According to the Conservative Party website the Conservative Party will try to achieve the following if they gain power at the 2010 general election:

With opportunity comes responsibility. To make the most of the new world of freedom, we need to strengthen the structures which bring stability and a sense of belonging: home, neighbourhood and nation.

A Conservative government will strengthen families by reforming tax and benefits to support marriage. We will strengthen communities by expanding the role of charities and social enterprises. And we will strengthen society with a welfare system that reinforces mutual respect and civility.

Our programme of welfare reform will end the culture of long-term welfare dependence in this country and help make British poverty history.

Respect for those who cannot work

* Those recipients of Incapacity Benefit who cannot work will receive continued support

Employment for those who can

* Every out of work benefit claimant capable of doing so will be expected to work or prepare for work
* A comprehensive programme of support for jobseekers
* Welfare-to-work services to be provided by organisations on a payment by results basis

Assessments for those claiming out of work benefits

* Rapid assessments for new and existing claimants

Limits to claiming out of work benefits

* People who refuse to join a return to work programme will lose the right to claim out of work benefits until they do
* People who refuse to accept reasonable job offers could lose the right to claim out of work benefits for three years
* Time limits for out of work benefits – so people who claim for more than two years out of three will be required to join community work programmes

We want to expand the role and the influence of charities, social enterprises and voluntary bodies in our society.

Our approach is not to change the voluntary sector, but to change government: from being an object that gets in the way of civil society to being a force that gets behind it.

Encouraging giving and volunteering

* Simplify the Gift Aid system to reduce the bureaucratic burden on charities
* Support for volunteering to go through grassroots organisations not government quangos
* Reduce the burden of regulation on volunteers
* Support efforts to establish volunteering as a social norm

Supporting the voluntary sector

* Replace the Big Lottery Fund with a Voluntary Action Fund dedicated to the voluntary and community sector
* Operate a genuine one-stop funding portal for significant government grants
* Create a network of Social Enterprise Zones

Working with the voluntary sector

* Allow voluntary organisations delivering public services to earn a competitive return on investment
* Remove state interference by agreeing on goals and outcomes, not dictating methods of delivery
* Create a powerful Office for Civil Society to fight for the interests of charities and community groups

Labour’s system of running the NHS through top-down process targets isn’t working. We believe the focus should instead be on outcomes, in order to make the NHS more accountable to patients and restore professional discretion over how to treat patients.

Our strategy for driving up standards involves:

* Phasing out Labour’s process-driven targets
* A national focus on the health outcomes we want the NHS to deliver
* Collecting information about the results of people’s treatment in the NHS
* Publishing those results, so we can see where we are making progress and where we lag behind other countries
* Developing outcome measures which patients with chronic conditions themselves provide
* Giving patients a choice of provider so they can use published outcome information to get the care they want
* Introducing payment-by-results within the system

Decentralisation, devolution and empowerment are part of the Conservative approach to government – and we have set out a series of policies that will transfer powers from the central state to local people and local institutions:

* Abolishing all regional planning and housing powers exercised by regional government, returning powers and discretion back to local communities
* Creating bottom-up incentives for house building, by allowing councils to benefit more from the increase in council tax revenues from new homes, rather than being equalised away by Whitehall
* Allowing councils to establish their own local enterprise partnerships to take over the economic development functions and funding of the Regional Development Agencies
* Giving local authorities a new discretionary power to levy business rate discounts, allowing them to help local shops and services, such as rural pubs or post offices
* Provide citizens in all large cities with the opportunity to choose whether to have an elected mayor, through mayoral referendums
* Greater use of direct democracy, including allowing residents to veto high council tax rises, and instigating local referendums on local issues
* Requiring councils to publish detailed information online on expenditure by local councils – including the pay and perks of senior staff, and issuing new guidance to stop ‘rewards for failure’ to sacked town hall staff.

We will radically overhaul housing policy in order to promote social opportunity and neighbourhood pride.

Our innovative measures will give England’s four million social tenants the chance of genuine social mobility, restore pride to rundown housing estates by encouraging social responsibility, and ensure that local homes are built for local people, with the community – not Whitehall bureaucrats – having the final say on the homes they want.

Our proposals include:

* Rewards for good behaviour – tenants with a record of five years’ good tenant behaviour will be offered a 10% equity share in their social rented property, giving them a direct financial stake in the state of their neighbourhood
* A ‘Right to Move’ – a comprehensive national mobility scheme that will allow good tenants to move to other social sector properties
* Supporting the low-cost housing sector – measures will include strengthening shared ownership schemes so that those on intermediate incomes can part-own their home
* Local Housing Trusts – villages and towns will be able to create entirely new community-led bodies with planning powers to develop local homes for local people, provided there is strong community backing
* Break the monopoly on empty government property – local people will have new powers to demand the Government sell off empty or under-used government property
* Stopping the Whitehall imposition of unwanted development – regional planning will be scrapped, enabling councils to revise their current local plans to protect Green Belt land and prevent the unwanted imposition of so-called eco-towns

Too often aid doesn’t make it to the people who need it and doesn’t make a difference. We’ll try a new approach.

The Conservative Party has pledged, by 2013, to meet the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income as aid. But Britain’s generosity must be combined with a tough new approach to getting value for money from our aid. We need to make sure every penny does the most good possible.

That’s why a Conservative Government will:

* Set up an Independent Aid Watchdog to scrutinise the impact and outcomes of British aid
* Move towards results-based aid, where money is handed to governments only once development results have been achieved – rather than giving all the money up front based on promises that it will be spent well
* Focus our aid on the countries where it will make the biggest difference
* Spend £500 million a year to save lives by tackling malaria
* Empower people in poor countries by giving them more control over how aid is spent
* Strengthen public support for aid by giving British people a vote over where and how some of their aid is spent
* Re-emphasise wealth creation through business development and trade

Conservative Party Nurturing Responsibility Policy :

I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Conservative’s Nurturing Responsibility policies in the comments below?