Tories win the 2019 election – here’s what it means for students
After waking up to the news that Boris Johnson has won the 2019 general election, you won't be alone in wondering how this affects you. Here's a look at the Tories' promises to students...
With Labour suffering one of their biggest losses in living memory, Boris Johnson has reclaimed his spot as PM.
On Thursday, we saw #YouthQuake trending on Twitter (including loads of pro-Labour tweets), leading some to suggest that young people were about to sway the election results to the left. However, come Friday morning, the map of seats across the UK looked very, very blue.
So, what does the news mean for you? Read on for an overview of the Tories' pledges to UK students.
Conservative pledges in their 2019 manifesto
One issue which Johnson really pushed during this election was (you guessed it!) Brexit. Under the heading 'My Guarantee', Johnson led his manifesto with:
If there is a majority of Conservative MPs on December 13th, I guarantee I will get our new deal through Parliament. We will get Brexit done in January and unleash the potential of our whole country.
He has promised to push his latest deal through Parliament before Christmas, with plans to leave the EU in January.
Although Brexit was clearly a major part of Johnson's promises, the manifesto also covered a wide range of topics.
Head over to our guide comparing the main parties' manifestos, or read on for a look at the Conservative pledges that affect you.
Tory policies on universities and tuition fees
Boris Johnson has made some interesting promises to students and universities.
He's pledged to reinstate the Maintenance Grant for student nurses and look at the interest rates on Student Loan repayments to tackle student debt. This differs quite noticeably from Labour's pledge to abolish tuition fees, but let's hope Johnson really is committed to addressing the financial struggles of students and grads.
Student Finance aside, Johnson also aims to address grade inflation, strengthen academic freedom and free speech in unis, and improve the application process for prospective students. They don't go into much detail on these, so the extent of their planned changes is unclear.
Tory policies on the environment
Along with Brexit, another big topic in this election was the environment.
Among some of Johnson's biggest environmental policies is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The DUP made the same promise of 2050, but Labour had pledged to achieve this within the 2030s, and the Green Party had said by 2030. But, let's hope it's achieved sooner rather than later.
The Conservative manifesto also pledged to not support fracking until science "categorically" shows that it can be done safely.
Plus, they have said they will increase the proportion of recyclable plastics in packaging, and introduce a deposit return scheme to encourage people to recycle more plastic and glass.
Tory policies on NHS and social care
Johnson's pledges on the NHS, social care and mental health provisions were also a key part of his campaign.
He plans to introduce 50,000 more nurses, 6,000 more doctors in GPs and 6,000 more primary care professionals.
And, as well as saying they'll give an extra £1 billion every year towards social care, the Conservatives have also promised to build 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years.
Tory policies on jobs, benefits and taxation
Of course, it's important to look beyond policies which affect you right now, while still at uni, and examine the impact of Johnson's government on your future career.
The Conservative manifesto pledged to stop rises in income tax and National Insurance rates.
Plus, as well as planning to continue Universal Credit, the Tories have also said they will raise the annual earnings threshold for paying National Insurance to £9,500 a year. The threshold would then eventually increase to £12,500.
Additional Tory policies
The manifesto covered a fair amount, so we're not able to go into all of their pledges in detail. But, we've picked out some other policies of note:
- Build a million homes over the next five years
- Establish a lifetime deposit for renters which carries on from one home to the next
- Host the UK government's first international LGBT conference
- Consider ways to improve paternity leave
- Introduce tougher sentences for animal cruelty.
It's worth noting that all pledges from the Conservative manifesto are still subject to the approval of parliament. But, with the size of the majority, they'll likely be able to push a lot of them through.
Did you know that parents are expected to give you up to £5,860 a year for uni?