Tory tax plans ‘an attack on working people’ – Labour

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)

Hospitality and retail workers will be more than £1,000 worse off a year under Tory proposals, Labour has alleged.

The party said its own analysis had found the national insurance hike announced by the Conservatives to fund NHS and social care – combined with planned cuts to Universal Credit and plans to freeze the income tax personal allowance – would take £1,130 away from a hospitality worker.

And Labour said many other workers, including those that steered the country through the pandemic, would be impacted with those including social care workers, nurses, teaching assistants and supermarket staff losing more than £1,100 a year.

The Conservatives’ plans to impose unfair taxes are an attack on working people and an attack on the key worker heroes who have got our country through the pandemic

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

A band 5 nurse would lose £1,159 next year, Labour’s analysis found, while a social care worker would lose £1,108, a supermarket worker £1,040 and a teaching assistant £1,040.

Boris Johnson has insisted that raising national insurance is “the right, the reasonable and the fair approach”.

But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Prime Minister of “putting the very wealthiest ahead of working people who have to pick up the bill”.

Sir Keir will visit Rose’s Cafe in London on Monday with deputy leader Angela Rayner to meet hospitality and retail workers.

He said: “The Conservatives’ plans to impose unfair taxes are an attack on working people and an attack on the key worker heroes who have got our country through the pandemic.

“The Government’s announcement on social care will not fix the crisis in social care, will not clear the backlog in our NHS and will not protect homeowners from having to sell their homes to pay for care.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said key workers needed a pay rise, not a tax rise (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said key workers needed a pay rise, not a tax rise (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)

“As usual with this Prime Minister, it is working people who are going to pay for the cost of his failure.

“Two-and-a-half-million working families will face a double whammy of a national insurance tax rise and a cut to Universal Credit.

“This is the same old Tories – putting the very wealthiest ahead of working people who have to pick up the bill.”

Ms Rayner added: “Conservative ministers are taking £1,000 out of the pockets of my old workmates working on the frontline of our social care sector.

“Our key worker heroes need a pay rise, not a tax rise. It is plain wrong that a care worker on the minimum wage will pay more tax for the care they are providing every day without a penny more in their pay packet, while the landlord that they pay rent to every month will not contribute at the same rate.

“The Prime Minister does not care about working people and he makes that clear time and time again. He is out of touch and out of ideas, leaving working people footing the bill while the very wealthiest in our society are left untouched.”

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid said raising taxes was a ‘last resort’ (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) (PA Media)
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid said raising taxes was a ‘last resort’ (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) (PA Media)

Labour said its alternative plan would include an immediate increase to the minimum wage to at least £10 per hour, which the party estimated would put £2,000 into the pockets of full-time minimum wage workers.

The Health Secretary said on Sunday that raising taxes was the “last resort”.

He said: “We should always be trying to keep taxes as low as we possibly can, and making sure that we recognise that when you have tax, any type of tax, you’re taking away hard-working people’s money, and every single penny should be spent wisely.”

He added: “I think we should be … if we have to spend more somewhere else, I think that we should always be trying first to see where we can make savings to pay for that, not extra tax rises, and tax rise should always be the last resort.

“It’s been right to do it on this occasion, but we should always try to avoid it.”

But he confirmed that the plan to reverse the £20 uplift in Universal Credit would go ahead.

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