Sunak Vows Further Tax Cuts in Conservative Manifesto

Sunak Vows Further Tax Cuts in Conservative Manifesto

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has committed to additional tax reductions if the Conservatives retain power, as he unveiled the party’s election manifesto.

Sunak pledged to decrease the National Insurance (NI) contribution for employees by another 2p by April 2027. He also vowed to lower the main NI rate for the self-employed, aiming to eliminate it entirely by April 2029. The manifesto reiterated the party’s promise to scrap NI when financially feasible.

The election campaign has been marked by escalating disputes between the major parties over the affordability of their fiscal plans.

The Conservatives have emphasized tax cuts in their pitch to voters, following a rise in the overall tax burden to a post-war record, primarily due to a previous decision to freeze tax thresholds until 2028.

In the past year, they have implemented two NI reductions, a payroll tax for employees and employers, to reposition themselves as a tax-cutting party.

At the launch of the Conservative manifesto at Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire, Sunak acknowledged the public’s frustration with his party and himself. He promised that, if re-elected, they would continue to lower taxes, including a 1p reduction in employee NI next April, and a 2p cut by April 2027.

The manifesto framed these cuts as a “further downpayment” on the party’s long-term goal of abolishing NI.

“We, as Conservatives, believe that hard work shouldn’t be taxed twice. That’s unfair,” Sunak added.

He contrasted his stance with that of Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, stating, “He says he’s a socialist, and we all know what socialists do, don’t we? They take more of your money because they think it belongs to them.”

Beyond the tax cuts, the manifesto introduced several new initiatives to promote home ownership.

These include the reintroduction of a modified Help to Buy scheme, which ended in England last year but remains available in Wales. Under the revised program, first-time buyers could secure a government loan of up to 20% to purchase a new-build property.

Critics have likened the scheme to the “crack cocaine of the building industry” and blamed it for inflating house prices.

Other housing pledges include a two-year scheme to waive capital gains tax for landlords who sell their property to existing tenants, and a commitment to maintain the £425,000 threshold before first-time buyers must pay stamp duty tax on purchases.

The Conservative manifesto also features:

– Allocating £20m to 30 towns and plans to enhance community care by expanding Pharmacy First and building 100 new GP surgeries, while modernizing 150 more.

– A proposal for 18-year-olds to participate in a form of national service, choosing between community volunteering or military training.

– The recruitment of 8,000 additional police officers over the next three years, funded by increased visa fees and the removal of the student discount from the Immigration Health surcharge.

– The reintroduction of Sunak’s legislation to eventually ban smoking in the first parliamentary session after the election.

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