(Silverstone) In growing difficulty in the polls as the British legislative elections approach, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak returned, without arousing enthusiasm, to the fundamentals of the Conservatives on Tuesday by promising in his program to lower taxes and reduce the immigration.

With just over three weeks before the July 4 elections, the presentation of the document was seen as one of the last chances to turn the tide for the Tories in power for 14 years, trailing Labor by 20 points in voting intentions. .

From the Silverstone Formula One circuit, northwest London, Rishi Sunak presented his program as “a clear plan”, with “bold steps”.

“We, the Conservatives, believe in tax cuts,” proclaimed the 44-year-old Tory leader, placing himself as the heir of Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.  

Workers have “the right to choose how to spend” the money they have earned, continued Rishi Sunak before resuming his recurring attacks on Labor leader Keir Starmer, a “socialist”: “We all know what the socialists. […] They take more of your money, because they think it’s theirs.”  

After recognizing that it was “harder” today to become the owner of a home, he announced support for first-time buyers so that they experience “the security and pride of becoming an owner”.  

Rishi Sunak also reiterated his intention to reduce immigration into the country “by half” and to have planes take off in July to expel migrants who arrived illegally in Rwanda.

The cost of the promised tax cuts – around twenty billion euros – raised eyebrows.

The former banker promised that his measures were “fully financed”, but mainly by reducing public spending, although it was not clear precisely how.

Labour, constantly accused by Rishi Sunak of wanting to increase the tax burden on households, jumped at the opportunity, putting the Conservatives’ unfunded promises at more than €80 billion over five years.

Labor finance chief Rachel Reeves criticized the head of government for imitating Liz Truss, a short-lived prime minister who announced unfunded tax cuts in autumn 2022, leading to panic in the markets and caused real estate rates to soar.  

More generally, the conservative program did not bring any surprises or strong measures that some in his camp hoped for to revive a campaign that never took off.

“I don’t think it will radically change things and it was clearly the last chance to have a real impact with a significant event,” swept away former Conservative minister Jo Johnson, brother of Boris Johnson, on the LBC radio, predicting “a very heavy defeat” by the majority.

Already struggling, Rishi Sunak finds himself even more on the defensive since he cut short his presence at the international commemorations of the Normandy landings to respond to a television interview.

After apologizing, he had to refute rumors that he intended to throw in the towel.

A new poll from the YouGov institute published on Tuesday places the Conservatives at only 18% of voting intentions, far from Labor (38%) and especially now closely followed as ever by the anti-immigration Reform UK party (17%) led by Nigel Farage.

The latter, after being doused with a milkshake while launching his campaign last week, was targeted on Tuesday by a demonstrator who threw objects towards the double-decker bus with which he was campaigning, in the north of England.

Labor is due to present its program on Thursday. It is a highly anticipated moment for the center-left party, the big favorite to come to power, but which until now has been very cautious about its promises, capitalizing above all on the distrust towards the current majority.