UKIP conference gets under way: tax cuts for all

Nigel Farage MEP speaking

UKIP’s conference has begun in Doncaster, next to Ed Miliband’s own constituency.

The BBC has revealed that the party proposes to change the UK’s income tax system for everyone, effectively lowering income tax across the board.

Under UKIP's proposals, those earning the minimum wage would not to see a penny of their wages go to the government, meaning that only those earning over £13,500 would pay tax on their income. Currently, no one pays tax on their income until they earn more than £10,000, something the Liberal Democrats have fought for in the coalition.

Currently, a 20% tax rate is then paid on incomes above £10,000, up until £41,000. After that taxpayers pay a rate of 40%, until £150,000, where the rate is 45%.

UKIP’s proposals would see that those earning between £44,000 and £55,000 would pay a new rate of 35%. Above that, taxpayers would pay a 40% rate, which would be the highest rate.

Mr. Farage has said that the costs of this tax fall would be paid by leaving the EU, cutting foreign aid, as well as scrapping the HS2.

Of course, UKIP is unlikely to get its way as its chances of playing a role in government in 2015 are rather slim. However, the party is expected to win a few seats.

Additionally, in two weeks, UKIP has a decent chance in securing its first ever MP, with the Clacton by-election, triggered when Douglas Carswell stepped down to join UKIP and fight the by-election.

The most recent YouGov poll, released on the 26th September, gives UKIP 13%, showing that support for the party is not falling. Labour lead with 37%, the Conservatives 31% and the Lib Dems have 7%.

Meanwhile, Labour have pledged to reintroduce the 50% top rate of tax for those earning over £150,000, something that 65% of the UK public agree with, according to a recent YouGov poll, released during the Labour conference.

Interestingly, UKIP are actively targeting traditional Labour voters, yet the parties’ differing policies on income tax could hardly be more different.

UKIP are expected to do well in the 9th October by-election, with most of its support coming from Conservatives as many will back their former Tory MP, Douglas Carswell, under the UKIP candidate banner.

But the party will be targeting Labour voters in the Heywood and Middleton by-election, as Labour won in 2010 with a majority of 5,971.

With UKIP announcing these tax cutting policies weeks before the two by-elections, whether the policies can appeal to both Conservative and Labour voters is the real challenge for the party.