Answer the following questions to see how your political beliefs match your political parties and candidates.
In the UK the Muslim population is expected to increase from 2.9 million in 2010 to 5.6 million in 2030 according to the US-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. By 2030, Muslims are expected to make up 8.2 per cent of the UK’s population, up from 4.6 per cent in 2010, which will give the UK roughly the same number of Muslims as Germany.
In 2021 there were approximately 6.0 million people with non-British nationality living in the UK and 9.6 million people who were born abroad. The UK’s migrant population is concentrated in London. Around 35% of people living in the UK who were born abroad live in London.
Between 2008 and 2010 the United Kingdom began implementing a five tiered “points-based immigration system” which separated immigrant applicants into five tiers based on their employment potential. To secure a skilled worker visa, people have to qualify for 70 points. Having a job offer from an approved employer for a skilled job and being able to speak English will give 50 points. The applicant can achieve the remaining 20 points if they are due to be paid at least £25,600 a year. They can also gain extra points for having better qualifications (10 points for a relevant PhD, or 20 points for a PhD in science, technology, engineering or maths) or an offer of a job in which the UK has a shortage (20 points), even if it doesn’t pay as much money. Certain jobs in health or education still merit 20 points even if the salary is less than £25,600. The applicant must be paid at least £20,480, and in line with set amounts for particular jobs in the UK’s four nations. The exception to this is Irish citizens, who are still able to live and work in the UK as part of the Common Travel Area.
Since 2002 People seeking to apply for citizenship within the UK must pass the Life in the United Kingdom test. The test contains 24 questions and covers topics including British values, history, traditions and everyday life. To pass each candidate must receive answer 18 of the 24 questions correctly. 70% of candidates currently pass the test.
In order to apply for British citizenship applicants must pass the Life in the UK test. Applicants have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs. The test is only given in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic.
Under section 15 of the Immigration Act 1971, the Home Secretary has a very broad power to deport any foreign national whose removal from the UK he or she believes would be ‘conducive to the public good’. Although the Home Secretary enjoys a very broad ground to deport foreign nationals, this power is traditionally exercised when a foreign national is engaged in criminal activity or deemed a threat to the national security of the UK.
The Calais Jungle was a refugee and illegal migrant encampment in the vicinity of Calais, France that existed from January 2015 to October 2016. 3000 migrants stayed at the camp while they attempted to enter the United Kingdom, or while they waited for their French asylum claims to be processed. French authorities cleared the Calais camp in October 2016 and another camp in Dunkirk in September 2019. Aid groups later reported that many former jungle residents had moved to the streets of Paris.
Dual citizenship (also known as dual nationality) is allowed in the UK. This means you can be a British citizen and also a citizen of other countries. You do not need to apply for dual citizenship. You can apply for foreign citizenship and keep your British citizenship.
In 2015 the European Commission proposed a plan that called for for allocating asylum seekers across the EU, based on each country’s gross domestic product, unemployment rate, total population and the number of refugees already taken in by each country. The British government opposed the quotas and insisted that migrants who didn’t qualify for asylum should be sent back. “It’s important that people picked up in the Mediterranean can be taken back to Africa,” U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May told Sky News.
The top tax rate in the UK is 45%. For the 2022/23 tax year, if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, there are three marginal income tax bands – the 20% basic rate, the 40% higher rate and the 45% additional rate. Marginal bands mean you only pay the specified tax rate on that portion of salary. For example, if your salary puts you in the 40% tax bracket, then you only pay 40% tax on the segment of earnings in that income tax band. For the lower part of your earnings, you’ll still pay the appropriate 20% or 0%. If you live in Scotland, there are five marginal income tax bands – the starter rate of 19%, the 20% basic rate, the 21% intermediate rate, the 41% higher rate and the 46% additional rate.
Tabled in 2015, and officially introduced in 2016, the National Living Wage is a wage scheme designed to be higher than the minimum wage. It applies to all those aged 23 and up who are not in the first year of an apprenticeship. From 1 April 2022, the National Living Wage stands at £9.50 per hour. For the vast majority of workers in the UK, the minimum wage in 2022 will see increases across the board across each relevant age range. That includes wages for 16-17-year-olds (£4.81 with a 4.1% increase), 18-20-year-olds (£6.83 with a 4.1% increase) and 21-22-year-olds (£9.18 with a 9.8% increase).
