UK Prime Minister Sunak To Unveil Tax-Cutting Manifesto

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will promise voters “financial security” and tax savings when he unveils his Conservative party manifesto on Tuesday, following a terrible week that sparked speculation he would resign.

“We Conservatives have a plan to give you financial security,” he will say, according to extracts of his speech released in advance.

“We will enable working people to keep more of the money you earn because you have earned it and have the right to choose what to spend it on,” the speech added.

Polls have projected for months that Sunak will lead the Conservatives to a humiliating defeat to the main opposition Labour party in the July 4 national election.

His uphill task was exacerbated last week by right-wing populist firebrand Nigel Farage’s announcement that he was running for MP, and the prime minister was widely chastised for leaving D-Day commemorations early.

When asked by journalists if rumours of him resigning were true, Sunak told broadcasters: “No, of course not. I’m energised about the vision that we’re putting forward for the country.”

He is now trying to get his campaign back on track by focusing on tax cuts.

“We know what Socialists always do — take more of your money,” Sunak was due to say on Tuesday.

Sunak has accused Labour, led by Keir Starmer, of wanting to increase the tax burden on households although the figures are in dispute.

The Tories are expected to pledge to abolish stamp duty up to the value of £425,000 ($540,000) for first-time home buyers, with reports suggesting they will also promise another two-pence cut to national insurance paid by employees and employers for state health, unemployment and pensions.

‘Panic attack’

“Owning a home makes people more financially secure, gives them a stake in society and, as (former prime minister) Mrs Thatcher said, is one of the main bulwarks of individual freedom,” Sunak wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“People should have the chance to buy their own home. It goes to the foundations of what we believe as Conservatives: we are the party of the property-owning democracy.”

Critics, however, point to record low levels of house building and high mortgage rates under the Tories, which they blame on Sunak’s short-lived predecessor Liz Truss’ promise of unfunded tax cuts.

A supply constraint has raised costs, notably for renters who are already facing cost-of-living pressures.

Mel Stride, one of Sunak’s ministers, told Sky News that there will be a “very clear choice” between the Tory and Labour manifestos, which would be released on Thursday.

“You’re going to see two very different manifestos. Ours, at its heart, is going to be cutting people’s tax and making sure that they have a secure financial future,” he told the broadcaster.

However, Pat McFadden, Labour’s national campaign coordinator, claimed that the manifesto would be the “most expensive panic attack in history”.

With less than three weeks until the election, surveys still show Labour leading by almost 20 points over the Conservatives, with Farage’s anti-immigration Reform UK party in third place.

The Conservatives, who have been in power for 14 years, are suffering the brunt of the challenges posed by Brexit, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government scandals, and a cost-of-living problem that has plagued British citizens since 2022.

 

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