UK's Rishi Sunak Pledges Tax Cuts in New Conservative Party Manifesto
UK's Rishi Sunak Pledges Tax Cuts in New Conservative Party Manifesto

LONDON: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is gearing up to present his Conservative party manifesto on Tuesday, promising voters "financial security" and tax cuts amid a challenging electoral climate.

Sunak, facing predictions of a significant defeat to the Labour party in the upcoming July 4 general election, aims to regain momentum with pledges of economic relief. His manifesto includes measures to allow working people to retain more of their earnings, emphasizing personal choice in expenditure.

"We Conservatives have a plan to give you financial security," Sunak said in excerpts from his speech released ahead of the manifesto launch. "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."

Sunak, addressing recent rumors of his resignation, clarified that he remains committed to his vision for the country. "No, of course not. I’m energized about the vision that we’re putting forward for the country," he affirmed.

In an effort to distinguish his party's approach from Labour's, Sunak criticized the opposition's taxation policies, accusing them of burdening households with increased taxes.

"We know what Socialists always do — take more of your money," Sunak stated.

Key proposals in Sunak's manifesto include plans to abolish stamp duty for first-time home buyers on properties up to £425,000 ($540,000) and a further reduction in national insurance contributions for both employees and employers.

"Owning a home makes people more financially secure, gives them a stake in society and, as Mrs. Thatcher said, is one of the main bulwarks of individual freedom," Sunak wrote in an article for the Daily Telegraph.

However, critics have pointed out that under Sunak's leadership, there have been record low levels of house building and high mortgage rates, attributed in part to his predecessor Liz Truss's unfunded tax cut promises.

Mel Stride, one of Sunak’s ministers, highlighted the distinct choices between the Conservative and Labour manifestos.

"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," Stride told Sky News.

Pat McFadden, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator, criticized Sunak's manifesto, calling it the "most expensive panic attack in history."

With less than three weeks remaining before the election, the Labour party maintains a substantial lead over the Conservatives in the polls, with the Reform UK party, led by Nigel Farage, in third place.

The Conservatives, in power for 14 years, continue to face challenges stemming from Brexit, scandals involving former prime minister Boris Johnson’s government, and a cost-of-living crisis that has impacted British citizens since 2022.

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