In 2021/22 the UK government is expected to spend approximately 216 billion British pounds on benefits, an increase of around three million pounds when compared with the previous year. A single unemployed adult aged 25 or over receives a monthly benefit payment of 325 pounds ($439). In January 2022 the British government announced it would tighten rules for some people claiming unemployment benefits. Currently job seekers receiving state benefits can spend up to three months looking purely for work similar to their previous job, but this will soon be reduced to four weeks, the Department for Work and Pensions said.
The current tax rate for individuals making over £150,001 per year is 38% for dividend income, 45% for saving income and 45% for other income.
Currently, the UK does not tax residential property on an annual basis. The "Mansion Tax" is a proposed annual property tax on homes valued at or over £2 million that would increase tax revenue to allow for a decrease in tax rate for low earners. Proposals estimate that properties valued between £2m and £3m would pay £3,000 per annum, but properties over £3m would pay considerably more. Commentators have suggested that in order to raise the projected £1.2bn, the Mansion Tax payable on homes over £3m would have to be £28,000.
In November 2019 shadow chancellor John McDonnell stated that the Labour party would introduce a 32-hour work week policy if they gained the majority in the General Election. Workers in the UK would be classified as working “full-time” if they worked 32 hours. The policy would also apply to government workers including those in the NHS. Opponents of the plan, including the Conservative Party, argue that the plan would increase staff costs at the NHS by £6.1bn a year.
A Universal Basic Income program is social security program where all citizens of a country receive a regular, unconditional sum of money from the government. The funding for Universal Basic Income comes from taxation and government owned entities including income from endowments, real estate and natural resources. Several countries, including Finland, India and Brazil, have experimented with a UBI system but have not implemented a permanent program. The longest running UBI system in the world is the Alaska Permanent Fund in the U.S. state of Alaska. In the Alaska Permanent Fund each individual and family receives a monthly sum that is funded by dividends from the state’s oil revenues. Proponents of UBI argue that it will reduce or eliminate poverty by providing everyone with a basic income to cover housing and food. Opponents argue that a UBI would be detrimental to economies by encouraging people to either work less or drop out of the workforce entirely.
On 23 September 2022, the government announced that the increase in the Corporation Tax main rate to 25% and the introduction of a small profits rate of tax from 1 April 2023. The U.S. currently taxes corporations at 21%, France at 26.5% and Germany at 15%.
Currently, there is no cap on child benefit. £21.80 a week for your first child and £14.45 a week for any children after that. More than 80% of children are in families also eligible for means-tested child tax credit.
Union membership in the UK began declining steeply in the 1980s and 1990s, falling from 13 million in 1979 to around 7.3 million in 2000. In September 2012 union membership dropped below 6 million for the first time since the 1940s. Union members include nurses, school meals staff, hospital cleaners, professional footballers, shop assistants, teaching assistants, bus drivers, engineers and apprentices.
5 U.S. states have passed laws requiring welfare recipients to be tested for drugs. The UK does not currently test welfare recipients for drugs. Proponents argue that testing will prevent public funds from being used to subsidize drugs habits and help get treatment for those that are addicted to drugs. Opponents argue that it is a waste of money since the tests will cost more money than they save.
UK general government gross debt was £2,365.4 billion at the end of Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2022, equivalent to 99.6% of gross domestic product (GDP). UK general government deficit (or net borrowing) was £15.8 billion in Quarter 1 2022, equivalent to 2.6% of GDP. In 2022 British government debt rose to its highest level in almost 60 years. Government borrowing increased to 20 billion pounds in September, 2.2 billion pounds more than in September 2021 and 5.2 billion pounds more than forecast in March by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, the ONS said.
