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Matt Wright
Matt Wright
Welsh Conservatives / Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Party 23


Incumbent : No

Party positions on the election issues:

These positions and quotes are based on an analysis of party manifestos and policy documents

Economy

Targeting tax increases at high earners only is an ineffective way of raising revenue

The idea behind this statement is that high earners have resources allowing them to respond to changes in the tax regime to limit their liability - but there is no conclusive evidence of whether this statement is true or false.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised democracy but politicians should never forget that taxes are levied on businesses that employ people, and individuals who work hard and face tough decisions about how they spend their money. "
1 of 40 questions

To encourage economic growth, the UK's corporation tax rates should be decreased

The UK's current 'main rate' of corporation tax is 19%, the lowest rate in the G20 group of countries, however some EU countries, such as Ireland, rates as low as 12.5%.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Corporation Tax is due to fall to seventeen per cent by 2020 – the lowest rate of any developed economy – and we will stick to that plan, because it will help to bring huge investment and many thousands of jobs to the UK."
2 of 40 questions

To fund public services, a financial transactions tax should be levied

The term 'financial transactions tax' covers a wide array of taxes levied on financial transactions. At the moment, in the UK, there is a 0.5% tax or duty on purchasing shares. Most proposals for a financial transactions tax involve expanding this tax or duty to transactions on other asset classes.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"A good tax system is not just about the headline rates of tax, however, but about its simplicity. Our system remains too complicated, making it hard for people – especially self-employed people and small businesses – to assess their taxes. We will therefore simplify the tax system."
3 of 40 questions

The UK government should expand its ownership of strategically important companies and utilities

This policy mostly refers to the reversal of privatisation - a process that involved the transfer of responsibility and ownership of a company/utility from the public to the private sector.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"No plans along these lines are included in the Conservative manifesto. "
4 of 40 questions

The UK should borrow substantially more money to invest in national infrastructure, even if this increases the national debt

The UK's Office for Budget Responsibility expects UK debt as a percentage of national income to peak in the current financial year at 88%.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Conservatives believe in balancing the books and paying down debts – because it is wrong to pass to future generations a bill you cannot or will not pay yourself."
5 of 40 questions

To fund public services, there should be a small increase in income tax for all earners

Currently, UK income tax outside of Scotland is levied at 0% up to £11,500 (the 'Personal Allowance'), at 20% from £11,501 to £45,00 (Basic Rate), at 40% from £45,001 to £150,000 (Higher Rate) and at 45% over £150,000 (Additional Rate).
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The Conservatives will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible and spends the proceeds responsibly. It is our firm intention to reduce taxes on Britain’s businesses and working families. "
6 of 40 questions

Brexit

Leaving the EU's Single Market is a worthwhile price to pay to gain control over immigration to the UK

Access to the EU's Single Market tends to be associated with the free movement of people (one of the Single Market's 'Four Freedoms'), making it difficult to envision a scenario whereby full Single Market access can co-exist with full control of immigration.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will control immigration and secure the entitlements of EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU."
7 of 40 questions

Once talks with the EU are complete, there should be a second referendum on whether to accept the Brexit deal or remain a member of the EU

In the UK, the principle of parliamentary sovereignty means that referendums have a 'non binding' quality. The absence of a formal constitution in the UK means that deciding to have a second or subsequent referendum is a political decision for parliament to make.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Following the historic referendum on 23rd June 2016, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union"
8 of 40 questions

The UK should remain a member of the EU

This is a close approximation of the wording of the 2016 'Brexit' referendum, which received 48% of the vote on a turnout of 72%, compared to 52% voting in favour of the 'leave' option.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Following the historic referendum on 23rd June 2016, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union"
9 of 40 questions

Even if there is no transitional UK-EU trade deal in place, the UK should leave the EU in 2019

Having notified the EU of its intention to withdraw under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) in March 2017, UK withdrawal will take place either when there is an agreement in place or after two years - unless there is unanimous agreement in the EU to extent the negotiating period.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The negotiations will undoubtedly be tough, and there will be give and take on both sides, but we continue to believe that no deal is better than a bad deal for the UK"
10 of 40 questions

