Rishi Sunak has set out plans for a 2p national insurance cut in a multibillion-pound gamble to get the Tory General Election campaign back on track.

Launching the Conservative manifesto at the Silverstone motor racing circuit, the Prime Minister positioned himself as the heir to Margaret Thatcher with tax-cutting promises as he sought to overturn Labour’s poll lead which has remained stubbornly at around 20 points.

The Prime Minister said the Tories offered “lower immigration, lower taxes and protected pensions” as part of a “secure future”.

Sir Keir Starmer said the money was not there to pay for Mr Sunak’s pledges, warning it was a “recipe for five more years of chaos” under the Conservatives.

The Tories reduced employees’ national insurance from 10% to 8% at the March budget, following a similar cut in autumn 2023, at an annual cost of almost £10 billion by 2028/29.

The manifesto commits to a third 2p reduction as part of a drive to eliminate national insurance altogether to end the double taxation on workers, who are already liable for income tax.


The Tories also promised to abolish the main rate of self-employed national insurance entirely by the end of the Parliament.

The manifesto commits to cutting employee national insurance to 6% by April 2027 at an estimated cost of £10.3 billion in 2029-30.

On top of the already implemented cuts, the manifesto said it would amount to a total tax reduction of £1,350 for the average worker on £35,000.

The party also confirmed its pledge not to increase income tax or VAT rates.

In total, the package of employee and self-employed national insurance cuts – combined with the previously announced “triple lock plus” tax break for pensioners, child benefit changes, stamp duty and capital gains tax measures – would amount to a £17.2 billion annual cost to the Exchequer by 2029-30.

On immigration, the manifesto commits to require migrants to undergo a health check in advance of coming to the UK – with the prospect of paying a higher rate of the immigration health surcharge or forcing them to purchase insurance if they are “likely to be a burden on the NHS”.