Labour to tax top earners ‘to help the many’

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Labour has set out plans to raise an extra £6.4bn a year from the top 5% of earners in the country to pay for “a fairer, more prosperous society for the many, not just the few”.

It said the money could be raised by setting the threshold for the 45p rate of income tax at £80,000 instead of £150,000 and introducing a new 50p rate on earnings over £123,000.

Outlining pledges to nationalise water, energy, railways and the Royal Mail, Jeremy Corbyn took aim at Tory leader Theresa May.

:: Labour’s manifesto about taking back control

Jeremy CorbynVideo:Corbyn manifesto launch highlights

Responding to a suggestion by Sky’s Political Editor Faisal Islam that the plans showed a return to policies last seen decades ago, the Labour leader said: “People talk about the 1970s … the other major party contesting this election is really, really forward looking.

“They’re going to bring back fox hunting and grammar schools – that sounds really 21st Century doesn’t it?”

The party said if it were to win the 8 June election it would spend nearly £50bn on public services.

The biggest single revenue raiser would be an increase in corporation tax from 19% to 26% by 2020, the 124-page manifesto promised.

:: Labour manifesto: What it says and what it means

Labour's manifesto. Pic: @jeremycorbyn

Image:Labour’s manifesto. Pic: @jeremycorbyn

But independent experts shed doubt on the sums the party said could be raised, and Mrs May hit back, saying Labour’s policies did not add up.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the tax revenue raised was “highly uncertain” and would depend on how high earners respond.

In addition, the nationalisation of water companies, rail and energy were not costed in the manifesto.

“This is a programme of hope. The Tory campaign by contrast is built on one word – fear,” said Mr Corbyn, launching the manifesto in Bradford.

“Our proposals are of hope for the many all over this country and I am very proud to present our manifesto for the many not the few.”

:: Business reacts to Labour’s manifesto pledges

preview imageVideo:Corbyn on going back to the 1970s

Labour is the first of the main political parties to unveil its General Election manifesto. Here are some of the top pledges:

:: Tax
An increase in corporation tax from 19% to 26% by 2020. Reintroduction of lower rate for small businesses.

A 45p income tax rate for those earning £80,000 plus, and the 50p rate would kick in at £123,000. The IFS said previously about proposals to reintroduce the 50p top tax rate that it would only bring in £100m.

:: Levy on “excessive” salaries
An excessive-pay charge on firms: 2.5% on earnings over £330,000 and 5% on those over £500,000.

:: Workers’ rights
A pledge to ban zero-hour contracts to guarantee workers a “number of hours each week”.

Labour says the cost of raising the living wage to £10 per hour by 2020 is zero. The IFS says it will hit low wage jobs and those it is intended to help.

:: Renationalision
Bringing the railways back into public ownership and reversing the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Plans include replacing “our dysfunctional water system” with a network of regional publicly owned water companies.

There is also a pledge to regain control of energy supply networks to keep fuel prices down and ensure a green energy policy for the future.

:: Immigration
There will be no “bogus targets”. Instead, the party “offers fair rules and reasonable management” of migration.

International students would not be included in immigration numbers, but there would be a crack down on “fake colleges”.

Ed ConwayVideo:Examining the detail of Labour’s manifesto

:: Health
A commitment of more than £30bn in extra funding over the next parliament.

The party would scrap the pay cap, and immediately guarantee the rights of EU staff.

:: Education
Labour plans to spend an additional £25.3bn a year on education (£6.3bn for schools alone) – more than half of the party’s total projected spend of £46.8bn.

Extend the provision of 30 hours a week of free childcare for all two to four-year-olds.

The party would scrap university tuition fees and reintroduce maintenance grants for students.

:: Brexit
The party says it would not accept Britain leaving the EU without a new trade deal. A “no deal” scenario would be “the worst possible deal”.

It says only Labour would negotiate a deal that preserves jobs and access to the single market (although the manifesto says Freedom of Movement will end when Britain leaves the EU).

A leaked copy of the party’s draft manifesto last week urged caution before ordering the use of nuclear weapons, but this has been removed from the final version.

On welfare, Sky’s Political Correspondent Tamara Cohen said Labour had “plumped for winding the clock back seven years”.

Cohen said: “If you can think of a benefit which was cut under the Coalition or the Tory party since 2010, it will be reinstated or at least reviewed.

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“The bedroom tax – scrapped. Housing benefit for under-21s – back. Sanctions and work assessments – gone. Disability benefits – back up to previous levels. Universal Credit cuts are getting a review.

“And on pensions, Labour is also being generous – keeping the triple lock and pensioner benefits. This is an open-ended spending commitment, for which the manifesto budgets a modest £4bn.”

Speaking during a campaign visit to a factory in Stoke-on-Trent, the Prime Minister said: “If you look across that manifesto, the question isn’t what people are promising but can you believe people will deliver what they are promising?

preview imageVideo:Voter: Labour will develop a better, fairer Britain

“You can only fund our National Health Service, you can only have the funding that we have made available in relation to the nation’s child care if you have got that strong economy.

“What we see from Labour’s proposals today is they don’t add up and their nonsensical economic policies mean that it is ordinary working families that would pay the price of Labour’s coalition of chaos.”

The Liberal Democrats said Labour’s pledges showed Mr Corbyn was “committed to Theresa May’s divisive Brexit and has given up on any hope of staying in the single market”.

Source – 

Labour to tax top earners ‘to help the many’

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