Labour manifesto: Extra £48.6bn in tax revenue to fund pledges

16 May

Media captionJeremy Corbyn: “This is a manifesto for all generations. We are providing hope and genuine opportunity for everybody”

Labour has unveiled pledges costing £48.6bn – to be funded from extra tax revenue – in its election manifesto.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said the manifesto – including billions for schools and the NHS and an expansion of free childcare – was a “programme of hope”.

Income tax would increase to 45p for people earning over £80,000, and 50p for those on more than £123,000.

It also includes the nationalisation of England’s 10 water companies and scrapping university tuition fees.

Labour said all the pledges were costed, with other fundraising measures including corporation tax rises, a crackdown on tax avoidance and an “excessive pay levy” on salaries above £330,000.

The Tories said the sums “don’t add up”.

“Whatever your age or situation, people are under pressure, struggling to make ends meet,” Mr Corbyn said as he launched the proposals in Bradford.

“Our manifesto is for you.”

Labour is the first of the major parties to publish its manifesto ahead of the general election on 8 June.

Mr Corbyn joked about last week’s leak of a draft of the proposals and then said Labour would not increase VAT or National Insurance, with income tax rises reserved for the “richest 5% of high earners”.

The manifesto also includes:

  • Taking Britain’s railways back into public ownership
  • Moving towards a publicly owned energy system
  • The “reasonable management” of immigration and no “bogus targets”
  • Building 100,000 affordable homes a year
  • Supporting the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system
  • Offering an immediate guarantee about the status of EU nationals in the UK
  • Refusing to leave the EU with no deal in place

Mr Corbyn said he was confident that once voters could “study the issues” they would conclude: “That the few have prevailed over the many for too long.

“And that they will decide it is now time for Labour.”


Analysis: They’re not ‘all the same’

Image copyright
Reuters

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

This is not an election where voters can say, with justification, “they are all the same”.

The just-launched Labour manifesto shows, in black and white, why that is simply not the case.

The party is including £48.6bn of extra tax rises, and the same in extra spending commitments.

In the coming hours, the details will be pored over at length; they matter enormously.

But the big picture is clear.

Jeremy Corbyn is taking the Labour Party in this election to a very different place – away from the recent consensus that the UK should be moving to lower borrowing, and lower taxation.

The manifesto spells out a vision, for good or for ill, of more spending, more tax, and more borrowing.

And in a big way.


Under Labour’s proposals the water industry, which was sold off in 1989 by the government of Margaret Thatcher, would be taken into public ownership either by simply buying the shares of the existing companies or by a compulsory measure whereby companies would have to be given government bonds in exchange for the shares.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The manifesto promises an increase in subsidised childcare

Labour has already made a series of tax pledges, including increasing corporation tax from 19% to 26%, a “Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions and asking the top 5% of earners to pay more, to fund multi-billion pound spending commitments on health, education and policing.

The manifesto also includes a pay levy designed to discourage companies from paying “excessive” salaries.

Companies paying staff more than £330,000 will pay a 2.5% surcharge while salaries above £500,000 will be charged at 5%. Labour has said the move, designed to reduce pay inequality by bearing down on “very high pay”, will only apply to firms with “high numbers of staff”.

The Conservatives said taxpayers would have to foot the bill for Labour’s spending commitments.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s economic ideas are nonsensical,” said Treasury minister David Gauke.

“It is clear that Labour would have to raise taxes dramatically because his sums don’t add up.”


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