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Farage unveils £140bn pledge to reform UK that economists say doesn't add up | british reform

Farage unveils £140bn pledge to reform UK that economists say doesn't add up |  british reform
Farage unveils £140bn pledge to reform UK that economists say doesn't add up |  british reform

 


Nigel Farage unveiled a slew of populist promises, massive tax cuts and a $140 billion spending promise in his manifesto to reform the UK that economists said didn't add up.

The Conservatives, who have struggled to counter the growing threat of reform, have accused Farage of being part of a vast entertainment machine rather than the kind of person capable of ruling the country.

Labor strategists believe the reforms outlined in the south Wales opposition party's manifesto do not present any serious risks. Because the party is so poorly organized and there is a good chance that the votes will be overtaken by the Conservatives on election day.

But Farage said he wanted to create a beachhead in parliament so he could mount a full-scale reform UK assault within five years, suggesting he could come in 10th place at the next general election.

Launching his party's election manifesto, Farage said: We do not pretend to win this general election. This election is for our party and for me it is an important first step towards 2029.

Our ambition is to establish a beachhead in parliament and become a real opposition force to a Labor government.

The UK's reform plan means spending an extra $141 billion a year on tax cuts and other policy commitments, saving $156 billion in public spending and funding it by assuming increased tax revenues from higher economic growth.

But the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said the party's plans were based on extremely optimistic assumptions about growth and the totals did not add up, meaning the manifesto as a whole was problematic.

He added that while the reform manifesto provides clear priorities, the government can only implement part of the package or must find other ways to help pay for it, meaning there are no clear losers.

The reform plan to cut taxes included raising the minimum threshold for income tax to 20,000 a year, abolishing stamp duty, abolishing value-added tax on energy bills and eliminating inheritance tax on all estates under 2 million.

Farage was asked about comparisons between his reform plans and former prime minister Liz Truss' disastrously small budget. I do not want to work with the Office for Budget Responsibility. That's part of the problem, not part of the solution. Truss Prime Minister Kwasi Kwarteng avoided releasing the OBR analysis with the mini-budget, damaging its credibility.

The manifesto included repealing the net zero strategy, introducing life sentences for convicted drug dealers, freezing non-essential immigration to protect our culture and identity, and a 20% tax cut on all private health care and insurance.

Last week, Reform surpassed the Conservatives in opinion polls for the first time. YouGov had Farages' party ahead by 19% and the Conservatives by 18%, but other pollsters found wider gaps. Labor was well ahead of both at 37%.

Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove dismissed Farage's absurd claims that he could challenge for top 10 in 2019, telling Times Radio the British public would choose a more authoritative leader on the left or the right.

He is part of a great entertainment machine. He is not the person who can rule this country. Reform is a huge ego trip, not a serious program of alternative change. Nigel Farage provides entertainment and diversion. What he does not provide is authority and good governance.

In this country, no matter who we ultimately vote for, the British people choose authoritative and wise managers, whether on the left or the right. What they don't do is engage in politics, something Nigel has built a successful financial career on.

Giles Watling, the Tory MP for Clacton who was a Ukip member before 2017, said it was important his party did not dismiss the concerns of reform-leaning voters.

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We don't need to take Nigel Farage particularly seriously, he said, but we need to take reform seriously and we need to take seriously the people who are hearing Farage's words and appealing to them on an emotional level.

When the country goes through difficult times such as pandemics and wars, populist leaders appear, people hold rallies rather than talk to people at their doorsteps, and when they talk to people at their doorsteps, it becomes a photo opportunity.

Another Tory MP added: We need to convince people that elections and a legitimate opposition party are too important to waste their votes on protest or wishful thinking. Even if you have to do so in an apologetic tone.

Both the Conservatives and Labor decided not to engage with the policy details of the reform document, with Keir Starmer trying to distance himself from questions about Farage's plans to win over voters in Labor heartlands.

Starmer said during his visit to Southampton that the election was a direct choice between the Conservatives and Labor, which may help Tory opponents but may do little to divert attention from Farage.

Labor strategists said the UK reforms were mainly supported by the Tories, but predicted Rishi Sunak would widen the gap with Farage's party by polling day.

Reform may be a dog that does not bark yet. Some of the approval ratings are tilted, and he could end up winning just 8% of the vote, one of the people said.

The Conservatives have shifted their election strategy to warning about Labor winning a majority larger than Labor's landslide victory in 1997, with some Conservatives focusing on Keir Starmer and the Prime Minister, who are under pressure to go for the jugular. Attack ads were used.

Grant Shapps has become the first Tory minister to publicly admit the party is unlikely to win the election. It is possible for him to win the election. Do I admit that is not the most likely outcome? Yes, I agree. I am a realist.

Sources

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/politics/article/2024/jun/17/farage-unveils-reform-uks-140bn-pledges-that-economists-say-do-not-add-up

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