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Nigel Farage launches election ‘contract’ promising to tackle ‘population explosion’

Nigel Farage has introduced the Reform election manifesto, branding it a “serious plan to reshape the way our country is governed,” and highlighting its pledge to tackle what he terms the “population explosion.” Titled “Our Contract With You,” the document reflects Farage’s assertion that the term “manifesto” has become associated with deceit.

The manifesto launch took place at a community centre in Gurnos, south Wales, chosen by Reform to underscore their message on the consequences of Labour governance. In his foreword, Mr Farage criticises both the Conservatives and Labour, accusing them respectively of breaking Britain and risking bankruptcy.

“We will take back control over our borders, our money and our laws once and for all,” he declared.

Reform’s manifesto outlines five core commitments, beginning with a focus on immigration. They propose freezing “all non-essential immigration” to purportedly bolster wages, safeguard public services, tackle the housing crisis, and reduce crime. The party promises to implement a stringent four-point plan in its first 100 days, which includes leaving the European Convention on Human Rights and preventing illegal immigrants from settling in the UK.

The remaining pledges invite voters to envision improvements such as eliminating NHS waiting lists, ensuring fair wages, and stabilising energy costs. The manifesto also guarantees tax cuts, including raising the income tax threshold to £20,000 annually, scrapping stamp duty, and abolishing inheritance tax for estates valued under £2 million.

Reform aims to fund these tax reductions by generating £40 billion through adjustments to the interest paid on Bank of England reserves. However, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has cast doubt on the feasibility of this proposal, suggesting it would likely fall well short of the target.

On health policy, Reform proposes an “NHS voucher scheme” for private treatment if GP appointments are delayed beyond three days. They also advocate for a public inquiry into excess deaths and perceived harms from Covid vaccines.

Further measures in the manifesto include abandoning net-zero policies, halting what they term “woke” policing, and enacting legislation for “comprehensive free speech.” This entails promises to end practices like de-banking, cancel culture, and political bias in public institutions, as well as preventing the application of Sharia law in the UK.

Responding to the manifesto launch, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS criticised Farage, branding him a “snake oil salesman” advocating for an NHS shift towards an insurance-based model, which she believes is unlikely to resonate with Welsh voters. Dodds reiterated her party’s commitment to addressing issues such as social care to safeguard the NHS.