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Downing Street cred: what will the major parties do for London?

Posted at 1:15 pm, May 6, 2015 in News
http://www.timeout.com/london/music/pop-and-politics-a-musical-election-guide

What effect will the major parties’ policies have in London? Andy Hill recaps on what the leaders would do if they got to No 10.

LONDON UNDER LABOUR

Your bedsit will be cheaper in 2018

Ed Miliband says he’ll stand up to your landlord and not only put on a cap on annual rent hikes, but guarantee your tenancy agreement lasts three years (rather than the more-usual one). More time, then, for you to think of an excuse for that fag burn in the hallway carpet.

Your barista will get more dosh

Labour promise the minimum wage will rise to £8 an hour. To boot, zero-hours contracts will be more tightly regulated and anyone over 25 who’s been out of work for more than two years will be guaranteed a job – all paid for by a levy on bankers’ bonuses.

The rich (bless ’em) will pay more tax

Even the old folks! Labour plan to restrict winter fuel payments for the richest 5 percent of pensioners and levy their flagship ‘mansion tax’ on abodes worth over £2m. Which, the way the property market is going, could be a caravan on the Old Kent Road by the time the bill comes into effect.

LONDON UNDER THE LIB DEMS

Sprogs will be subsidised

Breeders rejoice! Nick Clegg aims to provide parents returning to work with up to 20 hours free childcare a week. This (plus a promise to extend paid paternity leave from two to six weeks) would mean there’d never be a better time to go bareback.

There’ll be no hoo-ha around getting high

If you’re a drug user (and, Lord knows, we’re not here to judge) then under the Lib Dems your snorting, toking and tripping the light fantastic might land you in drugs education, but not in jail.

Heathrow won’t grow

On the one hand, anyone from Hounslow who’d like to (just once!) have a lie-in will agree with Nick on not building another runway. On the other hand, those of us who are fed up with queuing at passport control will spread the bloody tarmac ourselves if we have to.

LONDON UNDER THE GREENS

It’ll be cheaper to get around

If Green leader Natalie Bennett gets her way, UK railways will be re-nationalised and 10 percent will be cut from public transport fares at a stroke – which, if you don’t mind the return of the British Rail sandwich, could be just the ticket.

Your student loan will disappear

Yep. As well as writing off tuition fees, the Greens are planning to scrap all existing student loan debts. It could mean waving goodbye to the £20,000 debt you racked up doing that (highly academic) Social Media Theory degree.

We won’t get fracked

Proposed drilling sites in the capital such as Park Royal and Merton will be safe from those who seek to extract natural gas from the rocks beneath our feet. Because, in Bennett’s view, climate change (remember that?) ain’t just a drill.

LONDON UNDER THE TORIES

Some of us will get on the ladder

By extending Margaret Thatcher’s ‘right to buy’ scheme from council to housing association tenants, Cameron will be offering 1.3 million people chance to snap up their own gaff. It might lead to more buy-to-let landlords in London’s rental market, but housing association tenants will hit the jackpot.

Signing on will be harder

Reducing the benefits cap from £26,000 to £23,000 a year is designed to put the work-shy under the cosh. If you’re an 18- to-21-year-old you’ll only be entitled to six months’ Youth Allowance, though on the plus side this measure will ultimately fund 3 million apprenticeships.

Things will be less taxing

Those benevolent folks at Tory HQ plan to raise the 40 percent tax-rate threshold from £42,000 to £50,000 and increase your non-taxable allowance to a (frankly decadent) £12,500. Champagne all round!

Check out our musical election guide.

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