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Nigel Farage has “absolutely no interest” in striking an election deal with the Tories, as Reform UK proposed a tax on businesses for employing overseas workers.

The Reform founder had suggested “we might have a conversation” about what the Tories could offer the party, remarks later dismissed as “banter” by Reform leader Richard Tice.

Under Reform’s latest election proposals, firms would pay a higher 20% rate of National Insurance for foreign workers, up from the current 13.8%.

This policy represents a change from the tax-slashing focus of Reform’s predecessor parties, UKIP and the Brexit Party.

Mr Tice said the plan would end the UK’s “addiction” to “cheap overseas labour”.

Exemptions would exist for businesses employing five people or fewer and for healthcare and social care, the party said.

Reform claimed the change could raise more than £20bn over the next five years to be spent helping young people into high-skilled jobs through apprenticeships and training.

Mr Tice claimed “British wages are depressed by mass immigration from overseas”.

He described levels of immigration as “simply unfair, and it’s particularly unfair for young British people – youngsters leaving school, leaving university”.

Current research suggests immigration has a small, negative impact on the wages of low-skilled workers – which was outweighed by other factors such as the impact of the financial crisis and rises in the minimum wage.

Reform founder Nigel Farage said it was a “bold, innovative policy”.

Asked about his comments in an interview about a possible deal with Tories, he said: “My reply was deeply sarcastic.”

He added: “There is no deal with the Conservatives whatsoever.”

So far, the general election campaign has seen the three major parties fighting to rule out raise taxes for working people.

Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems have all said they would not raise value added tax (VAT) if they win the general election.

While both Labour and the Tories have now both ruled out increasing income tax rates and National Insurance.

Before the election, the Conservative government raised the minimum salary for UK visa applicants and restricted care workers from bringing dependents.

Labour announced it would review Skilled Worker visa salary thresholds and reinstate the resident labour market test to ensure employers have tried to hire within the UK.



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