‘Zero tolerance’ policing and tackling ‘woke madness’: Reform UK’s pledges at a glance

Richard Tice
Richard Tice

Reform UK is on course to cost the Conservatives dearly at the general election taking place on July 4 as the party refuses to stand down its candidates to help Rishi Sunak.

Richard Tice’s insurgent Right-of-centre party will speak in more depth on Thursday about their stance on immigration, having previously referred to a “one in, one out” migration quota to vastly reduce illegal entrants.

Nigel Farage, the party’s honorary president, gave his first speech of the election campaign on May 28 and called for the illegal Channel crossings by migrants to be declared a “national security emergency” because of the threat they pose to British values.

Reform UK scored double-digit vote shares in the Wellingborough and Kingswood by-elections on Feb 15, matching its national polling levels and depriving the Tories of victory in the latter contest.

Mr Tice has said, unlike the Brexit Party in 2019, he will not step aside for the Tories at the next national poll, even if his refusal to do so would result in a Labour government. He insisted that Mr Sunak’s administration should be “punished”.

However, Reform have also found themselves at odds with Labour after Mr Tice announced he is assembling a team of lawyers and KCs to fight Sir Keir Starmer’s “discriminatory” pledge to apply VAT to private school fees.

There is also speculation about the role that Mr Farage could play at the election. He has declined to rule out a return to front-line politics.

The party has, in the meantime, unveiled a draft manifesto titled Our Contract with You. Here is a summary of its pledges.

Mr Tice and deputy Ben Habib in Wellingborough ahead of the by-election
Mr Tice and deputy Ben Habib in Wellingborough ahead of the by-election - Martin Pope/Getty Images

NHS and social care

Reform would aim to cut NHS waiting lists to zero in the space of two years, an objective it has described as “challenging but achievable”.

It promises to exempt two million front-line healthcare and social care workers from the basic rate of income tax for three years as part of a push to retain existing staff and ensure the return of former staff.

NHS patients would receive a voucher for fully-funded private treatment if they could not see a GP within three days, a consultant within three weeks, or have an operation in nine weeks.

Tax relief of 20 per cent would be introduced on all private healthcare and insurance, with more private healthcare providers used by the NHS to drive waiting list numbers down.

Reform would also hold a public inquiry into both excess deaths and Covid vaccine harms after figures from the statistics watchdog showed thousands more people died in 2023 than expected. Government health advisers have said coronavirus vaccines saved countless lives and are recommended for the vulnerable, a view supported by many independent scientists.

Reform said its healthcare plan would cost £15 billion a year for two years, funded by reorganising Bank of England quantitative easing debt into 75-year bonds. The Bank of England would no longer pay interest on quantitative easing reserves for commercial banks, which Reform says would raise billions.

All NHS private contracts would be reviewed as part of a drive to “cut waste, bureaucracy and unnecessary managers”.

Tax and spending

The tax burden has become one of Reform’s key attack lines in the wake of tax rises under the Conservatives that have seen the overall burden reach its highest level since the Second World War.

Reform would raise the minimum income tax threshold from £12,571 to £20,000, exempting six million people from having to pay income tax, while raising the higher 40p rate threshold from around £50,000 to £70,000.

Stamp duty would be scrapped for properties valued less than £750,000 – three times the current £250,000 threshold – and inheritance tax would be “abolished” for all estates worth under £2 million. Currently, only estates worth less than £325,000 are exempt.

It would scrap VAT on energy bills, saving households £100 per year, while lowering fuel duty by 20p per litre and reducing VAT from 20 per cent to 18 per cent. It calculates that these measures would save £240 per driver and £300 per household per year.

Government spending would be reduced by £5 in every £100, amounting to £50 billion a year.


Reform has said it would reduce the main corporation tax rate from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.

Its other proposals for the economy include the abolition of IR35 rules - regulations introduced by the Conservatives in recent years to govern off-payroll working.

