Keir Starmer announces £8.6bn worth of tax rises

Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer reiterated his promise not to increase income tax, National Insurance and VAT - Anthony Devlin/Getty Images Europe

Labour has unveiled plans to hike taxes by £8.6 billion through raids on private schools, overseas property investors and non-doms.

The party’s manifesto says that its planned tax rises will raise a combined £8.6 billion by 2028-29, with the money used to pay for more NHS appointments and teachers.

Despite Sir Keir Starmer repeatedly insisting all his policies would be fully costed, the manifesto only provides a breakdown of costs for the final year of a Labour government.

It contains a summary of the revenues Labour would raise and the cost of delivering its pledges for 2028-29 but does not provide one for any other year.

The party has said it would raise £5.2 billion from “closing further non-dom tax loopholes and investment in reducing tax avoidance”, along with £1.5 billion in applying VAT to private school fees.

Other revenue streams include hiking stamp duty on purchases of residential property by non-UK residents by one per cent, and windfall tax on oil and gas giants.

Sir Keir reiterated his promise not to increase income tax, National Insurance and VAT during his speech to unveil the Labour manifesto at the headquarters of Co-op in Manchester on Thursday.

‘Tax Trap Manifesto’

Jeremy Hunt slammed the document as a “Tax Trap Manifesto”, which he said “contains only tax rises and no tax cuts.

“Under Labour’s published plans, taxes will rise to levels never before seen in this country.”

“But that’s only the tax rises they’re telling you about – it doesn’t include the £2,094 of tax rises they’ll need to fill their £38.5 billion unfunded spending commitments.

“So what’s most important is not what’s in Labour’s manifesto, but it’s what they have kept out of it.

“They are refusing to rule out taxing your job, your home, your pension, your car, your business and they think they can get away with it without anyone holding them to account.”

In response to questions about the manifesto’s tax plans, Sir Keir said: “There are no tax rises that we haven’t already announced. Yes, we want to bear down properly on the non-dom tax status and make sure the super-rich pay their fair share in this country.

“Yes, we want the oil and gas companies to pay fair tax on the massive profits that they’re making. Yes, we want to make sure that private equity loopholes aren’t there … and yes we’ve taken the tough decision in relation to VAT.”

On whether he would borrow more, cut spending or increase taxes if his growth plans do not deliver, he said: “This manifesto is a total rejection of that defeatist approach that the only levers are tax and spend.”

The tax elements of the Labour and Conservative manifestos are a key dividing line between the two parties.

Rishi Sunak on Tuesday unveiled plans for tax cuts, including scrapping National Insurance for four million self-employed workers and abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £425,000.

Sir Keir hit out at Mr Sunak’s tax pledges as he was challenged on the ambitions of his own manifesto.

“Rishi Sunak, if there’s one thing that he was supposed to do, it was to provide stability after Liz Truss, and here he is repeating it.”