The UK Independence Party is offering supporters the chance to win a pint with Nigel Farage in exchange for a donation, as it ramps up its general election campaign.
UKIP is looking to build on it success in May’s European elections, where it won more seats than any other British party. The 2015 national poll could have significant repercussions on the UK’s relationship to the EU.
Farage yesterday set out his election strategy, which includes tax cuts, stricter controls on benefits and on immigration.
The innovative fundraiser exploits Farage’s well-known fondness for a beer in the pub and plays on his man of the people image. Any supporter donating a minimum of £10 (€ 12.50) is automatically entered into the competition but any amount can be given.
— UKIP (@UKIP) August 21, 2014
Three winners will have their expenses covered to travel to Doncaster, where UKIP is holding its party conference. The South Yorkshire town, which suffered greatly from the demise of the UK coal mining industry, was the scene of a UKIP local by-election victory earlier this year.
The fundraising drive is complimented by an online store of UKIP merchandise, where supporters can buy branded clothing, stationery, Christmas cards, calendars and Union Jack flags and stickers. For example, ties and ladies scarves in UKIP colours cost between €3.75 and €37.50.
Campaign heats up
The party has pledged to cut taxes.No one earning the minimum wage or below will pay tax on their earnings. The top rate of tax will by 40p and that will be paid once people earn £45,000.
UKIP’s manifesto will set out significant cuts to areas including foreign aid. It plans to abolish the Climate Change Act, a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Child benefits would only be paid to a maximum of two children in a family. Migrants to Britain would only be eligible for welfare benefits after paying tax and national insurance for five years.
Farage has also announced his team to fight the general election. The UKIP frontbench features many MEPS, elected in May’s European elections triumph.
The Eurosceptic party won 24 seats, more than any other British party. But any MEP, including Farage, who takes a Westminster seat will sacrifice their job in Brussels. The seats will transfer to the next candidate on UKIP’s list without the need for a by-election.
The 2015 general election will have a significant influence on whether the UK holds an in/out referendum on EU membership.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to hold an in/out referendum on the UK’s EU membership in 2017 if he is elected.
UKIP, which campaigns to take the Britain out of the EU, are expected to return two to three MPs but senior party members are hoping for six to eight.
Labour is unlikely to hold a referendum and will be hoping UKIP can poach some Tory support in important seats.
- 2015: UK elections
- 2017: Possible date for in/out referendum