Business rates would be scrapped for small and medium firms, while an online delivery tax, levied at three per cent, is intended to “create a fairer playing field” for high-street businesses versus online competitors.

The VAT threshold would be raised to £120,000 to “free small entrepreneurs from red tape”.


Reform has insisted “we all care about the environment” and promised to achieve cleaner air in a “strategic, affordable way”.

It would nationalise 50 per cent of key utility companies, such as energy and water giants, “to stop consumers being ripped off”.

New housing on brownfield sites would be fast tracked as part of sweeping reforms to the planning system, with a particular emphasis on new homes in the North, as well as coastal regeneration areas.

Reform would increase the farming budget to £3 billion, with young people encouraged into farming and an end to all climate-related farming subsidies. Hunting and shooting would be protected on the grounds “they boost rural jobs, communities and local economies”.

Fish processing in the UK would be rebuilt, a coastal fund similar to a sovereign wealth fund launched, and foreign supertrawlers banned from UK waters.

Energy and net zero

Mr Tice has been one of the most vocal opponents of net zero in British politics – referring to it as “net stupid” – and insisting flagship green goals make taxpayers worse off.

Reform would abandon all existing carbon emissions targets, a move it estimates would save the taxpayer £20 billion per year and “possibly more” for the next 25 years.

The party plans to accelerate oil and gas licences in the North Sea, build high-efficiency combined cycle gas turbines and restart coal mines “using the latest cleanest techniques”. Further to this, shale gas licences would be granted across test sites for two years.

Clean nuclear energy would also be sped up through the use of new small, modular reactors, built in Britain, while domestic lithium mining  would increase to reduce overseas dependence on electric batteries. An annual £10 billion of green energy subsidies would be scrapped.

Reform’s policy document reads: “We all want technology to do our bit. But net zero is the wrong bit, at the wrong time, in the wrong time frame. Westminster’s obsession with net zero is damaging our livelihoods… It is costing tens of thousands of jobs and increasing inflation.”

Education and childcare

Reform would require universities to provide two-year courses to reduce student debt and allow graduates to enter the workforce earlier. Interest on student loans would be scrapped to stop students being “ripped off” – the party declares that many courses “are simply not good enough”.

It would use its first 100 days in power to crack down on “woke ideology” in schools and universities, banning the teaching of contested gender ideology and critical race theory in schools, with children instead taught “there are two sexes and two genders”.

Any universities that “allow political bias or cancel culture” would face “heavy” fines.

Private schools would benefit from tax relief of 20 per cent in an attempt to take pressure off state schools and “improve education for all”. The party has also pledged to fight Labour’s planned tax raid on private education as Mr Tice vowed to challenge the “discriminatory” policy in the courts.

Reform would place a greater emphasis on life skills by adding Home Economics and classes about the risks of social media to the national curriculum. It would seek to increase technical courses and apprenticeships, particularly in IT, construction and engineering.

The number of pupil referral units for violent or disruptive students would double “so schools can function safely” while supporting vulnerable children. Smartphones and the use of social media would be banned in schools for pupils under the age of 16.


Reform would overhaul the military procurement process as one of its defence priorities while also promising to invest in “properly equipping and housing” Armed Forces personnel.

It would upgrade the existing Office for Veterans’ Affairs to a fully-fledged Department for Veterans’ Affairs, which would receive £1 billion funding a year.

Troops and veterans alike would be entitled to free education during and after their service, with Reform saying this is “vital to ensure a successful return to civilian life”.

Basic pay would be increased across the forces, with the pre-manifesto adding: “It is unacceptable that a private soldier is paid less than an Amazon worker.”

A new Armed Forces Justice Bill would protect serving military personnel in the UK and abroad from civil law and human rights lawyers, while also creating an armed forces watchdog to fast-track complaints about military accommodation and welfare for veterans.

Defence spending, which is currently on track to reach 2.25 per cent next year, would increase to 2.5 per cent by 2027 before rising to 3 per cent by 2030.

