesto as their legislative timetable for the next two year’s was outlined in today’s Queen’s Speech.

Blamed by many for the Tories not securing a majority at this year’s General Election, a number of controversial pledges in the manifesto were either watered down or taken out completely.

Perhaps the most predictable change was on the reformation of social care funding in England – the so-called ‘dementia tax’.

Several Tory manifesto pledges were scrapped for the Queen’s Speech (PA)

The Queen’s Speech was dominated by Brexit.

Of 27 bills and draft bills, eight are devoted to the complex process of withdrawal from the EU, including a Repeal Bill to overturn the 1972 Act which took Britain into the European Economic Community and separate Bills on customs, trade, immigration, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards and the international sanctions regime.

Here are the key Conservative manifesto pledges that did not make the speech:

Social care

The most controversial element of the manifesto was a proposal that would have required some pensioners to pay for care at home as well as in residential settings, taking the cost from the value of their estates after they die. Costs would come in if a person’s estate exceeded £100,000.

Days later, after the bill was dubbed the ‘dementia tax’, Mrs May performed a sensational U-turn, promising there would be an unspecified cap on the total bill. The Queen’s Speech says only that ministers will “work to improve social care and bring forward proposals for consultation”.

Winter fuel payments

The manifesto promised means-testing so the one-off annual payment of up to £300 went only to poorer pensioners.

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Pensions triple lock

The manifesto said David Cameron’s guarantee of an annual rise of at least 2.5% in the state pension would last only until 2020, after which a “double lock” would increase them in line with inflation or average earnings.

Grammar schools

There is no mention in the Queen’s Speech of the manifesto pledge to end the ban on new selective schools. Instead, documents released alongside the speech state the Government will “look at all the options” for ensuring all children go to good or outstanding schools and will “work with Parliament to bring forward proposals that can command a majority”.

Mrs May is hoping she can get her legislative programme through with the support of the DUP (PA)

Fox-hunting

The manifesto promised a free vote on a Government Bill to decide whether to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs. However, it proved extremely unpopular with voters and animal rights groups and was thought to be a factor in people opting not to vote for the Tories.

Fixed-term parliaments

There is no legislation put forward to implement Mrs May’s plans to end the five-year fixed term between elections introduced under the Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition.

Free school lunches

The manifesto vowed to fund increased budgets for schools by ditching the promise of a free lunchtime meal for all pupils in the first three years of primary education, replacing it with free breakfasts for junior school pupils.

Energy price cap

Plans for a cap on rises in basic tariffs for gas and electricity were set out in the manifesto as part of a drive to protect consumers. Rather than delivering a bill to enforce the cap, the speech states ministers are “considering the best way” to protect those on the poorest-value tariffs and suggests this could be done by regulators rather than legislative action.

Donald Trump

While not a manifesto pledge, of course, there was nevertheless no mention of any state visit by the US President, fuelling speculation that the planned trip is set to be ditched after Trump reportedly said he did not want to come to the UK if there was a risk of being greeted by protests.

Top pic: PA

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