It’s election time, so we’ve been poring over the manifestos from all the major parties to see how they stack up against the aims of our different campaigns and work areas. We want all parties to commit to policies which will ensure everyone can truly exercise their human right to health. Here we break down the key policy commitments and rate them against what we’re calling for.

Peace & Security

We’re calling for:

Labour

Liberal Democrats

Conservatives

Green Party

SNP

  • Scrap Trident and sign up to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)
  • Work toward global nuclear disarmament
  • Renew Trident
  • Lead multilateral efforts for nuclear-free world
  • Maintain Trident
  • Pursue multilateral nuclear disarmament
  • Maintain Trident
  • No mention of pursuing nuclear disarmament
  • Scrap Trident and sign up to TPNW
  • Work multilaterally for total elimination of nuclear weapons
  • Scrap Trident
  • Work towards UK and global nuclear disarmament
  • End arms sales to countries that have committed human rights abuses
  • End the UK’s role in the arms trade and industry
  • Suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel
  • Reform control of UK arms exports
  • Suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia
  • Improve control of UK arms exports
  • No mention of ending arms sales to any countries
  • No mention of controls on or ending UK role in arms trade
  • Close down UK arms sales activities
  • End subsidies for and support of UK arms industry
  • End arms sales to regimes guilty of violations of human rights
  • Ban lethal autonomous weapons

It is disappointing that despite the disastrous humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, only the Greens and the SNP have committed to scrapping the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system, with the Greens also committing to signing up to the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have all committed to renewing and maintaining Trident.

It is heartening that both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have committed to suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, with Labour also suspending the sale of arms to Israel, and the SNP committing to lobbying Westminster to end arms sales to regimes guilty of violations of human rights and international law. Labour and the Liberal Democrats however have committed only to improving controls on UK arms exports, while the Greens have committed to ending all support of the UK arms industry. The Conservatives make no mention of ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia or any country, or improving controls on arms exports.

 
 

Planetary Health

We’re calling for:

Labour

Liberal Democrats

Conservatives

Green Party

SNP

  • A Green New Deal with a decarbonisation target for the UK of 2030 at the latest
  • Green New Deal
  • Net zero carbon energy system within the 2030s
  • No Green New Deal
  • Net zero by 2045
  • No Green New Deal
  • Net zero by 2050
  • Green New Deal
  • Net zero by 2030
  • Green Energy Deal
  • Net zero by 2045
  • A Fossil Free UK: We are calling for a permanent ban on fracking and support for fossil fuel divestment
  • Fracking ban
  • Delist climate damaging companies from Stock Exchange
  • Fracking ban
  • Make Stock Exchange companies set Paris aligned targets
  • Fracking moratorium
  • Fossil fuel divestment not mentioned
  • Fracking ban
  • Make councils & public bodies divest fossil fuels
  • No support for fracking
  • Fossil fuel divestment not mentioned
  • Healthy Air: Phase out diesel by 2025
  • End new sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2030
  • Every new car and small van sold will be electric by 2030
  • Will consult on a date to phase out sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars
  • End the sale of new petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles by 2030
  • Will campaign for UK Gov to match Scottish target for ending the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032

It is exciting to see the Green New Deal feature in the Green Party and Labour manifestos although Labour’s plan for a Green Industrial Revolution has come just short of a net zero by 2030 target. Disappointingly, the Liberal Democrats, SNP and Conservatives have set far less ambitious net zero emission target dates opting for 2045, 2045 and 2050 respectively.

It is promising to see that no party has pledged support for fracking. The Green Party has included a strong pledge of support for fossil fuel divestment while Labour have pledged to delist climate offenders from the Stock Exchange. The Liberal Democrats will require Stock Exchange listed companies to set Paris aligned targets. The Conservatives and SNP have been silent on the issue of fossil fuel divestment.

No party has matched our demands to phase out diesel by 2025, but Labour, Greens and Liberal Democrats have come closest, with commitments to end diesel vehicle sales by 2030.

 
 

Access to Healthcare

We’re calling for:

Labour

Liberal Democrats

Conservatives

Green Party

SNP

  • A truly universal NHS and an end to all charging for NHS care
  • Scrapping the Immigration Health Surcharge
  • An end to the NHS sharing data with the Home Office
  • Scrap the 2014 Immigration Act
  • Universal healthcare for refugees and other migrants
  • Data protection for NHS and patient information
  • No mention of charging
  • Establish a firewall
  • Clamp down on migrants use of the NHS
  • Expand ‘health tourism enforcement unit’
  • Increase health surcharge by over 50%
  • Scrap 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts
  • Scrap migrant charges for healthcare
  • No mention of charging
  • No mention of data sharing
  • End the Hostile Environment

It is promising to see the majority of parties calling for an end to the Hostile Environment overall, though unfortunately only the Green Party made a specific commitment to end charging for NHS care. It is important that both Labour and the Greens have committed to scrapping the 2014 Immigration Act. If done right, this would end the Immigration Health Surcharge and make entitlement to the NHS no longer reliant on immigration status, both important steps towards the ending of all charges for NHS care.

Although Labour has committed to universal healthcare for refugees and ‘other migrants’, it remains unclear who they include in this category and if this would actually entail ending NHS charging for all migrants.

In contrast the Conservatives propose to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge and increase their enforcement of Hostile Environment charging measures.

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