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2019 UK General Election: Manifesto Analysis

The 2019 General Election sees the UK heading to the polls for the third time in five years. UK politics remains in a state of flux as the public is asked to break the deadlock in parliament. Even if no one party is able to reach the 326 seats needed in order to obtain a majority in the House of Commons, the election results may shift the balance of power just enough to allow progress to be made on key policy issues.

Brexit continues to dominate the political agenda and the outcome of the 2019 election will be pivotal in deciding how, when, and even if, the UK departs from the European Union. However, the manifestos set out the various political parties’ priorities, and details how they will address the most significant policy questions of our time. These are issues that are also at the heart of actuarial science, for example, tackling climate change, investing in infrastructure, and meeting the needs of an ageing population.

The areas we have prioritised are:

  • Ageing Population – looking at the opportunities and challenges associated with increases in life expectancy and the proportion of older people in the population.
  • Inclusive Insurance looking at new approaches to emerging risks and the potential impacts on the insurance industry and different segments of consumers.
  • Sustainability seeking long-term solutions to the risk of environmental change and the transition to net zero for governments, businesses and individuals.

As a chartered body the IFoA provides an objective, fact-based and politically neutral view of the key issues facing the UK today. As an actuarial body, it is unsurprising that a key theme running through all of our policy positions is the belief that long-term problems need long-term solutions, to ensure fair and effective policymaking.

Summary

In the interest of brevity we have decided to limit our analysis to the main UK parties’ manifestos. Also included is the Scottish National Party manifesto, as they are likely to return a significant number of MPs to Westminster. The parties are listed in alphabetical order throughout our manifesto analysis document; if you wish to discuss our analysis further with one of our team please contact public.affairs@actuaries.org.uk.
 

Download the manifesto analysis
 

Manifestos: top-line messages:

Conservatives'Get Brexit done' is the dominant message in this Conservative manifesto, and behind the Johnson campaign. Other significant commitments include infrastructure spending plans with £100 billion of investment lined up, and prioritising spending on health, education and policing. The Conservative manifesto commits to the lowest spending pledges on public services. The government had already planned to increase day-to-day spending on public services by £11.7 billion, and their manifesto adds £2.9 billion to current plans in 2023–24.

Green Party
The Climate Emergency is front and centre of the Green Party's manifesto. It proposes a ‘Green New Deal’ which is characterised by funding improvements in six key areas, those being: energy, housing, transport, industry, food farming & industry and incomes. The Green New Deal promises combined investment of over £100 billion a year in order to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.
 

LabourLabour’s manifesto seeks to fundamentally rewrite the rules of the UK economy. There are plans to renationalise sectors such as rail, mail, water and energy, as well as a promise to invest in a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, and reform the tax system. Labour’s manifesto also promises the highest public spending commitments of all of the parties, with an £80 billion increase in day-to-day spending by 2023–24, along with an additional £55 billion of investment spending each year.
 

Liberal Democrats

 ‘Leaving the European Union is not the answer,’ is the key message readers will take away from the Lib Dems manifesto. The ‘stop Brexit bonus’ (which they estimate at £50 billion) is a core plank of their budget to reinvest in public services. Brexit aside, the manifesto also contains strong commitments to tackle climate change and spending on the NHS, social care and lifelong learning.

SNP

The SNP are hopeful for not one but two referendums in their latest manifesto calling for a second Brexit vote and Scottish Independence. Also contained within its pages are calls to reform and protect the NHS and welfare system, alongside a demands for more devolved power in areas such as transport and infrastructure. 

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    20 January 2020

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    30 January 2020

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    M&G Prudential, Stirling Craigforth Campus, Stirling
    30 January 2020

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    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • KSS event in Edinburgh: Public Sector Pensions

    Hymans Robertson 1, Exchange Place, Semple St, Edinburgh
    30 January 2020

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    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • The Great Risk Transfer – Breakfast briefing and launch event

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    31 January 2020

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    Launch of the IFoA’s 2020 thought leadership campaign The Great Risk Transfer. The campaign will examine the trend of the transfer of risk from institutions to individuals, and how people can be better equipped to manage the financial risks they now face. At this breakfast event the IFoA will launch a call for evidence on this topic.

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    10 February 2020

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    18 February 2020

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    With a single party government at Westminster holding a comfortable majority, and with the first phase of Brexit complete, the potential for radical reforms of the pensions landscape is increased. 

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    Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ
    24 February 2020

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    This sessional meeting will be of direct interest to actuaries and others working in the in the Health and Care, Life or Pensions sectors or indeed actuaries with an interest in morbidity or mortality. Note: Registration is from 17.30 in time for the sessional to begin at 18.00.

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    New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh
    5 March 2020

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    Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, Holborn, London. WC1V 6DR, UK
    19 March 2020

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    Recent years have seen ESG, Climate Change, and Responsible Investing thrust onto the corporate agenda in every boardroom. The same also be said for pension funds. Expectations of how companies should respond are high and NEDs on Boards are expected to adapt and adjust their guidance to companies accordingly. What does this mean for Actuaries serving as NEDs and Trustees?

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    Deloitte, 4th Floor, Saltire Court, 20 Castle Terrace
    19 March 2020

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    Speaker: Iain Collier, Chair of the CSWP

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    There will be an extended Q&A session at the end of the event.

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    Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR
    25 March 2020

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    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

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    25 March 2020

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    1 April 2020

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    Following the release of the updated CMI Mortality Projection Model, CMI_2019, the CMI Mortality Projections Committee will lead a discussion on future mortality improvements.

  • IFoA Asia Conference 2020, Kuala Lumpur

    CCEC Nexus, 7, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    24-25 June 2020
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    Join us at the IFoA Asia Conference 2020 at CCEC Nexus, Kuala Lumpur where intellectual thought leaders, senior industry players, opinion formers, academics, actuaries and non-actuaries from across Asia and beyond are expected to attend. This year's landmark conference promises to an exciting one as our first Asian President-elect, Tan Suee Chieh will, as newly appointed president of the IFoA, use his presidential address to highlight the two key pillars of the IFoA’s emerging strategy:

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