Health

There should be no role for private sector operators within the NHS

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Health in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The Guardian: 'Department of Health (DH) figures show that the amount of (NHS) funding that has gone to “independent sector providers” more than doubled from £4.1bn in 2009-10, Labour’s last year in power, to £8.7bn in 2015-16.'"
11 of 40 questions

New taxes raised to support the NHS should be earmarked solely for NHS spending

This would be an example of what is known as 'hypothecated tax' which the Financial Times defines as: 'A tax where the money obtained, or part of the money obtained, is used for a particular purpose, rather than spent on a number of things.'
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The Conservatives will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible and spends the proceeds responsibly. It is our firm intention to reduce taxes on Britain’s businesses and working families."
12 of 40 questions

Social care costs above a threshold of £100,000 should be met by individuals' estates, including the value of their family home

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Social Care in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home (…) we will introduce a single capital floor, set at £100,000, more than four times the current means test threshold"
13 of 40 questions

Workers' Rights and Pensions

The UK's minimum wage should be raised to £10 per hour by 2020

Since April 2017, the UK's National Minimum Wage rates are as follows: £7.50 (25 and over); £7.05 (21-24); £5.60 (18-20); £4.05 (under 18); £3.50 (Apprentice)
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"A new Conservative government will continue to increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings, so that people who are on the lowest pay benefit from the same improvements in earnings as higher paid workers."
14 of 40 questions

Zero hours contracts facilitate flexible working and should not be banned

Zero hours contracts mean that employers are not obliged to provide any minimum working hours to a worker , who is not obliged to do the work when asked. Such contracts legally cannot prevent a worker for looking for or accepting other work.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"A new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the selfemployed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected"
15 of 40 questions

The UK government should maintain the ‘triple lock’ of increasing the state pension each year

The 'triple lock' promises to increase the state pension annually by whichever of earnings growth, prices growth or 2.5% is the highest
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will keep our promise to maintain the Triple Lock until 2020, and when it expires we will introduce a new Double Lock, meaning that pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest."
16 of 40 questions

Education

University tuition fees should be abolished

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Education in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will make it a condition for universities hoping to charge maximum tuition fees to become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools"
17 of 40 questions

The government should dedicate resources to opening new selective 'grammar' schools

This is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Education in Wales, but it is a key issue dividing parties in this election.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will lift the ban on the establishment of selective schools, subject to conditions, such as allowing pupils to join at other ages as well as eleven"
18 of 40 questions

Social security and Housing

The 'bedroom tax' should be scrapped

The 'bedroom tax' (also known as the 'under-occupancy penalty' or 'spare room subsidy') is a cut in housing benefit if you live in a council or housing association home and are classed as having a spare bedroom.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Not mentioned but continuation of current policy assumed"
19 of 40 questions

The UK government should invest substantially in expanding the number of council houses built in the term of the next parliament

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling housing in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing"
20 of 40 questions

The government should introduce legislation that caps landlords' ability to raise rents

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling housing in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will also improve protections for those who rent, including by looking at how we increase security for good tenants and encouraging landlords to offer longer tenancies as standard. "
21 of 40 questions

Unemployed people who fail to seek a job or accept training should have their benefits sanctioned

Sanctions for failing to seek work or accept training are a key feature of the way that Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is currently administered.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Not mentioned in manifesto but continuation of current policy assumed"
22 of 40 questions

The Political System

The voting age should be reduced to 16 in UK elections and referendums

The minimum voting age is currently set at 18 years old.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will retain the current franchise to vote in parliamentary elections at eighteen. "
23 of 40 questions

A system of proportional representation should be adopted for UK general elections

Proportional representation' refers to methods of casting and counting votes that are designed to facilitate a closer correspondence between the proportion of votes and seats won by parties than the current 'first past the post' system.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will retain the first past the post system of voting for parliamentary elections and extend this system to police and crime commissioner and mayoral elections. "
24 of 40 questions

Wales should aim to become an independent country

Wales is not currently an indpendent country, but its devolved parliament controls many key aspects of Welsh life, including healthcare and education.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We are a United Kingdom, one nation made of four – the most successful political union in modern history. Its very existence recognises the value of unity – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales achieve less as two, three, or four, than as the United Kingdom together. This unity between our nations and peoples gives us the strength to change things for the better, for everyone, with a scale of ambition we simply could not possess alone. "
25 of 40 questions

