Tax cuts, stamp duty slashed and halving migration: Sunak rolls the dice at Tory manifesto launch

11 June 2024, 12:25 | Updated: 11 June 2024, 13:20

Rishi Sunak has pledged more tax cuts in the Tory manifesto
Rishi Sunak has pledged more tax cuts in the Tory manifesto. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Rishi Sunak has pledged more tax cuts, immigration reform and to effectively abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers as he unveiled the Conservatives’ manifesto ahead of the General Election.

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In a last roll of the dice with less than a month until the country goes to the polls, he announced a flurry of policies designed to woo voters, pledging to:

  • Cut another 2p off national insurance
  • Effectively abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes under £425,000
  • Introduce an annual migration cap

The manifesto pledges to "cut tax for workers by taking another 2p off employee national insurance", adding: "The next step in our long-term ambition (is) to end the double tax on work when financial conditions allow."

It adds they want to cut taxes to support the self-employed by "abolishing the main rate of self-employed national insurance entirely" by the end of the next Parliament.

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He pledges to halve national insurance by 2027. Mr Sunak said: "We will enable working people to keep more money that you earn because you have earned it and have the right to choose what you spend it on.

"Now, Keir Starmer takes a very different view. 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.

"Now, we are cutting taxes for workers, for parents and pensioners, and we are the party of Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson, a party, unlike Labour, that believes in sound money."

Mr Sunak added: "We will ensure that we have lower welfare so that we can deliver lower taxes. And, as Conservatives, we believe that hard work shouldn't be taxed twice. That's unfair.

"We will keep cutting taxes in the coming years meaning that by 2027 we will have halved national insurance to 6%. That is a tax cut, my friends, worth £1,300 to the average worker."

The manifesto states: "Our long-term ambition, when it is affordable to do so, is to keep cutting national insurance until it's gone, as part of our plan to make the tax system simpler and fairer.

"As the next step in that plan, we will cut employee national insurance to 6% by April 2027 - meaning that we will have halved it from 12% at the beginning of this year, a total tax cut of £1,350 for the average worker on £35,000.

"This comes on top of the significant above-inflation increase to the personal allowance we have delivered since 2010, nearly doubling it from £6,475 to £12,750."

It adds: "As well as cutting national insurance for 29 million people, we will also not raise the rate of income tax or VAT."

On the "national living wage", the Conservatives said they will "maintain" it in "each year of the next Parliament at two-thirds of median earnings" before noting: "On current forecasts, that would mean it rising to around £13 per hour, up from a minimum wage of £5.80 under Labour in 2010."

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty at the manifesto launch in Silverstone today
Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty at the manifesto launch in Silverstone today. Picture: Alamy

Rishi Sunak said the launch of the Tory General Election manifesto showed that "our economy has truly turned a corner" and that his party's policies would ensure "more British success stories".

The manifesto also outlines plans to introduce a legal cap on migration to ensure "numbers will fall every year".

It states: "We will run a relentless continual process of permanently removing illegal migrants to Rwanda with a regular rhythm of flights every month starting this July, until the boats are stopped.

"If we are forced to choose between our security and the jurisdiction of a foreign court, including the ECHR, we will always choose our security."

Mr Sunak also pledged that the Conservatives will halve migration.

He said: "Labour have no answer to this question.

"We saw the other week Keir Starmer simply can't tell you what he would do with people who come here illegally because he doesn't believe it's a problem.

"Now, with Brexit we took control of our borders, but migration has been too high in recent years and we have a clear plan to reduce it.

"Last year we announced changes which means 300,000 people who were previously eligible to come here now can't and we will introduce a migration cap that means parliament, your elected representatives, will vote on how many people should be able to come here every year.

"Our plan is this: we will halve migration as we have halved inflation, and then reduce it every single year."

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