David Cameron has made a series of vote-grabbing election pledges in his speech to the Conservative Party conference, headlined by tax cuts and an extension of the ring fence on the NHS budget.
The tax cuts, promised over the next Parliament should the Conservatives win the next election, and primarily aimed at middle income earners, are centred on moving tax band thresholds. Cameron promised to raise the threshold for paying the 40p rate from £41,900 to £50,000 and to raise the tax-free allowance from £10,000 to £12,500.
At the same time, the Prime Minister told the conference in Birmingham that Britain would ‘always have the most competitive corporate taxes in the G20’ under a Conservatives government. He did not indicate how much these tax cuts would cost, simply saying that the Conservatives would continue to reduce the deficit through spending cuts not tax rises.
Cameron’s other pledges included scrapping both the Human Rights Act, saying Britain didn’t need instruction from Strasbourg judges on rights, and exclusive zero-hour contracts, saying they produce a ‘fixed market’ for labour. Raising his voice and his tempo at Labour suggestions to the opposite effect, Cameron then vowed that NHS spending would not be reduced over the next Parliament if the Tories win the election.
Towards the end of his speech, the Prime Minister also said that a vote for UKIP was a vote for Labour. ‘It doesn’t matter if the Parliament is hung, drawn or quartered, there is only one choice, the Conservatives or Labour,’ Cameron said. ‘On the 7th of May you could go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband.’