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Labour to ‘adapt funding plans’ in light of Budget announcements

06 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Photo UK Parliament/Andy Bailey

Labour will have to “adapt” some of its spending plans following the Budget, the party said as it accused the Government of having “burned down the house” on the public finances.

Wednesday’s announcements saw the Chancellor adopt two key Labour policies – scrapping the “non-dom” tax status and extending the windfall tax on oil and gas companies – that the opposition had hoped would fund its spending commitments if it won the next election.

The move poses a problem for Labour, which said it would not seek to reverse Wednesday’s national insurance cut that was paid for in part by the windfall tax and non-dom changes.

But a spokesman for the party said it remained committed to providing extra NHS appointments and breakfast clubs for every primary school child despite the changes, and would still look to raise money by closing “loopholes” in the windfall tax.

Adapt

He told reporters that Labour would examine the Government’s proposals and “adapt our funding plans accordingly” before setting them out “in due course”, refusing to be drawn on the details of spending plans but stressing that all the party’s manifesto commitments would be “fully funded, fully costed”.

The party has been keen to put pressure on the Prime Minister and the Chancellor after they both repeatedly rejected proposals to scrap the non-dom status on the grounds it would not raise money.

Desperate

The spokesman described the decision as a “humiliating U-turn”, while in the Commons, Sir Keir Starmer said it was “a desperate move” after “years of resistance”.

He said: “Has there ever been a more obvious example of a Government that is totally bereft of ideas?

“And if they’re sincere in support of this policy now, then the question they must answer today is why did they not do it earlier? Why did they not stand up to their friends, their funders and their family?

“Because if they had followed Labour’s example, 3.8 million extra operations would have taken place by now, 1.3 million emergency dental appointments, free breakfast clubs for nearly 4.5 million children. But if instead this is just another short-term, cynical political gimmick then honestly, what is the point of them?”

After the statement, the party spokesman was keen to emphasise the difficult inheritance Labour would face if it won the next election, and laid the blame for this inheritance at the Conservatives’ door.

He said: “We are under no illusions about how bad the inheritance will be if we are to win the next election.

“They have literally burned the house down when it comes to both the public finances and public services.”


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Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

I cant bear this Labour party. We’ve had 14 years of slash and burn. Our public services are broken. Our living standards have fallen significantly as have our wages in real terms. Now a look at tax take and profits is quite revelatory. The UK tax/GDP ratio has increased a little following Lettuce Truss’ disastrous term as PM but it remains some 5% below the EU average. To put that in context, that equates to nearly £114Bn in tax that is lost to the treasury every year. So that equates to £6.7Bn tax revenue for Wales. Yet somehow the Tories… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Yes, it does rather seem like that. It is worth noting that the majority of the Labour Party membership have been in favour of taxing the rich for some time. It is just the leadership cabal that is afraid of the idea and so block it. Interesting fact – for every extra £ spent on staffing HMRC the extra tax take is £18. Nice little investment I would think for any Government. Cameron, in his brief period as PM got through parliament a provision for HMRC to be able to sue firms that set up the tax avoidance schemes that… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

I agree that there a great many Labour members who are thoroughly decent people. I count some friends amongst them. The most promising grassroots movement of recent times was snuffed out, in no small part, by Labour’s Right. I read the leaked internal report into Labour’s 2017 GE campaign. Out and out civil war. Labour members deliberately acting to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM. A genuine betrayal of the working class IMHO.

Last edited 1 month ago by Annibendod

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