Reform UK’s Tice Brands Tories as ‘Con-Socialists’, Party of High Tax, Regulations

Vice-chairman of the pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave group, Richard Tice, speaks at a political rally organised by Leave Means Leave in central London on December 14, 2018. - The Leave Means Leave group, supported by political figures like ERG chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, held a …
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Reform UK leader Richard Tice has criticised the ruling Conservatives for becoming the party of “high tax, high regulation, and low growth”, dubbing them the “Con-Socialists”.

In his inaugural speech as leader on Monday, following the retirement of Nigel Farage from frontline politics, Mr Tice unveiled Reform UK’s economic plan to “grow” the UK out of the coronavirus crisis. The UK has been under some form of restrictions or lockdown for almost a year, with the first stages of ending lockdown — schools reopening — commencing on Monday.

Tice called the economy “fundamental to our potential as a nation”, continuing that “post-Brexit, we have a huge opportunity to truly become a high-growth, low-tax economy creating better wages for the least well off, the lowest paid, whilst giving us more tax revenues to invest in better healthcare.”

The former Brexit Party MEP went on to criticise the Conservative government for having “completely abandoned this ambition in last week’s budget“, which saw government debt rise to the highest level since the Second World War.

“They favour another decade of Tory austerity ‘mark two’,” Mr Tice claimed, continuing: “Their track record and their future plan unbelievably involves the highest tax hike for some 70 years. The lowest growth for some 60 years, and more regulation from Nanny State.”

Seeing the notionally conservative party having more in common with the high-tax, low-growth governing style of the left, Tice condemned Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration, saying: “I now call them not the Tory Party, not the Conservative Party; they are now the Con-Socialists.

“Unbelievably, they want to drag another 1.3 million people of the lowest-paid into income tax. Even if they’re earning less than 50 per cent of the average national salary. This is literally morally indefensible.

“The Tories are now confirmed as the party of high tax, high regulation, and low growth and Reform UK is now the only party of low tax, and high growth to give better wages.

Reform UK was born out of the Brexit Party and rebranded to reflect the movement’s new battlegrounds — the old political system — once Brexit was finally delivered. Its leader laid out his simple economic plan, where, as the party name implies, he called for the reformation of Britain’s complex tax system, which according to the group is the longest tax code in the world at 20,000 pages, “five times longer than all of the Harry Potter books combined”.

Calling for “lower taxes” and “simpler taxes” which “will create faster growth”, Reform UK said that faster post-lockdown growth would come if the UK, as well as abandoning its current taxing system, cut unnecessary regulation and government waste.

The plan also seeks to lift six million of the lower earners out of income tax bands altogether, raising the minimum threshold from £12,500 to £20,000, which would benefit one-in-five taxpayers.

“The Tory and the Labour Party have essentially merged, now. Their economic philosophy is exactly the same. Higher tax, higher regulations, lower growth. And it would be a disaster,” Tice said.

“Low tax, high growth better wages. That’s the message we’re going to be taking to voters,” Tice said, revealing that Reform UK would be announcing candidates for the May local elections.

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