Tories promise 'shared prosperity fund' after Brexit

Theresa May
Image caption Theresa May launches the Conservatives' UK manifesto in Halifax.

To the prime minister, it is "my manifesto" and Theresa May's programme for government certainly looks and feels rather different from the one David Cameron stood on two years ago (which featured Mrs May on the cover).

In comparison, it is long on her vision of "a great meritocracy" and short on specific policies that could become hostages to fortune in government.

So the promise not to raise income tax or national insurance contributions has gone, along with (after 2020) the triple lock on pensions. The winter fuel allowance will be means-tested with the money spent on health and social care in England (and the Welsh Government) given a share of the cash. There are big changes proposed to social care in England.

The new approach means the Swansea tidal lagoon that featured in the 2015 document does not appear by name here. There is a commitment to modernise the railways but not specifically to electrify the Great Western route all the way to Swansea.

'Tolls'

The promise to scrap Severn Bridge tolls, announced earlier this week, does not feature. So just because something's not in the manifesto doesn't mean the Conservatives don't plan to do it.

One other policy that could have a big impact on Wales caught my eye. The Conservatives say that after Brexit they'd replace EU funds for poorer parts of the UK with what they call a "UK shared prosperity fund" to reduce inequalities across the four nations.

The manifesto says they'd consult with the devolved administrations on how to spend it, but critics will fear a power grab by a UK government apparently keen to decide priorities.

This is the UK manifesto, with a Welsh version expected to be launched next week.

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