RISHI Sunak set out plans for major tax cuts as he invoked Margaret Thatcher at the launch of the Tory manifesto – as he bids to get the Conservative election campaign back on track.

The Prime Minister pledged to cut National Insurance by a further 2p and reaffirmed the Conservatives’ ambition to end the tax altogether.

And in a bid to appease both the Tory right and win back voters who have switched to Nigel Farage’s Reform UK, he set out tough immigration policies.

So what’s actually in the Tory manifesto?


This is the central offer, with the Tories trying to position themselves as being the party voters can trust to cut their taxes. It may be a tough sell, given that the Tories have raised taxes to historic levels.

Nonetheless, Sunak’s flagship pledge on cutting National Insurance to 6% is coupled with other tax cut promises. The tax was previously reduced from 10% to 8%.

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He said the Tories would abolish entirely the main rate of self-employed national insurance in the next five years.

In total, the Tories’ tax cut pledges, also including child benefit changes and their “triple lock plus” for pensioners, would cost £17.2 billion per year by 2029-30.


In an effort to shore up support among pensioners, a constituency usually reliable for Tory support, the party has pledged the “triple lock plus”.

It means that while maintaining the triple lock – which means that pensions must rise every year by the highest out of average earnings, inflation, or 2.5% – the party would also ensure pensioners do not pay income tax on their pension.

This would be done by raising the personal tax allowance for pensioners by the highest of the same three metrics.


As he attempts to see off the threat of Reform and quell Tory backbench anger over growing levels of migration, Sunak sought to strike a tough line on immigration.

He said the Tories would halve immigration and then reduce it further each year. The Tories would also set a legal cap on the number of people who can move to Britain.

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Sunak also said he would be prepared to take Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights if membership became a barrier to implementing stricter immigration rules.

How are they affording all this?

Sunak insisted that the manifesto was “fully costed” and said the Government would be able to afford massive tax giveaways and reducing immigration.

He said that the package was affordable because of plans to boost productivity, which would get the economy growing faster, reducing the size of the civil service and spending on external consultants, and taking an axe to the benefits bill.

Sunak said welfare reforms, aimed at getting people signed off work with a long-term illness off benefits, would save £12bn per year.

Cutting the ‘green crap’ part two?

The Tories have pledged to “cut the cost of net zero for consumers”. They have ruled out new green levies and charges.

They have also proposed a new requirement for the Climate Change Committee to make the body “consider cost to households and UK energy security in its future climate advice”.

Anything else?

This list is not exhaustive. Pensions, tax and immigration are the core offer the Tories are putting to the electorate at this election – but the party has announced other measures in their 80-page manifesto.

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They have pledged to get defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030 and proposed a new ban on mobile phones in schools.

Also pledged were the creation of 100,000 new apprenticeships, the end of “poor-quality university degrees”, and to continue undermining devolution by directly funding projects in devolved areas.

Of course, there is also the promise to create a new national service for young people with the choice of either a “civic” or military option.