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Farage: Wales Shows What A Labour Government Will Do, Amidst A Let Down
Monday - Jun 17, 2024
Farage: Wales Shows What A Labour Government Will Do, Amidst A Let Down
London: Wales shows what happens to a country when Labour is in charge, Nigel Farage has said as he launched his party's version of a general election manifesto. Reform UK launched its "contract" with voters in Merthyr Tydfil on Monday - Mr Farage said he chose the location because he said Wales had been been "let down" by its Labour government in Cardiff. The party's priorities across the UK include a freeze on non-essential immigration, cuts to income tax and higher defence spending. Welsh Labour said Reform were a "band of chancers seeking to sow division", while the Welsh Conservatives said they had a "strong record in standing up to Labour".
 
Reform was known as the Brexit party until 2021. Former Brexit party Senedd politician Caroline Jones is among those standing for the party. Ahead of the launch Mr Farage said: "One of the reasons we are launching our contract with the people of Britain in Wales is because it shows everyone exactly what happens to a country when Labour is in charge."  He claimed that "Since devolution, the Welsh have been ignored by the London political establishment and let down by the Labour administration they elected".
 
"Meanwhile, the Tories have been the official opposition almost solidly since 2016 and have achieved zilch, which probably explains why we are neck-and-neck with them in the polls in Wales. "So, if you want a picture of what the whole country will be like with a Starmer government and a feeble Conservative opposition, come to Wales." With the party's opinion poll ratings improving, its leader is staking a claim to being the opposition to Labour across the UK, with stopping some immigration a key focus.
 
Mr Farage launched Reform's "Our Contract with You" at a community centre in Gurnos. He said waiting times in Wales were higher than in England, and that education had drifted "rapidly in a leftward, PC, woke direction" while falling behind schools across the border. He claimed the Labour government in Wales "reduces your freedoms, reduces your choices," and "ends Right to Buy".
 
Reform's contract says the UK should leave the European Convention on Human Rights, freeze non-essential immigration and stop Channel crossings by removing migrants from boats and returning them to France. Workers would be allowed to earn £20,000 before starting to pay any income tax and there would also be tax relief for those taking out private health insurance instead of using the NHS.
 
The charter sets out how this could be paid for by axing chunks from the welfare bill, scrapping net-zero targets and reducing the cost of government by 5%, as well as scrapping the planned HS2 link between London and Birmingham. Other policies include abolishing stamp duty, and abolishing inheritance tax for all estates under £2m.
 
Mr Farage said at the launch event: "We are going through a breakdown of trust in politics where manifestos - one after another - keep making the same promises and no one believes now, frankly, a word that they say. "Which is why today, specifically, is not a manifesto launch."
 
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said Reform proposes tax cuts that would cost nearly £90bn a year, and spending increases of £50bn a year. The party claims it would pay for those through £150bn a year in reductions in other spending. Carl Emmerson, IFS deputy director, said this would "represent a big cut to the size of the state. Regardless of the pros and cons of shrinking the state, or of any of their specific measures, the package as a whole is problematic”. He said further "Spending reductions would save less than stated, and the tax cuts would cost more than stated, by a margin of tens of billions of pounds per year."

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