Rishi Sunak launches 2024 Tory manifesto with pledge to chop nationwide insurance coverage

Rishi Sunak has pledged to cut taxes and extend help for first-time buyers as he unveiled the Tories’ 2024 General Election manifesto.

It comes as the PM desperately attempts to avert a wipeout at the polls – with just over three weeks to go until the country heads to the polls. Launching the manifesto after a chaotic start to his election campaign, the Tory leader vowed to cut national insurance again by 2027.

The Tories reduced employees’ national insurance from 10% to 8% at the March Budget – following a similar cut in autumn 2023 – at an annual cost of almost £10billion by 2028/29. The manifesto commits to a third 2p reduction as part of a drive to eliminate national insurance altogether – a commitment Labour says will cost £46billion-a-year.

The document also promises to abolish the main rate of self-employed national insurance entirely by the end of the Parliament.

In an attempt to help first-time buyers, Mr Sunak said an increase to the threshold at which they pay stamp duty will be made permanent. From 2022 first-time buyers have paid no duty on the value of a property up to £425,000.

And it also pledges to abolish no-fault evictions for renters – a promise the Tories last made in 2019 and failed to deliver on.

Mr Sunak said the Tories would also halve migration as he launched his manifesto in Silverstone, saying: “Last year we announced changes which means 300,000 people who were previously eligible to come here now can’t and we will introduce a migration cap that means parliament, your elected representatives, will vote on how many people should be able to come here every year.

“Our plan is this: we will halve migration as we have halved inflation, and then reduce it every single year.”

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty ahead of the Tory manifesto launch

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty ahead of the Tory manifesto launch
Getty Images)

But Keir Starmer said today “the money’s not there” for the Tories’ flagship manifesto pledge to cut national insurance by a further 2p.

The Labour leader claimed: “The money’s not there for the Tories’ desperation. And what they’re producing is a recipe for five more years of chaos. I think that’s why it’s so important that we see this election as a choice, because we can’t go on like this.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said ahead of the launch of the manifesto on Tuesday that the Conservatives are “not going to stop” cutting taxes. “These are big, bold interventions to help the very people that you are referring to,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We are making real progress now on getting taxes down but we are not going to stop there, and what you are going to hear later on with our manifesto today are some very bold moves to further reduce tax.”

Launching the Conservative Party manifesto at Silverstone, Northamptonshire, home of the British Grand Prix, Mr Sunak said there is “nowhere better in fact to mark the fact that our economy has truly turned a corner”. He added: “F1 isn’t the only thing they do here at Silverstone. As nice as it would be for Brad Pitt to turn up at our manifesto launch, he’s currently filming just outside with a brilliant British crew, one of the many UK-based productions taking place thanks to our support and tax cuts to the creative sector.”

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