Boris Johnson presents an anti-austerity program

Boris Johnson presents the Conservative Party program on Sunday, November 24 in Telford. PHIL NOBLE / REUTERS

On Sunday, November 24, Boris Johnson was once again in the Midlands, the former industrial and mining heart of England, impoverished and strongly pro-Brexit, that he plowed from the beginning of the electoral campaign, to present the manifesto of the Conservative Party. This is the official program of the government he will chair if he is confirmed in his position as prime minister, with an absolute majority, after the December 12 poll.

Less thick than the general elections of 2017, this program marks a real break: the conservatives finally abandon their austerity policy, promise fresh money for the public health system (the sacrosanct National Health service, NHS), preserving the purchasing power of the middle and lower classes, and even limiting tax giveaways to the rich. The turning point had already been started by Theresa May, and proves how much the party is now betting on the popular vote – including the traditionally Labor vote – to win a victory.

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Spending for the NHS, no tax hikes

"This is a radical agenda" claimed Johnson on Sunday afternoon from Telford, a self-proclaimed city "Cradle of industry" British. The current prime minister, who plans to stay in Downing Street for another five years, has promised to hire 50,000 new nurses for the NHS, Britain's first concern with Brexit and the recruitment of 6,000 more GPs. . The Conservatives are also committed to keeping the tax burden as it is: no increase in income tax, no increase in VAT.

In this program, the cost of national social insurance is limited, allowing a gain per citizen of about 100 pounds a year. About two billion pounds should be spent on filling the potholes, one billion on the health of children, and the minimum hourly wage would increase from 8.21 pounds to 10.50 pounds.

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Mr Johnson also insisted that his government would not ask for an extension of the post-Brexit transition period beyond 31 December 2020, assuming that it will have reached, by that date, the conclusion of a trade agreement with the European Union (EU). A perspective considered very improbable in Brussels. Finally, Mr. Johnson promised that his divorce agreement would be submitted for ratification to the British Parliament " before Christmas ", for an effective Brexit "End of January 2020".

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