• Friday, July 19, 2024

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‘We will take bold action to deliver for British Asians’

Home secretary reveals reasons to vote Tory in general election

The Conservative party will support small businesses

By: James Cleverly

THERE are approximately 5.5 million British Asians in the UK.

From serving in our NHS and community pharmacies, to flying the flag for Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit – they make a wonderful contribution to our national life. Indeed, British Asians help make Britain the most successful multi-ethnic democracy in the world.

As Conservatives, this is something we value, and we have a clear plan to take bold action and deliver for British Asians in the next Parliament.

Building on the £900 tax cut that we delivered for the average worker this year, we will cut taxes for workers, parents, and pensioners by cutting National Insurance by £1,350 for the average worker, abolishing the main rate of National Insurance completely for the self-employed, and introducing the new Triple Lock Plus to guarantee that the state pension never gets dragged into income tax.

To reward their hard work, we will also take bold action to help small businesses, building on the 75 per cent business rates relief for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses that we have extended for a fifth year – a tax cut worth £2.4 billion.

More generally, we will keep business rates under review and look to introduce further reductions. We will also increase access to finance through initiatives like Open Finance, simplify reporting for SMEs, and keep the VAT threshold under review and explore options to smooth the threshold cliff edge at £90,000.

LEAD inset GettyImages 2154192584
James Cleverly

Contrast our clear plan with Labour and the choice could not be clearer. While Conservative will cut your taxes, Labour will raise them by £2,094. Whereas Conservatives will protect your pensions, Labour will introduce a retirement tax, dragging the state pension into income tax for the first time ever.

And Labour’s tax raid will not stop there. There are 17 more taxes that they have refused to rule out, including on your pensions, jobs, cars, family homes, and family businesses. You name it, Labour will tax it – it is in their socialist DNA.

Our support for small businesses also stands in stark contrast to Labour. While we will lift the burden on small businesses and back Britain’s entrepreneurs, Labour will burden them with French-style union laws and bureaucracy.

But it’s not only about the dangers of what Labour will do in England, it is about what they are already doing where they currently hold power. In Wales, the Welsh Labour government has drastically reduced the generosity of business rates relief from 75 per cent to only 40 per cent. This goes to show that they simply cannot be trusted when it comes to small businesses – the backbone of the British economy.

Nurturing our shared bonds of kith and kin, we also have a clear plan to build on the ties between Britain and people’s countries of heritage. Take India as an example, where we are supporting over half a million jobs in each other’s economies. Total trade in goods and services between our two countries was £39 billion in 2023, up from £16.6 billion in 2022, and in the next parliament, we will complete an ambitious, historic, and comprehensive free-trade agreement that benefits both our peoples.

So, the choice at this election is clear. Choose lower taxes, protected pensions, and support for our small businesses. Vote Conservative on July 4 for a safer, more secure, more prosperous future.

(James Cleverly is the home secretary in Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government)

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