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Sunday, June 23, 2024
Sunday June 23, 2024
Sunday June 23, 2024

Conservatives promise tax cuts in manifesto launch to revive election campaign

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Rishi Sunak channels Thatcher Era with tax cut pledges amidst Labour tax claim controversy

In a bid to rejuvenate their faltering general election campaign, the Conservatives have unveiled their manifesto, promising significant tax cuts and spending initiatives totalling nearly £20bn. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, drawing inspiration from the Thatcher government’s economic policies, announced plans for a 2p cut in national insurance, among other giveaways.

The manifesto rollout is strategically timed amidst a backdrop of controversy, including a disputed claim by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a Labour government would result in household taxes increasing by £2,000. Despite facing scrutiny over the validity of the claim, Sunak doubled down on the figure during a recent BBC Panorama interview, defending it as accurate.

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The proposed tax cuts and spending commitments outlined in the manifesto include expanding child benefits, reducing income tax for pensioners, and the aforementioned 2p cut in national insurance. Emphasizing the party’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, Sunak asserted that the Conservatives are the torchbearers of “sound money” and cited Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson as guiding influences.

However, the manifesto launch comes amidst controversy surrounding allegations against professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, prompting the BBC to drop him from the upcoming season of ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’ The complaint, filed by Sherlock star Amanda Abbington, alleges misconduct related to Pernice’s teaching methods. Pernice has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

While the Conservatives aim to shift focus to their economic agenda with the manifesto launch, the Labour party continues to challenge the credibility of their tax claims. Additionally, broader societal concerns, such as public service decline attributed in part to Brexit, remain prominent in the public discourse.

As the election campaign unfolds, both parties are grappling with issues of accountability, public trust, and economic stewardship, with tax policy emerging as a central battleground.

The Independent

The Conservative Party seeks to reinvigorate its faltering election campaign by launching its manifesto, promising tax cuts and increased spending. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is anticipated to unveil a 2p reduction in national insurance, echoing the tax-cutting ethos synonymous with Margaret Thatcher’s era. This manifesto pledges nearly £20 billion in tax cuts and spending, including expanding child benefits and cutting income tax for pensioners. Boris Johnson’s reinforcement of claims that a Labour government would raise household taxes by £2,000 was upheld by Sunak, despite facing controversy. Amidst this, Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, receives criticism, with one commentator branding him a “conman” for his populist rhetoric.

Moreover, a study revealed Brexit, more than the COVID-19 pandemic, is blamed for the decline in public services. Sunak faced scrutiny regarding his family’s healthcare choices, asserting his NHS commitment despite past private healthcare use.

The manifesto launch aims to counterbalance recent setbacks, such as Sunak’s controversial early departure from D-Day commemorations, which sparked widespread criticism, including accusations of prioritizing electioneering over honouring veterans. Farage’s claims against Sunak’s patriotism and Labour’s attempt to capitalize on the blunder have further strained the Conservative campaign. However, Sunak remains steadfast, affirming his commitment to continue campaigning until the election day, endeavouring to shift the narrative back to the Conservatives’ agenda of tax cuts and economic stewardship.

BBC

The Conservative Party is set to announce another significant pledge ahead of its manifesto launch: a further 2p cut in employee National Insurance contributions. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasizes that this move aims to empower working individuals, enabling them to retain more of their hard-earned income. Alongside this commitment, Sunak unveils additional measures geared towards assisting first-time homebuyers, including the abolition of stamp duty for this group, the introduction of a new Help to Buy scheme providing equity loans, and tax relief for landlords selling properties to tenants.

In response, Labour’s Wes Streeting acknowledges the challenges faced by prospective homeowners but indicates that his party cannot match the Conservatives’ National Insurance pledge due to financial constraints. He criticizes Sunak for what he perceives as an attempt to deceive the public, contrasting Labour’s responsible fiscal approach with what he labels as the Tories’ “irresponsible” economic policies.

Labour, meanwhile, is outlining its own plans, emphasizing initiatives to improve public services and healthcare. Streeting discusses Labour’s commitment to enhancing NHS dentistry, with proposals including the creation of additional emergency dental appointments, particularly for children, as part of a broader £1.6 billion strategy aimed at addressing waiting times and access issues.

The announcement of these contrasting pledges underscores the divergent approaches of the two major parties as they vie for voter support in the upcoming election. While the Conservatives position themselves as champions of economic prosperity and individual empowerment, Labour emphasizes its focus on bolstering public services and addressing social inequalities.

Sky News

The Conservative Party is poised to unveil its election manifesto, with tax cuts and pensioner offers taking center stage. Emphasizing themes of fiscal responsibility, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak draws inspiration from past Tory stalwarts like Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson, positioning the Conservatives as the party of “sound money.” The manifesto will tout pledges such as the “triple lock plus” for pensioners, introducing a new tax-free allowance based on age, alongside commitments to refrain from major tax hikes.

In an effort to bolster the housing market, Sunak announces new measures including the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties valued up to £425,000, capital gains tax relief for landlords selling to tenants, and a revamped Help to Buy scheme providing equity loans for new-build homes. Additionally, Sunak reaffirms promises not to raise income tax, national insurance, or VAT, and guarantees no new taxes on pensions throughout the next parliament.

Labour swiftly criticizes the Tory manifesto, labelling it a “desperate series of unfunded commitments” and dubbing it the “most expensive panic attack in history.” The Prime Minister, however, attempts to draw a sharp contrast with Labour, framing their refusal to match Tory commitments on pensioner benefits as a “retirement tax.” Sunak accuses Labour of socialist tendencies, positioning the Conservatives as defenders of individual financial security and proponents of lower taxes for hardworking citizens.

While the manifesto includes policies aimed at appealing to younger voters, such as mandatory national service for 18-year-olds, it’s the proposals targeting the “grey vote” that draw the most attention. Alongside the headline triple lock plus policy, which entails rising income tax personal allowances for pensioners, Sunak outlines plans to expand levelling up funding and boost community care services.

As the election campaign intensifies, each party seeks to differentiate itself through its policy offerings, setting the stage for a contentious battle for voter support.

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