June 13, 2024
Money

Reform UK leader Richard Tice accuses cash-only barber shops of money laundering


Nigel Farage and Richard Tice took aim at barber shops and candy stores at Reform UK’s immigration policy launch.

Speaking at a press conference in central London on Thursday, the Reform UK leader Mr Tice suggested some cash-only barber shops on UK high streets were “fronts for money laundering and drug money”.

He was speaking as his party proposed a multi-billion pound tax on businesses employing overseas workers.

“You can see high streets with five, six, seven barber shops in them, thousands of new barber shops,” Mr Farage said while on stage with Mr Tice.

They were then asked by a reporter what accusation they were making.

Mr Tice added: “I’ll tell you what the accusation is actually, and I know it’s true, because you go to towns and people are saying shop after shop after shop.

“I mean, I don’t know, maybe it was Covid, maybe our hair is growing faster.

“Seriously, how come lots of these new barber shops have got no customers in them? How come they all want cash only?

“These are fronts for money laundering and drug money, and someone has to talk about it and someone has to have the courage to say that the authorities they’re either incompetent and don’t know about it.”

Nigel Farage and Richard Tice took aim at barber shops during the launch of Reform UK’s immigration policy
Nigel Farage and Richard Tice took aim at barber shops during the launch of Reform UK’s immigration policy (AFP via Getty Images)

According to the Local Data Company, there are 18,624 barber shops operating in the UK, with 665 having opened last year.

But Mr Tice did not stop on barber shops.

He added: “You look at the price of the sweets in these shops and they’re fake sweets.

“I’ve literally gone in to test it and see they’re fake sweets. They’re disgusting and there’s never any customers in them. It’s another money laundering front.”

Mr Tice would introduce a premium on national insurance for workers from overseas
Mr Tice would introduce a premium on national insurance for workers from overseas (Getty Images)

On the “employer immigration tax” proposed by the party, Mr Tice said the UK had an “addiction” to “cheap overseas labour”.

He said: “This drug is being pushed on every street corner by the Labour party and by the Tories. They believe that this drug, this addiction, is good for the British economy. Let me tell you today it’s not.”

He added: “What we need is a cure to this addiction and the cure is an employer immigration tax.”

Mr Tice said Reform would require firms to pay a national insurance “premium” of 20 per cent of an employee’s salary, as opposed to 13.8 per cent, if the worker is from overseas.

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

Mr Farage described the plan as a “bold, innovative policy”.

When it was pointed out such a policy would hit Britain’s Indian restaurants and kebab shops and therefore could be considered a “curry tax”, Mr Farage laughed before noting he enjoys going for a late night curry.

Mr Farage pointed to efforts to train British people to become curry chefs, saying: “The point is to reduce our reliance on overseas unskilled labour.

“Clearly somebody who is a qualified curry chef is not going to be in the unskilled or low wage bracket.

“What Richard is laying out here is it’s about incentives and disincentives.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has already ruled out a deal with Reform, which is putting pressure on the Tories over issues including immigration policy.

Reform is set to contest all seats in England, Scotland and Wales at the General Election.



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