May surprises with change of policy on care for the elderly

Net migration to Britain was 273,000 in the year to September 2016, and has not been below 100,000 in 20 years.

Overseas students will remain in the immigration statistics but the manifesto sets out plans to heighten requirements for students hoping to remain in the country to work after their course has finished.

It pledges to double to £2,000 ($2,600, 2,340 euros) a charge on companies hiring foreign workers, and cut immigration from outside the EU. But many economists say the "tens of thousands" target is arbitrary and could prevent companies recruiting workers with essential skills.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Mark Williams said European Union aid had been essential "in creating and safeguarding jobs, bringing our infrastructure into the 21st Century in many parts of the country, and providing opportunities for new entrepreneurs". "We want to increase the Skills Charge because that money can then be put into training people here to be able to take those jobs while we still have a system that brings in the brightest and best into the country", May said, in response to questions after her manifesto speech at Halifax in the West Yorkshire region of England today.

"With this plan and with a strong hand through Brexit, we will build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain for all of us".

Covering the National Health Service (NHS), social care, the economy, immigration and changes to pensions for the elderly, May spelt out five main commitments container in her manifesto dealing with a strong economy, Britain's departure from the European Union (Brexit), social provision, an ageing society and fast-changing technology.

Free school lunches for infants in England will be scrapped, but there will be free breakfasts across the primary aged pupils.

Launching the party manifesto, she also reiterated a pledge to allow new grammar schools to be created, just days after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would block them and described the idea as a vanity project. If we succeed the opportunities ahead of us will be great.

The Conservatives, if in power after 8 June, will consult on extending a proposed price cap on domestic energy prices to very small businesses.

- Ending the pensions "triple lock" which guarantees the weekly state pension rises each year by more than inflation, average earnings or 2.5 percent - whichever is highest. Increased spending will be funded by withdrawing the £300 winter fuel payment from wealthier pensioners.

Workers will also be given the right to request up to a year's unpaid leave to care for a relative.

Voters have been offered extremely stark choices with the Labour party s strongly socialist-oriented pledges including re-nationalisation of key United Kingdom bodies like railways and postal system and the pro-Europe Liberal Democrats offering a second referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

The Tory announcements today completes the launch of party manifestos by all major political parties in the fray in the June 8 election.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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