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Rishi Sunak promises tax cuts & clampdown on immigration in bid to remain PM

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RISHI Sunak will today offer tax cuts and a clampdown on immigration in a last-ditch effort to breathe life into his bid to remain PM.

His Tory manifesto will include giveaways for workers — with another 2p cut to National Insurance promised — as well as permanently abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers on houses under £425,000.

Rishi Sunak will offer tax cuts in a last-ditch effort to breathe life into his bid to remain PM

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Rishi Sunak will offer tax cuts in a last-ditch effort to breathe life into his bid to remain PMCredit: Reuters
He will also promise voters a clampdown on immigration

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He will also promise voters a clampdown on immigrationCredit: Edward Massey / CCHQ
His Tory manifesto will include giveaways for workers — with another 2p cut to National Insurance promised

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His Tory manifesto will include giveaways for workers — with another 2p cut to National Insurance promisedCredit: Alamy
A cap on the number of visas will be promised to try to tackle out-of-control legal migration rates

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A cap on the number of visas will be promised to try to tackle out-of-control legal migration ratesCredit: Getty

And a cap on the number of visas will be promised to try to tackle out-of-control legal migration rates.

It came as Mr Sunak told the BBC last night that home ownership had become harder under 14 years of Tory rule.

The Prime Minister said: “It has got harder and I want to make sure it’s easier.

“What we will do is not just build homes in the right places and do that in a way that is sensitive to local communities, but make sure we support young people into great jobs so they can save deposits.”

Ahead of today’s manifesto launch, the PM went on: “We’re going to keep cutting people’s taxes. You’ll see that in our manifesto.”

Labour will brand the giveaways “the most expensive panic attack in history”.

And last night there were growing Tory fears the 76 pages of election promises do not go far enough and will stop short of a firm pledge to get tough on Strasbourg meddling in Britain’s border controls.

The PM will tell supporters in Northamptonshire today: “We want to create a society in which everyone has a chance to own. So, we will abolish stamp duty entirely for first-time buyers purchasing a house up to £425,000, and introduce a new help to buy scheme to get more people on the property ladder.

“All part of our plan to build an ownership society, where more and more people have the security and pride of home ownership.

“Keir Starmer takes a very different view. He says he’s a socialist, and we know what socialists always do: take more of your money.

“And we know that the plans Labour have already announced will require them to increase taxes on working households by £2,094.

“We Conservatives have had to take difficult decisions because of Covid. But we are now cutting taxes for earners, parents and pensioners. 

“We are the party of Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson, a party, unlike Labour, that believes in sound money.

“In this party, we believe that it is morally right that those who can work do work, and that hard work is rewarded with people being able to keep more of their own money.

“We will ensure that we have lower welfare so we can lower taxes.”

Mr Sunak is running out of chances to turn his faltering election campaign around having left it at risk of imploding over his decision to leave last week’s D-Day commemorations in Normandy early.

I hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me, Rishi says over D-Day gaffe as he insists Farage is bad for UK

Yesterday, he again asked voters to pardon his mistake.

He said: “I just hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me and look at my actions as Prime Minister.”

He insisted he had never thought of quitting during the row, insisting: “I’m energised about the vision we’re putting forward for the country.”

Speaking in West Sussex — which should be safe Tory territory — he said: “This campaign is not even halfway through yet. I’m finding enormous support for the policies we’re putting on the table.”

Senior Tories are hoping today’s manifesto can be a reset moment for the campaign.

But Cabinet ministers who have seen the document were said to have been underwhelmed by the lack of big offers.

Phase out NI

It is understood Mr Sunak will stop short of any pledge to abolish inheritance tax, instead focusing on a pledge to phase out National Insurance contributions by the end of the next five-year parliament.

Reducing employee NICS contributions to 6p means Mr Sunak will have halved the rate.

But the previous two cuts had little or no effect on the Government’s dire poll rating, with some senior Tories questioning why another 2p would have a different result.

The manifesto will also promise to keep the price threshold at which first-time buyers begin to pay stamp duty at £425,000.

It was increased from £300,000 in 2022 — but the move was due to expire in March.

It will also promise to permanently increase the maximum property price for claiming stamp duty relief from £500,000 to £625,000.

First-time buyers

The Tories said their plan would help 203,000 first-time buyers a year save an average of £3,500 — with 150,000 first-time buyers paying no stamp duty at all.

Front and centre of the document will also be a pledge to cap the annual number of visas granted to new arrivals working in the UK.

But the Tories are facing growing pressure on the right from Reform’s Nigel Farage, with one poll last night showing just four in ten voters who backed the Conservatives in 2019 planned to stick with the PM.

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Mr Farage claimed Reform was at a tipping point, with the Tories losing one in five voters to his party, according to data from JL Partners.

While 20 per cent of 2019 Tory voters were heading to Reform, 15 per cent were backing Labour.

Mr Farage boasted he was now the main challenger to Labour. He said: “My word of the day is momentum. We have got momentum. I have absolutely no doubt about it.

“Millions of people yesterday, at family breakfasts or wherever they went on their Sundays, were having a conversation about Reform.”

The Tories could lose even more support to Reform, with three in ten Conservative voters open to considering voting for Farage’s party.

Tom Lubbock, of JL Partners, said: “There were three huge events last week: the debate, Farage and D-Day. All have put their own mark on this race, but Nigel Farage’s entry has had the largest impact.”

Last night Labour branded the Tory manifesto “the most expensive panic attack in history”.

Pat McFadden, national campaign coordinator, said: “The Tories’ scattergun and unfunded commitments have racked up billions with no idea from them of how to pay for it.”

Nige in bank raid

By Julia Atherley

NIGEL Farage has called for a £40billion tax cut for Brits funded by scrapping the interest paid to banks by the Bank of England.

Reform UK announced the pledge for a “Great British tax cut” yesterday as polls showed they are grabbing voters from Rishi Sunak.

Party chairman Richard Tice said they would increase the threshold of income tax to £20,000 from £12,570 — which would save the average person £1,500 a year, he claimed.

The policy would be funded by slashing the billions of taxpayer pounds the Bank of England pay to banks under the quantitative easing programme.

Farage called the policy a step in the right direction, adding: “We need to face up to one or two realities. We are skint.

“And it is getting worse. And at some point in time we may even have trouble issuing gilts, issuing government bonds unless the market sees that we have got some solutions.”

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