All the Tory damaged manifesto guarantees from tax and pensions to housing

Rishi Sunak has been forced to admit he has broken key promises as he prepares to unveil the Tory election manifesto.

From taxes and housing to immigration and defence, many of the pledges made by the party to voters in 2019 have not been delivered. As he was confronted about his failings in a BBC interview last night, the PM trotted out a series of excuses as he insisted: “No government gets everything right.”

But after he claimed he would deliver on the promises if re-elected, presenter Nick Robinson said: “When you say you’ve got a plan you sound to me like a guy in a pub who borrows 50 quid and he borrowed it three years ago and he keeps saying, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll pay you back’.

“And then when you confront him in the pub, he says, ‘I’ll pay you tomorrow,’ you wouldn’t believe him, would you? You’re constantly promising what you will do, but what you haven’t done so far.”

Here we take a look at some of the broken promises that were made in the Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto.


Promise: No rise in rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT.

Mr Sunak likes to claim he’s a tax cutter despite raising the overall tax burden to a record level. While lecturing the Labour Party, he has been less keen to talk about his own record. As Chancellor, he hiked National Insurance to its highest ever rate in April 2022. This was later reversed by Liz Truss in her infamous mini-Budget.


Promise: 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

On the BBC last night, Mr Sunak had to acknowledge it has become “harder” for people to own their first home under the Conservatives. The target for new homes is nowhere near being achieved. There were 234,397 net additional dwellings in England in 2022/23, a similar figure to the previous year. Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said he believes the party will keep missing the pledge “by a country mile”.

The Tories have failed to end rough sleeping

The Tories have failed to end rough sleeping
Manchester Evening News)


Promise: End the blight of rough sleeping.

Homelessness is actually getting worse not better. The number of people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2023 was 3,898, as the figure rose for a second year in a row. Ministers last month were forced to drop plans to hand police powers to fine homeless people over smells following a backlash from their own MPs.

Foreign aid

Promise: Maintain commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas development.

As Chancellor, Mr Sunak reduced the spending target to 0.5%, depriving the world’s poorest of support. He said it was hard to “justify” the policy with the UK facing record borrowing and that he had to make “tough” decisions. He claimed the change would be “temporary” and the 0.7% target would return when finances allowed, but it has never gone back.

The foreign aid target has been lowered

The foreign aid target has been lowered

Pensions triple lock

Promise: Raise the state pension each year by the higher of inflation, average wages or 2.5%.

This was temporarily suspended in 2021 as there was a jump in earnings figures caused by the pandemic. Wage inflation was artificially boosted by the many thousands of workers coming off the furlough scheme and returning to the payroll.

Social care

Promise: Nobody needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it.

Ministers watered down the promise as they instead pledged in 2021 “there will be fewer people selling their houses”. They later set out plans to limit the amount a person spends on their personal care to a maximum of £86,000. It was originally expected to come into effect in October 2023, but is now expected to be introduced in 2025

Landlord rules

Promise: Abolish ‘no fault’ evictions.

The legislation was abandoned when Mr Sunak called the General Election. The long-anticipated Renters (Reform) Bill would have banned landlords from evicting tenants without a good reason, but it did not become law before Parliament was dissolved. London Mayor Sadiq Khan described this as a “great betrayal” of renters.

The Government first promised to ban no-fault evictions in April 2019

The Government first promised to ban no-fault evictions in April 2019

Trophy hunting

Promise: Ban imports from trophy hunting of endangered animals.

Legislation put forward by backbench MPs was abandoned when the General Election was called. It was the third attempt to pass a new law to tackle the issue. Body parts of elephants, bears, lions, hippos and zebras are among those currently allowed to be brought back from hunting trips.


Promise: overall numbers will come down.

At the time of the last election, net migration – the number of people coming to the UK minus the number leaving – was 226,000. It now stands at 685,000. In his BBC interview last night, Mr Sunak conceded this was “too high”.