Tories promise tax cut as party lays out plans for first 100 days in power

5 December 2019, 07:11

Mr Johnson has pledged a tax cut
Mr Johnson has pledged a tax cut. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Boris Johnson has pledged to slash taxes for families as the Conservative party lay out their plans for their first 100 days in power.

With just one week to go until the nation goes to the polls, the Tories have set out their key domestic legislation covering law and order and health and a post-Brexit Budget, warning a hung Parliament is a "very real possibility."

Tory leader Boris Johnson has said 2020 will be "the year we finally put behind us the arguments and uncertainty over Brexit" if he walks through the door of Downing Street on Friday the 13th.

But, Lib Dems have branded the Prime Minister's plans as "pure fantasy" and accused Mr Johnson of lying to the British public.

The Tories said a Conservative government would announce its legislative programme on December 19 in a new Queen's Speech, adding that they will bring back the EU Withdrawal Act Bill before Christmas with all Conservative MPs backing the legislation.

Before 100 days have passed, the party said they would have delivered a "post-Brexit Budget" in February which will cut taxes for "hardworking families."

The Tories have promised to raise the threshold for national insurance contributions to £9,500, with the "ultimate ambition" to increase it to £12,500, which would "put almost £500 per year in people's pockets", according to the party's manifesto.

The Times newspaper said it has been told that the spending plan could include 15 hours of free childcare a week for two-year-olds.

In the first 100 days, the party said they will change the law to end the automatic release of serious violent and sexual offenders at the halfway point and launch a review of defence, security and foreign policy.

Boris Johnson has laid out plans for his first 100 days in power
Boris Johnson has laid out plans for his first 100 days in power. Picture: PA

They said they would also legislate for a funding increase to schools, change the law to increase the amount that migrants pay to use the NHS, begin cross-party talks to find a solution to the challenge of social care, and finalise an agreement with mobile phone operators to improve mobile service in the countryside.

The party also said they will have introduced legislation to ensure the extra £33.9 billion per year they say they are putting in to the NHS by 2023 is enshrined in law, legislation to create a new Australian-style points-based immigration system, and legislation for tougher sentences to ensure terrorists spend longer in prison.

They have also promised to introduce legislation to create a system which prevents "vexatious claims" being brought against Armed Forces veterans, Gigabit capable broadband across the UK, and the future schemes for trade, agriculture, fishing and the environment once we leave the EU.

The Conservatives said a Boris Johnson government will have passed the Withdrawal Agreement and delivered Brexit by March 22.

Mr Johnson said: "If there is a Conservative majority next week, we will get Brexit done by the end of January. 2020 will then be the year we finally put behind us the arguments and uncertainty over Brexit."

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Sir Ed Davey said: "Boris Johnson is once again lying to the British public by pretending he can actually deliver on any of these promises.

"This is pure fantasy. A Tory government would remain completely consumed by Brexit not just for the next 100 days, but for years to come."

Andrew Gwynne, shadow secretary of state for communities and local government, said: "The Tories have had 3,494 days in office, and in those days we've seen child poverty soar, rising homelessness, rising foodbank use, and violent crime is up too. The NHS has more people waiting for operations, and record staff vacancies."

Mr Johnson was asked on ITV's Peston if everybody will stop talking about Brexit after the end of January, and he said: "Yes, and now let me say something.

"We will have got Brexit done and you will find that it moves, because what will happen is that the parliamentary agony will be over, and the political agony will be over, and the misery and tedium and procrastination that's been going on will be over."

He also denied that Conservative parliamentary candidates were forced to sign up to his deal, saying: "I have not forced them, that is totally unfair, there was absolutely no lobotomy..."

Pressed on whether he did not say they could not be candidates, he said: "No, not at all."

Tom Brake, Lib Dem Brexit spokesman, said Mr Johnson "pretending that Brexit will be over by January is insulting to the British public".