Labour shadow minister struggles to rule out raising further taxes

Politics

A Labour minister has struggled to rule out raising other taxes after announcing VAT, income tax and national insurance will not go up.

Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey was repeatedly asked if Labour would raise property taxes such as capital gains tax, council tax and stamp duty if his party wins the election – but he would not rule them out.

Labour has said it would introduce VAT on private school fees, a windfall tax on energy companies and make non-doms pay tax on their overseas.

But, when asked on Sky News’ Breakfast with Kay Burley programme if Labour would raise other taxes, he said: “None of our plans require us to look at extra tax, but we of course have to see what the true state of the public finances is when we get to open the books.”

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Pressed on whether Labour would rule out an increase to property tax, Mr Healey said: “Look, there are dozens and dozens of specific taxes.

“The ones that are most important are those that cost working people the most, those that are facing the highest tax burden now for 70 years.”

When Burley pointed out plans can change, he repeated the line that “plans do not require” looking at other tax rises.

“We will not raise the taxes that are most important to working people,” he added.

Mr Healey then refused to “go through the list” of specific taxes.

Laura Trott, chief secretary to the Treasury, said Mr Healey’s interview “shows once again that Labour won’t rule out a swathe of taxes on families”, adding: “You name it, Labour will tax it.”

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The election campaign has been dominated this week by the Conservatives accusing Labour of increasing taxes by £2,000 per family over a parliament – four to five years.

Labour ministers have accused Rishi Sunak of lying about the figure but the Tories are sticking by their attack line.

Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride doubled down on the £2,000 claim and explained how they came to that figure.

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Truth behind £2K tax claim

He told Breakfast with Kay Burley: “You add up the amount of each one of those commitments over the period of what’s called the scorecard, or basically the next parliament.

“You subtract the revenue raises that they have said they are going to bring into effect and you take the net difference and that is £38.5bn.

“That is your black hole of unfunded commitments. You divide it by about 15 million working households.

“And that’s where you get a figure that’s just over £2,000.

“So that’s the additional tax burden on working households that a Labour in government would lead to.”

The UK Statistics Authority, which safeguards the production and publication of official statistics, is looking into the Conservatives’ claims.

But Mr Stride said he is not concerned by that, adding: “I stand by the numbers.”

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