Who is Rachel Reeves and what did she say in response to today’s mini-Budget?

·2-min read
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said Labour would start by scrapping tax breaks on oil and gas producers  (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said Labour would start by scrapping tax breaks on oil and gas producers (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Rachel Reeves slammed the Government’s mini-Budget today, and described Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwai Kwarteng as two “desperate gamblers chasing a losing run”.

The Labour frontbencher tore into the Government after the announcement of a surprise slash on income tax for the country’s highest earners.

The controversial settlement will benefit 629,000 earners on salaries higher than £150,000, saving them on average £10,000 a year.

Kwarteng’s decision to slash income tax is aimed to make Britain more competitive, “simplify” the tax system, and “incentivise growth”.

Reeves said their plans were all based on an “outdated ideology that says, if we simply reward those who are already wealthy, the whole of society will benefit”.

“They have decided to replace levelling up with trickle down,” she added.

Who is Rachael Reeves?

Reeves is Labour’s Shadow Chancellor and an MP for Leeds West.

She was appointed shadow chancellor in May 2021, and has served in Sir Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 2020 and 2021.

The 43-year-old joined the Labour Party upon her election to Westminster in 2010.

Following her election and under Ed Miliband, she was appointed to the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills Select Committee, and as Shadow Pensions Minister in October 2010.

Reeves, who was a frequent Jeremy Corbyn critic, was shut out under Corbyn’s leadership. But Starmer was keen to have her back.

Prior to devoting her life to politics, Reeves spent her professional career as an economist working for the Bank of England, the British Embassy in Washington, and at Halifax’s Bank of Scotland.

The Lewisham-born politician holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from New College, Oxford.

She is married to Nicholas Joicey, and the couple has two children.

Joicey, who’s also involved in politics, was once the speech writer for Gordon Brown when he was the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Reeve’s sister is Ellie Reeves, the current Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge.