What Might the General Election Mean to NFPs and Businesses?
“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.” Donald Rumsfeld’s famous quote did little to clarify the situation back in 2002. Here is a reader’s personal attempt to unpick the ‘known-unknowns’ for NFPs immediately after the election announcement.
With last week’s ‘shock’ announcement from Theresa May, the main political parties have been rapidly preparing for 8 June’s general election. The question is, what might the general election mean for businesses and the NFP sector and how can we prepare?
As manifestos are yet to be published (should be available mid-May), we can only speculate as to what the impact of the general election outcome might be.
What we can do is educate ourselves to make a decision as to which way to vote, and commit to vote. Voting is what places parties in power, and we’re all empowered to do that! In fact, some would say we have a social and moral obligation to do so.
By way of looking at the facts as they currently stand we’ve put together a summary below based on what we ‘know’ (from recent announcements) and what’s ‘possible’ based on past party form.
To cut to the chase, it would seem from what’s ‘known’ and ‘possible’ that the major players with any current stance of consequence on NFP’s and businesses are the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats. This is unless you are based in Scotland, in which case the SNP may have some bearing.
The Conservative Party, although focused on an attractive business environment post-Brexit, quite how they will achieve this, and the actual impact of Brexit remains unclear, although widely speculated about. The benefits or drawbacks to the NFP and business sectors will hinge on the impact of Brexit.
The Labour Party are very much on the side of ‘the people’ ending the pay cap for nurses, midwives and other NHS staff, and repealing the Trade Union Act, which should have positive outcomes for those associated. An increase in minimum wage and allowances should also help pad the public pocket and therefore may have benefits for both businesses and NFP’s.
The Liberal Democrats are working on behalf of UK businesses, which one would assume, would have the knock-on benefit of a more robust economy and therefore a potentially increased pocket from which the NFP sector can be supported. Making a commitment to provide funding specifically for mental health services, should surely mean, with that precedent set, other services may well benefit.
Although telling people which way to vote would be entirely wrong, encouraging people to vote is entirely right. Let’s commit to making the difference to our future and the future of our nation and her people together.
The Conservative Party
Ensuring that the post-Brexit British economy is an attractive business environment.
- The international aid budget will remain at 0.7 per cent of the total government budget.
- They will cap energy prices.
- A “long term solution” to the social care crisis
- Scrapping the HS2 high speed rail link project
- Cut public spending over major tax increases
- Reduce levels of immigration to the tens of thousands
- More grammar schools
The Labour Party
Funding public services such as the NHS and education by increasing taxes on earners of over £70,000 a year.
- Minimum wage would increase to £10 per hour
- Education – Class sizes will be capped and free school meals will be made available to all primary school children
- The Carers’ Allowance would be increased to be in line with Jobseekers’ Allowance (+£10 a week)
- Ending the 1% pay cap for nurses, midwives and other NHS staff
- Repealing the Trade Union Act
- Brexit – Have a meaningful vote on the final deal, scrap the Tories’ Brexit White Paper and the Great Repeal Bill and guaranteeing the rights of 3million EU citizens to remain in the UK
- A £500 billion National Investment Bank to help the economy recover after Brexit
- A commitment to the review on high street banks and the drive to push people to internet banking with a focus on maintaining accessibility for those without digital access.
- Reversing Tory cuts to inheritance tax, corporation tax and inheritance tax
- Increase in the top rate of tax
- A law to stop banks closing down high street branches
- ‘Re-nationalising the NHS’ by repealing the Health and Social Care Act
- Cutting student fees
- Building a million new homes – half of them council homes
- Banning zero hour contracts
- Re-nationalising the railways and Royal Mail
The Liberal Democrats
As pro-free trade and pro-business, their focus is to stop Brexit. Through a second referendum retaining Britain as a member of the single market.
- A second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal
- A pledged tax to pay for the NHS and social care
- Greater funding for mental health services
- Introduce a regulated market for cannabis in the UK.
- Bolster the UK’s welfare system
- An increase in the threshold at which students pay back tuition fee loans
- Campaign for proportional representation Introduce a regulated market for cannabis in the UK.
The Green Party
- Free education – scrapping tuition fees and bringing back maintenance grants
- Continuing the Erasmus student exchange programme after Brexit
- Pledging to maintain equivalent funding for Universities losing cash from the EU
- Against leaving the EU
- Lowering the voting age to 16
- Higher living wage.
- Increased investment in mental health services
Making sure Brexit happens quickly and efficiently.
- A ban on full face coverings
- An explicit ban on the practice of Sharia Law
- Abolition of postal voting for most electors
- Making a difference in race an aggravating factor in grooming offences
- A moratorium on new Islamic faith schools
- Mandatory reporting of Female Genital Mutilation
- Mandatory annual medical checks for girls “at risk” of Female Genital Mutilation
- ‘Presumption of prosecution’ of any parent whose daughter has suffered FGM, which is already the law
- A £10 billion a year cut in the foreign aid budget
- Progressive taxation and the maintenance of the welfare state
Independence from the UK, dependence on the EU.
- A pledge to fight a second referendum on Scottish independence
- The removal of the Bedroom Tax
- Changes to Child Tax Credits policy to remove the ‘rape clause’
- Higher living wages
- Progressive taxation
- The universality of disability payments and the removal of the “Bedroom Tax.”