In November 2019 the UK Labour Party promised that if it won a majority in the upcoming general election it would provide free full-fiber broadband to every home and business the UK by the year 2030. Under the plan the government would nationalize the digital arm of BT (Openreach) and provide over 95% of UK residents with broadband. Currently 7% of households in the U.K. have access to full-fiber broadband. The plan would cost an estimated £230m a year and would be funded by a new tax on large technology companies including Apple and Google. Opponents (including the Conservatives, Lib Dems and SNP) argue that the plan is too expensive. Boris Johnson stated that the plan would cost £60bn more over ten years than what Labour is projecting. Proponents argue that privately run broadband companies have left the UK behind other countries and the government should take over.
An offshore (or foreign) bank account is a bank account you have outside of your country of residence. The benefits of an offshore bank account include tax reduction, privacy, currency diversification, asset protection from lawsuits, and reducing your political risk. In April 2016, Wikileaks released 11.5 million confidential documents, known as the Panama Papers, which provided detailed information on 214,000 offshore companies serviced by the Panamanian Law Firm, Mossack Fonesca. The document exposed how world leaders and wealthy individuals hide money in secret offshore tax shelters. The release of the documents renewed proposals for laws banning the use of offshore accounts and tax havens. Proponents of the of the ban argue they should be outlawed because they have a long history of being vehicles for tax evasion, money laundering, illicit arms dealing and funding terrorism. Opponents of the ban argue that punitive regulations will make it harder for American companies to compete and will further discourage businesses from locating and investing in the United States.
n 2014 the EU passed legislation that capped bankers’ bonuses at 100% of their pay or 200% with shareholder approval. Proponents of the cap say that it will reduce incentives for bankers to take excessive risk similar to what led to the 2008 financial crisis. Opponents say that any cap on banker’s pay will push up non-bonus pay and cause bank’s costs to rise.
The inheritance tax is a tax on money and possessions you pass on when you die. A certain amount can be passed on tax-free, which is called the "tax-free allowance" or "nil rate band". The current tax-free allowance is £325,000 which has not changed since 2011 and is fixed at that rate until at least 2017. The inheritance tax is an emotionally charged issue as it comes up during a time of loss and mourning.
The Bedroom Tax (also known as Spare Room Subsidy) is a change to Housing Benefit Entitlement that restricts housing benefits for tenants of working age (16-61) living in a housing association or council property that is deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms. Tenants with one spare bedroom lose 14% of entitled housing benefit and those with two or more spare bedrooms lose 25% of entitlement. Possible exemptions exist for tenants receiving a state pension, rent a shared ownership property, have a severely disabled child who requires their own room, have a foster child, or have a child how is on duty in the armed forces.
Countries including Ireland, Scotland, Japan, and Sweden are experimenting with a four-day workweek, which requires employers to provide overtime pay to employees working more than 32 hours per week.
The voting age for local elections in England, including mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections, is 18. The UK Government has no plans to lower the voting age for local elections in England. Scotland and Wales lowered the voting age to 16 for local and devolved elections.
In order to vote in the UK a person must be 18 years old on election day and a be either a British, qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. In 2022 the government passed a law that allowed British nationals living overseas for more than 15 years to vote in UK general elections. The law could give the right to 3 million Britons retired or working abroad.
A tax return is a document which states how much income an individual or entity reported to the government. In the UK these documents are considered private and are not released to the public. After David Cameron was named in the 2016 Panama Papers scandal top MP’s including Chancellor George Osborne and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn published details of their tax returns. The UK Electoral Commission does not require individuals running for public offices to release them. In Sweden, Norway and Finland citizen’s and candidate’s tax records are considered public information and are published on the internet.
In the UK there are no limits on the amount of donations a political party may receive. Political parties may only accept donations over £200 from registered voters, party members, companies, trade union or a building society. Political parties may only spend £30,000 for each constituency that it contests in a general election. If a party ran a candidate in each of the 650 UK constituencies, its maximum spend would total £19.5m.
In 2017 Local Government Minister Marcus Jones set out plans to strengthen rules to prevent anyone found guilty of serious crimes from serving on local councils. Under the planned changes to criteria, it would ensure those who represent their communities are held to the highest possible standards. Current rules make clear that anyone convicted of an offence carrying a prison sentence of more than 3 months is banned from serving as a local councilor. Under the Representation of the People Act 1981, people are disqualified from becoming a member of the House of Commons if they have been found guilty of an offence and sentenced to more than one year in prison, and are currently detained as a result of that offence. Once they are released from prison, they are not prevented from standing for election as an MP.
