UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has promised to go after corporate tax evasion, whilst slashing tax on food such as fish and chips, and protecting the National Health Service (NHS) for working people.
In his emotional first speech to a party conference as leader, Mr. Nuttall also slammed the “almost evil smear campaign” directed against him in the run-up to the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.
Laying out his “New Path for Britain” after Brexit, he set out plans to slash taxes which disproportionately hit working people once the UK is free of European Union (EU) regulation.
Removing domestic energy bills from VAT will save the average household £65 a year, UKIP believes.
In another move to help working families, UKIP will also push to take “hot takeaway foods”, including fish and chips, out of Value Added Tax (VAT). The traditional British dinner currently carries a 20 per cent VAT charge.
Mr. Nuttall said the policy would allow Britain to “return to the days when things really were as cheap as chips.”
“We want to see a fair deal for working families, because Brexit allows us – for the first time – to do aways with VAT in many areas”, he told the audience in the Macron Stadium in Bolton.
“People in working class communities” should not have to “choose between heating and eating”, he added.
He also reiterated UKIP’s pledge to divert £13 billion from the foreign aid budget into the NHS and social care and to focus more resources on mental health.
The UKIP leader also used the speech to apologise for misleading claims made on his website, while attacking anti-UKIP “smear campaigns”.
“Firstly I take the blame for the fact that I failed to check what was put up on my website in my name. That is my fault and I apologise”, he said. “But I do not apologise for what is a coordinated, cruel, and almost evil smear campaign that has been directed towards me.”
“It is based on lies from sources who have not been named”, Mr. Nuttall added, his voice cracking with emotion. “It has been a tough week for me but I will not allow them to break me and I will not allow them to break UKIP.”
UKIP have been leading the polls ahead of the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election next week, hoping to snatch the seat from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, who Mr. Nuttall says are “out of touch”.