Substantially more powers should be given to the National Assembly for Wales

The Wales Act 2017 recently passed into law, and it set out some new powers for the Assembly as well as moving from a 'conferred' to a 'reserved' powers model.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The United Kingdom Government has in the past tended to ‘devolve and forget’. This Conservative government will put that right. We want the UK Government to be a force for good across the whole country. "
26 of 40 questions

The House of Lords should be reformed so that all of its members are democratically elected

Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are not directly elected.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Although comprehensive reform is not a priority we will ensure that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. We have already undertaken reform to allow the retirement of peers and the expulsion of members for poor conduct and will continue to ensure the work of the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size."
27 of 40 questions

Wales is currently unfairly underfunded by the UK government

Adjustments to the Welsh budget are determined through the 'Barnett Formula'.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The Conservative Party has a proud record of promoting Welsh culture, helping economic growth and supporting devolution in Wales. "
28 of 40 questions

Environment

The government should do more to tackle climate change, even if this increases costs for industry

The term 'climate change' in this question refers to the scientific finding that human activity is resulting in changes to the global climate.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Above all, we believe that energy policy should be focused on outcomes rather than the means by which we reach our objectives. "
29 of 40 questions

Regulated 'fracking' of shale gas and oil should be allowed by the UK government

The term 'fracking' in this question refers to the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc. so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will therefore develop the shale industry in Britain. We will only be able to do so if we maintain public confidence in the process, if we uphold our rigorous environmental protections, and if we ensure the proceeds of the wealth generated by shale energy are shared with the communities affected."
30 of 40 questions

Foreign Policy and Defence

The UK should maintain the 'special relationship' with the USA in international affairs

The Special Relationship is the unofficial term for the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will build upon our existing special relationship with the United States, and forge new economic and security partnerships that make us more prosperous at home and more secure abroad. P 38"
31 of 40 questions

Renewal of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system should be cancelled

Last year the House of Commons voted by a large majority to renew the Trident system.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will retain the Trident continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our security. "
32 of 40 questions

The UK should continue to spend 0.7% of its national income on overseas aid

This has been the level of UK spending on foreign aid every year since 2013.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will maintain the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on assistance to developing nations and international emergencies."
33 of 40 questions

Social Issues and Crime

The UK should dramatically expand its number of police officers, even if this means cuts in other public services or tax increases

The Home Office reports that there were 124,066 officers in the year ending March 2016 compared with 143,769 seven years previous to that - a fall of 14%
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"No plans along these lines are included in the Conservative manifesto. "
34 of 40 questions

For those convicted of a crime, there should be more of an emphasis on rehabilitation than on punishment

Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Prisons should be places of reform and rehabilitation, but we should always remember that incarceration is punishment for people who commit serious crimes."
35 of 40 questions

Burkas and other face-covering garments should be banned from being worn in public

There is currently no ban on Islamic dress in the UK.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"What a woman wears is a woman’s choice' - Theresa May"
36 of 40 questions

The recreational use of cannabis should be legalised

It is currently illegal to possess cannabis in any form in the UK.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Not mentioned but continuation of policy assumed"
37 of 40 questions

Immigration

Immigration contributes significantly to the UK's prosperity

The latest ONS report estmiates that annual net migration to the UK was estimated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at 273,000 a fall of 49,000 from the previous year.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"However, skilled immigration should not be a way for government or business to avoid their obligations to improve the skills of the British workforce."
38 of 40 questions

Net immigration to the UK should be reduced to below 100,000 per year

The latest ONS report estimates that annual net migration to the UK was estimated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at 273,000 a fall of 49,000 from the previous year.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"It is our objective to reduce immigration to sustainable levels, by which we mean annual net migration in the tens of thousands, rather than the hundreds of thousands we have seen over the last two decades. "
39 of 40 questions

Too much immigration has undermined British culture and identity

The latest ONS report estmiates that annual net migration to the UK was estimated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at 273,000 a fall of 49,000 from the previous year.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
40 of 40 questions