How will DUP deliver for students at the General Election? | Analysis of GE24 Manifesto

How will DUP deliver for students at the General Election? | Analysis of GE24 Manifesto

DUP have released their party manifesto for the General Election.

Politics affects all of us, but sometimes manifestos can be hard to understand. That's why we will be breaking down what the major parties' manifestos say about the issues that matter to students.  We've had a look at the policies most relevant to students, apprentices and young people.


Here's what they've promised

  • Support the uprating of benefits in line with inflation to tackle cost of living crisis.
  • Support accessible and portable health information throughout a patient’s life.
  • Abolish VAT on domestic electricity bills.
  • Standardisation of apprenticeship curriculum across UK to ensure consistent minimum standard of quality and making it easier for apprentices to work anywhere in UK.
  • Deliver increased economic and educational opportunities for young people by building relationships across the United Kingdom, including through the U.K East-West Council.

Here's what they're missing

  • Manifesto contains a lot of positive focus on boosting the economy through apprenticeships, but contains little detail lifting higher or further education students out of immediate poverty.
  • Uprating of benefits is welcomed, but no mention of reform of Universal Credit which would widen eligibility to students and apprentices, recognising them as low-income earners.
  • Haven’t mentioning tackling soaring rents by introducing rent controls and abolishing rental guarantors.
  • Party has a stance opposing the rollout of reproductive healthcare.
  • Despite an innovative pledge to expand portability of apprenticeships, the party have voted to stop the free movement of people from European countries, limiting the opportunities of students in NI to work and learn in the EU.

Other policies that they've promised

  • Replace the Apprenticeship Levy with a new system.
  • Provide fellowships for young GPs in substantive posts.
  • Engage in discussions with the UK Government about public sector pay across the UK, including as part of a new fiscal framework for Northern Ireland.
  • Seek further reductions in national insurance, building on consecutive cuts in the last Parliament.
  • Reintroduce financial incentives for businesses that hire young apprentices at risk of long-term unemployment.
  • Support investing in skills via a new dedicated green hydrogen apprenticeship programme.
  • Ensure the drive to expand apprenticeships is part of a joined-up approach to careers advice.
  • Protection for workers who receive tips.
  • Increase Tax-Free Childcare allowance from 20% to 35% and remove cap on Tax-Free Childcare about £2,000.
  • Make it easier for international students qualifying in primary care roles, such as GPs, to gain permanent residence.
  • Increase female representation in STEM apprenticeships.
  • Ensure future skills policies prioritise apprenticeships and graduates in STEM subjects.
  • Seek to address gaps in funding for specialist support for survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Investment in community-based initiatives and diversionary programmes aimed at addressing the root causes of crime.

This week we're summarising the manifestos of all the parties in Northern Ireland as their manifestos are released — join the conversation on social media and make sure you're following NUS-USI to stay in the loop with all the summaries!

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