May ditches Cameron's pledge not to raise income tax or national insurance

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May's launches her election manifesto in Halifax

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May's launches her election manifesto in Halifax

Theresa May has promised that a Conservative government will tackle the "five giant challenges" facing Britain over the coming decade, as she launched the party's manifesto for the June 8 general election.

"It is right that we want to bring net migration down to sustainable levels because of the impact uncontrolled migration has on people and public services".

She said: "The next five years are the most challenging that Britain has faced in my lifetime".

"We will work with train companies and their employees to agree minimum service levels during periods of industrial dispute - and if we can not find a voluntary agreement, we will legislate to make this mandatory", the manifesto adds.

It was last below 100,000 in 1997 and there had been some speculation if the party would choose to drop the "tens of thousands" target it has consistently failed to meet.

"If enacted, it is likely to represent the biggest stealth tax in history and when people understand that they will be leaving most of their estate to the government, rather than their families, the Conservative Party will experience a dramatic loss of support".

Including the scenario of no deal in the manifesto binds Tory lawmakers elected on it into backing May if negotiations flop and also serves as a warning to European Union counterparts not to try to punish the British for leaving the bloc.

The issue has very high visibility for British voters, with media often reporting on subjects such as elderly people stuck in hospitals because of a lack of care to support them at home, or overworked nurses rushing from one appointment to the next.

On transport, the manifesto backs the expansion of London's Heathrow airport where there are controversial proposals for a third runway.

The Prime Minister's policy platform, which saw her vow to govern for "mainstream Britain" and deliver a strong economy after Brexit, included a radical shake-up of pensioner benefits and the system for funding social care.

CAPTION CORRECTS PHOTOGRAPHER'S BYLINE Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative party leader Theresa May smiles during the launch of Conservative Party manifesto, in Halifax, England, Thursday May 18, 2017.

A plan to seize the opportunities ahead and to build a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home.

But May's chosen set of remedies departed from previous Conservative policy under her predecessor David Cameron, who had planned to introduce a cap on the total cost of care for individuals.

Mrs May rejected suggestions that policies such as an energy price cap, a commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on global aid and new rights for workers represented a move away from the Conservatism of Margaret Thatcher.

On skills and productivity, the Tories' 2017 manifesto backs plans to launch a £23bn national productivity and investment fund and invest in making the United Kingdom a world leader in driverless technologies.

The money saved by means-testing the winter fuel payment will go directly to fund health and social care.

Instead, Mrs May offered a guarantee that no-one will be forced out of their home or left with assets of less than £100,000 as a result of care costs.

That would mean the current £1,000 annual charge per employee, which is levied on employers that employ migrants in skilled areas, would be doubled to £2,000 by 2022 so "we can invest more in workers in the UK", says the manifesto.

The Tories pledge to "control immigration and secure the entitlements for European Union nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU".

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