Nigel Farage lays out Ukip plans for schools and taxes

Nigel Farage MEP speaking

Nigel Farage has declared he wants to see a grammar school in every town and cut the top rate of tax to 40p, as he set out plans to get Ukip's first MPs by "throwing the kitchen sink" at a few dozen constituencies.

The Ukip leader, whose party triumphed in the European elections, said he would personally stand in the south-east and is considering the option of South Thanet, where the party has a lot of county council seats.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Farage gave some indications of what would be in the party's manifesto outside of its key messages on leaving the EU and reducing immigration.

He said the party was no longer committed to a flat tax and would make it a priority to abolish tax for those on the minimum wage, as well as cutting the top rate to 40p.

Farage has previously disowned Ukip's 2010 manifesto, written during a hiatus in his leadership, saying it was hundreds of pages of rubbish that he had not even read.

The party is in the process of forming policies for 2015 and reshuffling its top team to take the pressure off Farage, who said he was left "frazzled" after the European campaign.

Asked about the idea of a flat tax, Farage said: "No. We're going to rethink the tax thing. I think that was badly explained because people thought 'gosh, they're going to put tax up for the low paid'. Well, no. The idea was to abolish national insurance.

"What I can tell you for certain is that our biggest tax objective in that next manifesto will be no tax on the minimum wage – we've got to incentivise people to get off benefits and to get back to work," he said.

"Now, that obviously will cost money … I think a top rate of tax in this country of around about 40% is the one that will bring the most revenue into the exchequer and I think through the 80s and 90s we saw that."

He argued that bringing in more grammar schools would deal with a "shaming" lack of social mobility in Britain.

Farage plans to launch Ukip's policies in Ed Miliband's Doncaster constituency in the autumn. In a warning to Labour about the party's appeal to disillusioned voters, he stressed that Ukip wanted to "actually genuinely address the cost of living and to progress social mobility".

Labour is partly fighting Ukip in the north by stressing Farage's admiration for Margaret Thatcher. Asked about whether he was trying to bring back Thatcherite policies, Farage said: "That was of its time. Thatcherism was of its time 40 years ago to deal with a specific set of problems. For half the country it benefited them, for the other half the country it didn't."

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rowena Mason, political correspondent, for theguardian.com on Sunday 1st June 2014 11.37 Europe/London

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