Pensions and welfare

Mr Tice’s party wants to get two million people back into work and would launch a wide-ranging crackdown on welfare in order to achieve this, with a back-to-work push that places particular emphasis on those aged 16 to 34.

Benefits for jobseekers would be withdrawn either after four months of unemployment or the rejection of two job offers.

Assessment for personal independence payment (PIP) would have to take place face-to-face to build relationships and coach people back into work, while medical assessments for those on benefits would be required to take place independently.

A royal commission to tackle social care is among “critical reforms” to the social care system the party is seeking to deliver in the first 100 days after the election. A loophole that it says allows larger care home providers to avoid tax through offshore structures would be closed.

Reform has said it wants to reform the savings and pension system in the long term to make it “much better and cheaper, from a much younger age”, citing Australia as a model.

Mr Tice said British people 'never voted for mass immigration'
Mr Tice said British people 'never voted for mass immigration' - STEVE FINN

Policing and crime

Reform accuses the Government of being “soft on crime” and paints a picture of “badly failing” police leadership, citing a collapse in charging rates to around five per cent.

Its immediate law and order objectives include the start of an increase in police numbers that would see 40,000 new officers over the course of a five-year parliament.

“Zero tolerance” policing, which the party said has been a success in New York, would mean offenders received jail sentences for all violent crimes and the possession of a knife. A new offence of substantial possession of drugs would lead to heavy fines, while the use of stop-and-search would be vastly expanded, with Reform hailing it as a “proven deterrent to knife crime”.

Police leadership teams would be reviewed and where necessary replaced, with a “strong preference” for military veterans.

All diversity, equality and inclusion roles and regulations would be abolished in an attempt to stop what Mr Tice referred to in his spring conference speech as “two-tier policing”.

Police and Crime Commissioners would either be scrapped or reformed – “either they get the power to make a real change or they should go” – and degree-standard entry would be replaced with entrance exams, while officers would have to complete two years of probation.

Violent offenders would receive automatic life imprisonment as part of an urgent review.

The definition of hate crime would be changed in order to require “proper evidence”, pro-Palestinian marches banned using existing powers, 10,000 new detention places created and the budget of the National Crime Agency increased to tackle foreign gang crime.

Young offenders, meanwhile, would face high intensity training camps that would reopen to offer “basic education, training and values… [This model] is needed more than ever.”

Mr Tice also wants to cut down on cash-only barbershops, which the party claims are a front for money laundering after experts and senior industry figures warned some of the traders engage in illegal activity and undercut honest traders in communities.

The Reform manifesto states that “foreign gang crime” accounts for most organised crime in the UK at a cost of £37 billion per year, adding: “This includes drugs, people trafficking and money laundering through barbershops, car washes and nail bars.”


Reform UK are set to announce their first major migration policy of the election campaign on May 30 at a lunchtime press conference held by both Mr Tice and Mr Farage.

However, the party has already discussed ending illegal immigration and vastly reducing legal migration by leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and introducing a “one in, one out” migration quota.

An analysis published by the More in Common thinktank in February found that the main reason given by voters planning to back Reform at the next election is to control immigration.

All “non-essential” migration would be frozen within weeks. Illegal migration would be deemed a national security threat, migrants would be picked up out of boats and taken back to France and the Home Office abolished and replaced by a new Department for Immigration.

Foreign criminals would be deported immediately after their prison sentence ended and citizenship withdrawn from immigrants who commit “significant” crimes.

A proposed crackdown on student visas and their dependents is designed to mean that only students with essential skills can remain in the UK as soon as their studies end.

Under Reform’s plans, “significant” penalties would be levelled on companies that make use of undocumented and illegal labour.

Reform said in its pre-manifesto: “Uncontrolled mass immigration has pushed Britain to breaking points… Labour and the Tories will never control our borders. The British people have been lied to, ignored and betrayed.”