Rishi Sunak’s manifesto, brimming with thoughtful policies and clear funding strategies, highlights what many of his supporters have long known: Sunak’s natural instincts align with the values and needs of the country.

Sensible conservatism is the antidote, and Sunak still has a chance to embody it for what will likely be the last few weeks of his premiership.

Sunak’s proposals for his party’s manifesto are not mere gimmicks; they are grounded in practical, conservative principles that resonate with a broad swath of the electorate.

The document was a substantial offering: seventy-six pages packed with nearly £20 billion worth of tax and spending announcements and a slew of pledges designed to appeal to a wide range of voters. From a 2p cut to National Insurance for workers to compulsory national service for 18-year-olds, Sunak’s manifesto has something for everyone.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak launches the Conservative Party General Election manifesto

“Sunak’s proposals for his party’s manifesto are not mere gimmicks; they are grounded in practical, conservative principles,” says Bella Wallersteiner


Despite a campaign marked by missteps, including a poorly received early election call and the controversy surrounding his early departure from D-Day commemorations, Sunak’s manifesto stands out for its assured approach and fiscal responsibility. In contrast to the tumultuous tenures of his predecessors, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, Sunak’s manifesto signals a return to measured, thoughtful policymaking.

The 2p cut to National Insurance, income tax cuts for pensioners, and child benefits for high earners are all individually popular measures. The policy blitz also includes the scrapping of so-called “Mickey Mouse” degrees and a firm stance on national security and illegal migration.

Sunak maintained his party’s commitment to net-zero targets but proposed a more consumer-friendly timeline, delaying the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035. Additionally, pro-motorist transport policies were revealed including reversing ULEZ expansion and blocking new road pricing schemes, aligning with voter concerns about mobility and fairness.

Financially, Sunak’s manifesto is meticulously costed, a stark contrast to the unfunded pledges that characterized Liz Truss’s short-lived premiership which did so much to torpedo the Conservative Party’s reputation in the eyes of voters. The proposed welfare reforms, projected to save £12 billion, aim to streamline support systems while encouraging work and self-sufficiency.

Although the Institute for Fiscal Studies has expressed scepticism about these savings, the intention to balance tax cuts with expenditure reductions reflects a commitment to fiscal prudence.

The current welfare system, with its rising claims and escalating costs, has become unsustainable. By proposing to overhaul disability benefits and introducing reforms that make more people with mental health and mobility issues seek work, Sunak is addressing Britain’s welfare crisis head on.

This is not about being harsh; it’s about creating a system that encourages and supports people to engage with the workforce where possible, thereby enhancing their quality of life and contributing to the economy.

Sunak’s proposal to shift the responsibility of issuing sick notes from GPs to a new occupational health service is a forward-thinking move. This change could streamline the process and ensure that assessments are more focused on helping individuals return to work, rather than merely maintaining them on benefits.

By providing more support to the long-term sick and encouraging those who can work to do so, Sunak is promoting a culture of empowerment and self-reliance. The most striking element of Sunak’s manifesto is the bold abolition of National Insurance contributions for the self-employed, particularly those vital to our thriving creative industries.

This is not just a boon for a critical sector of our economy but a powerful affirmation of the Conservative Party’s commitment to supporting the entrepreneurs and risk-takers who drive economic growth. It sends a clear message to Labour, chained to the trade unions that often oppose the self-employed, about the Conservatives’ dedication to fostering a free-market economy.

Keir Starmer has drawn comparisons between Sunak’s manifesto and Jeremy Corbyn’s 2019 offering, branding it as overly generous and unrealistic. This is a desperate and wildly inaccurate ploy. Unlike Corbyn’s unrealistic and economically reckless promises, Sunak’s manifesto is rooted in fiscal prudence and sensible conservatism.

Sunak’s plans focus on sustainable tax cuts, robust defence spending, and practical support for families. Starmer’s comparison fails to acknowledge the stark differences: where Corbyn’s policies threatened economic instability, Sunak’s are designed to foster growth and stability. This misleading analogy is a weak attempt to undermine Sunak’s sensible approach, and voters can see through it.

Ultimately, Sunak’s manifesto demonstrates a responsible, pragmatic approach that contrasts sharply with the tumultuous policies of his predecessors. By striking the right tone and emphasizing fiscal responsibility, Sunak has shown a side of leadership that perhaps should have been more prominent throughout his campaign, indeed during his entire tenure at No 10.

While it remains to be seen if this approach will sway voters significantly, it represents a thoughtful and measured strategy that could solidify support among the party’s core base and appeal to those seeking stability in uncertain times.

As someone who voted for Rishi Sunak in the Conservative leadership contest, I am heartened to see this return to his true character. This manifesto reflects the level-headed pragmatism and fiscal responsibility that initially drew me to support him.

Sunak’s clear-eyed focus on practical, conservative principles, rather than resorting to populist gimmicks, reaffirms my belief in his capability to lead with integrity and competence. This is the Rishi Sunak I believed in, and it’s encouraging to see him embracing the sensible conservatism that is so desperately needed.

As we stand on the brink of a Labour government, it’s worth contemplating how we might look back fondly on what could have been under Rishi Sunak’s leadership.