Britain's Cameron unveils plan to win in 2015, with eye on UKIP

AFP , Wednesday 1 Oct 2014

British Prime Minister David Cameron (Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister David Cameron detailed his plan for winning the 2015 general election Wednesday with a raft of measures to help struggling Britons, designed to shut down support for the UK Independence Party.

Closing his Conservative Party's annual conference, Cameron unveiled a string of proposals on everything from cutting taxes to boosting employment which he said would "build a Britain that everyone is proud to call home".

While Cameron did not mention UKIP by name and made only a passing reference to its leader Nigel Farage, much of the address seemed designed to appeal to struggling voters who could switch to the arch-eurosceptics in May's election.

The conference in Birmingham, central England, has been overshadowed by fears over growing support for UKIP after the defection of two Conservative lawmakers to their side and rumours more could follow.

But in an apparent jibe at UKIP, Cameron told delegates: "Other parties preach to you about a brave new world. We understand you have to start with the real world and make it better."

On tax, Cameron vowed to change the system so that people working 30 hours a week on the minimum wage of £6.50 ($10.55, 8.35 euros) an hour would pay no income tax.

For those on higher incomes, he unveiled plans to raise the threshold at which people pay tax at 40 percent from £41,900 to £50,000.

Combined, the measures will affect some 30 million people.

He vowed to put controlling immigration "at the heart of" his plans to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the European Union ahead of a planned referendum on it leaving the bloc in 2017.

There was also a pledge to bring "full employment" to Britain if the Conservatives, currently in a coalition government, win the election in seven months' time.

Short link: