Ukip vows to slash immigration and cut taxes in pitch for blue collar vote
Before Nigel Farages speech, Ukip unveils policies to appeal to working man, focusing on immigration controls and British values.
The UK Independence party would scrap inheritance tax, slash immigration by almost 80%, allow employers to discriminate in favour of British workers and make sure foreigners have medical insurance, it said as it unveiled the first of its general election policies.
The eurosceptic party is holding its conference in Doncaster racecourse in a pitch for the blue-collar vote traditionally won by Labour, on Ed Miliband’s home turf.
Farage is expected to paint Ukip as the party of the working man and criticise Labour for abandoning its traditional heartlands.
However, before the leader’s speech, a string of Ukip speakers delighted the main conference hall with a range of policies designed to appeal to its core vote, with a focus on cutting taxes, tougher immigration controls and stronger British values.
In his speech at 3pm, Farage is likely to promise to cut taxes by £12bn, claiming this could be paid for by leaving the EU and slashing spending on foreign aid.
Before this, Patrick O’Flynn, the economic spokesman, said the party would abolish inheritance tax and create a new income tax rate of 35p, thought to be for people earning between £42,000 and £55,000. He said ultimately Ukip wanted a flatter income tax system with a 20p standard rate, 30p intermediate and 40p higher rate.
Steven Woolfe, Ukip’s migration spokesman, committed the party to bringing down immigration to 50,000 by introducing an Australian-style points system that encourages migrants to have skills. He would also make sure immigrants without ID papers are turned away at the border by withdrawing from the Dublin treaty.
Meanwhile, Amjad Bashir, the party’s communities spokesman, said jailed criminals would be forced to move out of their neighbourhood when they are released, and making nuisance noise would be made a criminal offence.
The Ukip audience also cheered Peter Whittle, the culture spokesman, who decried multi-culturalism; Jane Collins, the employment spokesman, saying Ukip would stop employers being sued for discriminating in favour of British workers over foreigners; and Louise Bours, health spokesman, as she called for NHS managers to be regulated and foreigners to have medical insurance.
In a more surprising move, Bours also committed Ukip to working with Unite the union to stopping the TTIP trade deal opening up the NHS to American health providers, although the government has already promised this will not happen.
Another major focus of the conference was the Rotherham grooming scandal, as several Ukip MEPs attacked Labour, PC attitudes and “liberal leftie” social engineering for turning a blind eye to child abuse.
Collins, a Yorkshire MEP, said local politicians were afraid to speak up about the abuse of white girls by Asian men in case it offended minority voters.
Labour is for the first time fighting back against Ukip’s challenge, portraying Farage as “more Tory than the Tories” and a man leading the party of extreme tax cuts for millionaires and plans to make people pay to see their GP.
But Farage will brush off the criticism by saying Ukip would protect the NHS from abuse, keep it free at the “point of access” and improve the most essential services.
- The Guardian,