Labour proposes tax hike to pay for public services

19 Apr 17

Labour says the party wants to pay for public services through a proposed tax hike on people earning more than £70,000.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said “rich” people could be taxed more if Labour were to return to government following the snap election in June, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning,

The money raised through the party's “fair taxation system” would be used to pay for public services, he said.

McDonnell told Radio 4 listeners the "rich" would be classed as people earning £70,000 or £80,000 a year as "that’s roughly defined as what people feel is an earning whereby people feel they can pay more".

He added: “We will be looking to see how we ensure a fair taxation system and, to be frank, what we’ll be doing is we’ll be looking to the corporations and the rich to pay their share.

“You look at what’s happening in this country at the moment and you see that the burden in terms of the tax take has fallen on middle and low earners, below the higher tax bands.”

The proposal to increase taxes on those above the £70,000 threshold would affect a number of public sector workers.

A study by the Taxpayers’ Alliance recently revealed the number of council employees earning more than £100,000 had risen from last year.

McDonnell denied his party was targeting the well off. “What we have said is that we want a fair system of taxation to pay for our public services,” he said.

Labour is expected to publish details of this proposal in its manifesto for the June election.

The Green Party criticised McDonnell for not committing to whether the general level of taxation would rise if his party was elected to government.

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, said: “It’s deeply disappointing to hear the shadow chancellor back away from a radical shakeup of the tax system to truly redistribute wealth and support our public services.

“The truth is that anyone paying higher rate tax is in the top 15% of earners in the country, and we should be asking them to pay more to stop our NHS crumbling and our welfare state being destroyed."

The general level of taxation in the country should be going up, Bartley stated. The Green Party would "reveal bold tax plan which would provide Britain with world-leading public services” in the coming weeks, he added.

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