Election 2015

Conservative manifesto commits to start-up loans and apprentices

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Minimum wage Tax

The Conservative manifesto had good news for start-ups
The Conservative manifesto had good news for start-ups
The Conservative party has pledged to double start-up loans for businesses and more than double the number of apprentices in its 2015 General Election manifesto.

Speaking at the launch of the manifesto this afternoon (April 14), Prime Minister David Cameron said this strategy would help provide young people with training and create jobs.

“[Since 2010] we’ve had over 2M apprenticeships – we’ll have 3M more,” ​he said.

“We’ve had over 25,000 start-up loans – we’ll have 50,000 more because we know in the end it’s not government that create jobs – it’s businesses.”

The manifesto was centred on seeing through the Conservative’s long-term economic plan to clear the national deficit, Cameron claimed.


“We will take action on the deficit, properly fund the NHS and cut taxes for working people,” ​he added. “What’s more, by 2018 we’ll be running a surplus … Britain walking taller, knowing that our economy is secure – and that we haven’t passed on levels of debt to our children that they could never hope to repay.”


Cameron also committed to changing the law so that no-one earning the Minimum Wage would pay income tax.

“We’re going to make sure work really pays in our country – not just now, but always,” ​he said.

“We’ve already made that major increase in the personal allowance, so you can now earn £10,600 without paying any income tax at all.

“By 2020 we will have raised that further – to £12,500 – making sure no-one on the Minimum Wage who works 30 hours a week pays any income tax on their wages. We are going to legislate that as the Minimum Wage rises –  the basic tax-free allowance is automatically uprated too.”

This would be a landmark change which echoed the 1977 Rooker-Wise amendment in the Budget, he claimed.

Over taxed

Its purpose was to link the personal tax allowance to inflation, so the lowest earners weren’t over taxed and taxed by stealth.

There has been much debate over the impact leaving the EU could have on the food and drink industry and Cameron confirmed he would let the people decide on the outcome.

“Strong leadership isn’t denying the British people a say and ducking the issue,”​ he said. “It’s negotiating, getting changes on welfare so we can reduce immigration, then letting you decide in an in-out referendum.”

Cameron also promised more university technical colleges, upgraded roads and electrified railways – such as High Speed 2.

Meanwhile, read the implications of Labour's manifesto​ for the food industry here.

Key manifesto points

  • Double start-up loans
  • 3M more apprentices
  • Extending the right-to-buy scheme to housing association tenants in England
  • Taking workers on the minimum wage out of income tax by increasing the personal allowance
  • 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds, “worth £5,000 a year”
  • Lifting the inheritance tax threshold on family homes to £1M by 2017
  • No above-inflation rises in rail fares until 2020
  • An extra £8bn a year for the NHS by 2020
  • Opening 500 more free schools
  • An EU referendum by 2017
  • Plans to build 200,000 starter homes

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