Shropshire Star

What to expect on the General Election campaign trail on Tuesday

Rishi Sunak sets out to bolster support among pensioners while Labour steps up efforts to win business backing.

General Election campaign 2024

Here’s your guide to the main developments in the General Election campaign on Tuesday:

– Tory tax break for pensioners

The Conservatives have set out a £2.4 billion-a-year tax break to prevent more pensioners being dragged into paying income tax.

The “triple lock plus” will ensure that the tax-free allowance rises in line with the increase in the state pension.

The Conservatives said it would amount to a tax cut of around £100 for eight million pensioners next year, expected to rise to almost £300 a year by the end of the Parliament.

Mr Sunak, who will be campaigning in the Midlands on Tuesday, said: “This bold action demonstrates we are on the side of pensioners. The alternative is Labour dragging everyone in receipt of the full state pension into income tax for the first time in history.”

But Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said Mr Sunak had left the country with “the highest tax burden in 70 years” and it was “another desperate move from a chaotic Tory party torching any remaining facade of its claims to economic credibility”.

– Labour steps up efforts to woo business

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will use a major speech to business leaders in the East Midlands to promise she will lead “the most pro-growth Treasury” in history.

Labour visit to Essex
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will step up their efforts to woo business chiefs (Victoria Jones/PA)

Ms Reeves, who has sought to reassure businesses about Labour’s plans for workers’ rights, will promise to be both “pro-worker and pro-business, in the knowledge that each depends on the success of the other”.

Labour’s plans secured the support of scores of business leaders in a letter to The Times.

But Treasury chief secretary Laura Trott said Labour’s “French-style union laws risk damaging the economy, costing jobs”.

Sir Keir Starmer is expected to join Ms Reeves in the East Midlands before heading to his own campaign event in the Home Counties later in the day.

– Making plans with Nigel

Nigel Farage will be helping out Reform UK’s campaign with an event in Dover, highlighting the failure to curb small boat crossings.

Reform’s honorary president said he would be setting out “all the solutions to this massive problem”.

More than 10,400 people have been detected crossing the English Channel in small boats so far this year.

– Yellow Hammer 1 rolls on 

General Election campaign 2024
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey with his party’s General Election campaign battlebus, dubbed Yellow Hammer 1 (Jacob King/PA)

The Liberal Democrat battle bus tour continues, with Sir Ed Davey starting the day in the Lake District, where he is almost certain to talk about sewage problems – one of his party’s main campaign themes.

But he is also highlighting the number of burglaries that go unsolved, particularly in seats in the so-called Tory blue wall in southern England where he hopes to make electoral gains.

Sir Ed said: ”Victims are being denied justice because Conservative ministers can’t even get the basics right on solving crime.”

– SNP aims to give Mr Sunak his marching orders over national service

The SNP urged voters to perform a “Scottish national service” by voting against the Tories and Mr Sunak’s plans for mandatory military commissions or civilian volunteering work by 18-year-olds,

SNP candidate for Gordon and Buchan Richard Thomson said: “Not content with destroying the hopes and aspirations of a generation of young people, the Tories now want to take them back to the 1950s with their national service plans.”

– But Scottish Tories hope SNP defeat could end push for independence

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross will park his tanks on First Minister John Swinney’s lawn by campaigning in the SNP leader’s Holyrood constituency of Perthshire North.

“In this election, the opportunity is there to finally end their independence demands for good,” he said.

– Labour planning for whisky diplomacy

UK drinks exports
Labour pledged to use UK embassies to tout Scottish produce like whisky and boost exports (David Cheskin/PA)

Under a Labour government, UK embassies around the world would showcase Scottish food and drink, Anas Sarwar promised.

The Scottish Labour leader said his party would “build on the reputation of smoked salmon and whisky to promote other high-quality products abroad”.

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