In 2015 Prime Minister David Cameron announced that it would increase the number of drone against suspected British terrorists to thwart potential attacks. On August 21 2015 U.K. drones killed two British jihadists in Syria – the first time the U.K. killed a Briton with a drone strike. In 2022 human rights groups accused the UK military of “targeting killing” when a drone killed Syrian arms dealer Abu Hamza al-Shuhail near Ras al-Ayn.
Overseas visitors to the UK are currently charged for hospital visits, dental treatments and prescription drugs. People working for UK-based employers and students on courses of at least six months duration are entitled to at least some NHS hospital treatment free of charge. The government had considered charging for GP consultations, but decided that easy initial access was important to prevent risks to public health such as HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections.
The National Health Service is the publicly funded national healthcare system for the UK. It provides mostly free healthcare to all legal English residents. In 2015 the NHS spent 10% of its budget on private providers.
In 2018, officials in the U.S. city of Philadelphia city proposed opening a “safe haven” in an effort to combat the city's heroin epidemic. In 2016 64,070 people died in the U.S. from drug overdoses - a 21% increase from 2015. 3/4 of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. are caused by the opioid class of drugs which includes prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. To combat the epidemic cities including Vancouver, BC and Sydney, AUS opened safe havens where addicts can inject drugs under the supervision of medical professionals. The safe havens reduce the overdose death rate by insuring the addicted patients are given drugs that are not contaminated or poisoned. Since 2001 5,900 people have overdosed at a safe haven in Sydney, Australia but no one has died. Proponents argue that the safe havens are the only proven solution to lower the overdose fatality rate and prevent the spread of diseases like HIV-AIDS. Opponents argue that safe havens may encourage illegal drug use and re-direct funding from traditional treatment centers.
Ed Miliband launched Labour’s election campaign with a promise to cap the amount of profit a private contractor can make from NHS contracts. Under the proposal private firms would be limited to profit margins of 5% on all contracts above £500,000. Proponents argue that the plan will stop the NHS’s "drive to privatisation." Opponents argue that limiting private contractor’s profits will make it harder for the NHS to keep up with rising demand for care.
In September 2021 Italy became the first European Country to make COVID-19 health passes mandatory for all workers. By the end of the same month Canada, the United States, Australia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan all announced similar vaccine mandates. Proponents of the mandate argue that these mandates are the only way to end the global COVID-19 pandemic. Opponents cite evidence that people who already have natural immunity are at heightened risk of vaccine side effects caused by an augmented inflammatory response.
In an effort to end the COVID19 pandemic many governments imposed vaccine mandates on people who wish to enter private businesses. Politicians who supported the mandates argued that it would stop the spread of CV19 and encourage people to get vaccinated against it. Opponents argue that vaccination status is private health information and people should not be forced to share it. Proponents argue that unvaccinated individuals are responsible for spreading CV19 and prolonging the pandemic.
The NHS provides mental health services free of charge. From 2019 to 2023 mental health is in line to get £2.3bn of the extra £20bn going on the NHS.
The UK government currently bans the sale and possession of all forms of marijuana. Medical cannabis is legal for cases of severe epilepsy, vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy or multiple sclerosis.
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 and is a specialized agency of the United Nations whose main objective is “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.” The organization provides technical assistance to countries, sets international health standards and guidelines, and collects data on global health issues through the World Health Survey. The WHO has led global public health efforts including the development of an Ebola Vaccine and the near-eradication of polio and smallpox. The organization is run by a decision-making body composed of representatives from 194 countries. It is funded by voluntary contributions from member countries and private donors. In 2018 and 2019 the WHO had a $5 billion budget and the leading contributors were the United States (15%) , the EU (11%) and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (9%). Supporters of the WHO argue that cutting funding will hamper the international fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and sap the U.S. of global influence.
