The key policies in Reform UK’s General Election manifesto – and how it compares to the Tories

We’ve taken a look at how Reform’s newly released manifesto compares to the Tories (Picture: Metro/Getty/Rex)

Reform UK released its General Election ‘contract’ (don’t call it a manifesto), six days after its main electoral rival the Conservative Party unveiled its own policies.

Nigel Farage, who became the leader of Reform just two weeks ago, has made no secret of his long-term ambition to swallow up the Tories into his own party.

He believes he’s in a position to become the main leader of the opposition in the House of Commons before too long.

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The pledges announced were crafted to eat into the Conservatives’ support and outmanoeuvre the party that’s been in power for the past 14 years.

Here’s how Reform and the Tories differ and agree on some of their top issues.

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Rishi Sunak pledged to ‘stop the boats’ at the start of last year (Picture: AP)

It comes as no surprise that immigration is the top issue for Reform UK, getting first billing in its 24-page document.

The party is calling for the freezing of ‘non-essential immigration’, with the only exception in sectors ‘mainly around healthcare’.

There’s a four-point plan for ‘stopping the boats’: leave the European Convention on Human Rights, don’t allow any illegal immigrants to be resettled in the UK, create a new Department of Immigration, and send illegal migrants arriving in vessels back to France.

International students would only be able to stay in the country if they have essential skills and new visa rules would ban dependants from coming with them.

The Conservatives want to introduce a cap on migration that would be decided by an annual vote in parliament.

Their plan to stop the boats leans heavily on establishing the Rwanda deportation scheme to act as a deterrent and bringing the Illegal Migration Act into force.

‘Almost all’ international students would be prevented from bringing dependants with them to the UK, but the language towards them in the Tory manifesto is considerably lighter: ‘We will continue to attract the brightest and best students to study in our world class institutions.’


According to Reform, HMRC is understaffed and badly managed (Picture: Shutterstock / Claudio Divizia)

The headline tax policy for Reform UK is lifting the income tax threshold from £12,570 to £20,000 – with the threshold for the higher rate being increased from £50,270 to £70,000.

Meanwhile, fuel duty would be lowered by 20p per litre and VAT on energy bills would be scrapped. Stamp Duty would be abolished below £750,000 as would Inheritance Tax for all estates under £2 million.

Reform UK claims HMRC didn’t collect ‘tens of billions’ in taxes last year due to ‘understaffing and bad management’ – the party says improved competence would lead to lower taxes.

A higher rate of National Insurance would be introduced on foreign workers under the party’s proposals.

The Tories also have a plan for Stamp Duty, but they would abolish the tax for homes up to £425,000 for first time buyers.

Another 2p would be taken off employee National Insurance to take it to 6%, down from 12% at the start of this year, while the ‘Triple Lock Plus’ would stop the state pension from being dragged above the income tax threshold (which would stay where it is for now).


The private sector features heavily in Reform’s plans for the health service (Picture: Mark Thomas/REX/Shutterstock)

Reform says its plans will mean no NHS waiting lists at all.

Private healthcare and insurance would be handed tax relief of 20% with the goal of ‘relieving pressure on the NHS’, while all NHS and social care staff on the frontline would pay zero basic rate tax for three years in a bid to end shortages.

NHS patients would get a voucher for private treatment if they can’t see a GP within three days; meet a consultant within three weeks; or be operated on within nine weeks.

The Tories would increase NHS spending above inflation every year, with an additional 92,000 nurses and 28,000 doctors recruited.

‘Waste and bureaucracy’ would be cut by reducing the number of managers in the health service by 5,500 – which the party says would release £550 million for frontline services.


Richard Tice, Farage’s predecessor as leader, said many of the costs in the party’s manifesto would be paid through scrapping net zero (Picture: Reuters)

Reform is scathing about the government’s net zero plans, saying they are ‘pushing up bills, damaging British industries like steel, and making us less secure’.

Under the party’s proposals, it would all be scrapped, and North Sea oil and gas licences would be fast-tracked.

The extent of the environmental measures in the ‘contract’ appear to be ‘more tree planting, more recycling and less single use plastics’, although there would also be incentives for UK tidal power and ‘clean synthetic fuel’ as well as nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, the Tories say they would treble offshore wind capacity, build two carbon capture and storage clusters, and invest £1.1 billion into a scheme called the Green Industries Growth Accelerator.

They say they remain committed to delivering net zero – requiring a drastic reduction in UK carbon emissions – by 2050, though it says a Conservative government would take a ‘pragmatic and proportionate approach’.


New homes being built in Slough, Berkshire (Picture: Maureen McLean/Shutterstock)

Reform UK says its plans to cut immigration would help end the UK’s housing crisis.

The party would also support landlords by scrapping the ‘section 24′ law, which requires landlords to pay tax on all the rental income made from a property, and the Renters’ (Reform) Bill, a piece of proposed legislation which would strengthen rights for renters and abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions.

In its own manifesto, the Conservative Party pledges to pass the Renters’ (Reform) Bill, saying it would ‘deliver fairness in the rental market for landlords and renters alike’.

The Tories also say they would build 1.6 million homes in England across the next parliament, including by fast-tracking new homes on brownfield sites in the country’s 20 largest cities.

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