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Reform UK promises radical tax cuts to woo disgruntled Tory voters

Archie Mitchell
Saturday 24 February 2024 15:17 GMT
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Richard Tice ‘confident’ Nigel Farage will play role in Reform UK

Reform UK has set out a drastic set of tax-cutting measures in a bid to further woo disgruntled Tory voters.

The former Brexit Party, set up by Nigel Farage, outlined plans to raise the threshold to charge the higher 40p rate of income tax from £50,000 to £70,000.

As it continues piling pressure on Rishi Sunak, Reform also promised to raise the threshold for the basic rate of income tax from £12,570 to £20,000.

And, in what would mark one of the biggest tax shake-ups in a generation, the party said it would raise the stamp duty threshold, abolish inheritance tax for estates worth less than £2m and slash corporation tax.

Reform gained 13 per cent of the vote in Wellingborough and 10 per cent in Kingswood, as the party eats into the Tory vote (PA Wire)

With the support of less than a tenth of the electorate, Reform’s proposals are unlikely ever to come to fruition. But the offering will serve as red meat to Conservatives upset at the record-high tax burden and soaring migration levels.

Pollsters have already warned that Reform will cause chaos for the Tories at the general election, expected this autumn, splitting the right-wing vote in tens of seats.

Any additional gains among those who backed Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in 2019 will add to the electoral headache for Mr Sunak, even if Reform fails to pick up a single seat.

Ahead of a rally in Doncaster to set Reform on an election footing, Richard Tice, who succeeded Mr Farage as leader, launched his latest attack on the Conservatives.

He wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “The Tories have betrayed us all by raising taxes, wasting money. We must reward the workers and the strivers, not the shirkers and skivers.

“Sadly, the UK is in a dire situation and major reforms are urgently needed to save ourselves. I am today setting these out as we launch Our Contract with You at our spring conference in Doncaster.

“Britain has so much potential. Our country is full of talent and energy. Brexit is the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet weak leadership and failed management has led us to the edge of the precipice.”

He added: “The Tories have broken Britain. Labour will bankrupt Britain. Starmergeddon awaits. Neither of them recognises how bad things are or has a credible plan to grow us out of this mess.”

Reform matched its poll rating of around 10 per cent for the first time this month in by-elections in Kingswood and Wellingborough, suggesting it is on course to cause real trouble for Mr Sunak.

There is also mounting speculation that Mr Farage, the party’s honorary president, will take on a formal campaigning role in Reform’s election campaign. Mr Farage is seen as one of the country’s savviest political operators, and his involvement with the party would only win over more disgruntled Tories and Brexit supporters.

Mr Tice has previously promised to stop mass immigration, scrap net zero measures, and help solve the cost of living crisis.

The other policies promised in the party’s manifesto are a 20 per cent “tax relief” on private education and healthcare, a “freeze” on “non-essential immigration” and leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

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