Single-payer healthcare is a system where every citizen pays the government to provide core healthcare services for all residents. Under this system the government may provide the care themselves or pay a private healthcare provider to do so. In a single-payer system all residents receive healthcare regardless of age, income or health status. Countries with single-payer healthcare systems include the U.K., Canada, Taiwan, Israel, France, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
The Vaccination rate in the UK has declined significantly since the MMR-autism controversy began in 1998. The vaccination rate has decreased to 80% from 92% in 1997. In 1998, there were 56 measles cases in the UK. In 2008, there were 1348 cases, with two confirmed deaths.
As of August 2022, the UK has 9 operational nuclear reactors at five locations (8 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) and one pressurised water reactor (PWR)), producing 5.9 GWe. It also has nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield and the Tails Management Facility (TMF) operated by Urenco in Capenhurst. In November 2022 French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to engage in “ambitious cooperation” with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on nuclear energy amid fears that fuel imports from Russia will plummet this winter.
In 1997 the Conservative government passed a 'three strikes' policy which imposed a minimum sentence of seven years for those convicted for a third time of drug trafficking involving class A drugs. Soon after, the Labour party passed legislation that enabled Judges to reduce the sentences in cases they find to be unjust.
The British monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours, appointing the Prime Minister, and by tradition is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate formal executive authority over the government is still through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and within the constraints of convention and precedent.
A zero hour contract is an employment agreement. It does not oblige the employer to provide work for the employee but the employee is expected to be on call and receives compensation only for hours worked. Zero hour contracts may be ideal for retirees and students who want occasional earnings and are flexible about when they work but general workers run the risk of unpredictable hours and earnings. The National Minimum Wage Regulations require that employers pay the national minimum wage for the time workers are required to be at the workplace even if there is no "work" to do.
In 1971 Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs act which made the non-medical use of certain drugs illegal. The act classified the drugs into 3 penalty categories. Class A: Cocaine, crack, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, methadone, methamphetamine and magic mushrooms. Penalty: 6 Months to Life Class B: Amphetimine, barbiturates, codeine, ketamine, synthetic cannabinoids, mephedrone, methylone, methedrone and MDPV. Penalty: 3 Months to 14 Years. Class C: Anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines, GBL and GHB, khat and BZP. Penalty: 3 Months to 14 Years.
In 2015 Parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Bill which consolidated UK laws governing surveillance. The bill requires telecom companies to retain users' "Internet connection records" for up to 12 months and would allow authority for intelligence and security agencies, the police, and the armed forces to hack into computers, networks, and mobile phones.
Flag desecration is any act that is carried out with the intention of damaging or destroying a national flag in public. This is commonly done in an effort to make a political statement against a nation or its policies. Some nations have acts that ban flag desecration while others have laws that protect the right to destroy a flag as a part of free speech. Some of these laws distinguish between a national flag and those of other countries.
National military service in the UK was abolished in 1960. Recently, parliament has proposed the idea of a new modern form of national service that would make it mandatory for 18-26 year olds to participate in military or charitable service for a period of one year.
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Members are appointed by either the monarch or the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The House of Lords reviews laws passed by the House of Commons and can delay their passage if deemed necessary.
In October 2019 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his social media company would ban all political advertising. He stated that political messages on the platform should reach users through the recommendation of other users – not through paid reach. Proponents argue that social media companies don’t have the tools to stop the spread of false information since their advertising platforms aren’t moderated by human beings. Opponents argue that the ban will disenfranchise candidates and campaigns who rely on social media for grassroots organizing and fundraising.
The National Assembly for Wales is the devolved parliament of Wales. Devolution is the delegation of powers from a central government of a sovereign state to govern at a regional level. Currently the Assembly has the powers to set university tuition rates and charges for residential nursing care.
The House of Lords is a historically powerful body whose members traditionally consisted of hundreds of hereditary peers, whose titles passed from generation to generation. In 2014 Parliament passed the House of Lords Reform Act which allowed members to resign, be disqualified for non-attendance or be removed for receiving prison sentences of one year or more. Recent proposals to reform the house include making 240 of the 300 members elected by the public.
A term limit is a law which limits the length of time a person may serve in an elected office. In the UK the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament must be re-elected every five years. The Lord Speaker is elected for a period of five years, and can serve no more than two terms.