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Starmer says Labour Government will not raise income tax for top earners

23 Jun 2023 4 minute read
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer chairs a meeting with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves. Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Sir Keir Starmer has said he wants “to lower taxes” as he indicated income tax for top earners will not be raised under a Labour government.

The Labour leader also vowed to keep Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, who drew some criticism after a shock interest rate hike, in post until 2028.

The party has backed away from tax rises since Sir Keir pledged to increase income tax for the top 5% of earners during his 2020 leadership bid.

Asked about that promise, Sir Keir told the Telegraph: “Obviously, in principle, I want to lower taxes, so that’s the driving principle.

“As for the exact numbers, obviously we may have to wait until closer to the election. There are two, possibly three fiscal events until the next election, and we need to see what the [Office for National Statistics] numbers make of the financial situation.

“But in principle, I want lower taxation. We’re not looking to the lever of taxation, we’re looking to the lever of growth.”

Growth

Sir Keir has stated his ambition to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7 group of advanced economies if his party gains power at the next election, expected next year.

He also promised to respect the “really fundamental” independence of the Bank of England.

Asked whether he wanted to see Mr Bailey’s eight-year-term end early, he said: “No, no, no. We respect the independence.”

He also told the newspaper that a Labour government would “codify” in law the convention that MPs must approve military interventions, meaning all future military action would need to be approved in the House of Commons.

“Obviously there are going to be urgent situations where that might not be possible [and] I don’t know what we need, whether we need legislation is another matter. But the codification of the practice I think is important,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Labour leader was said to have had a brush with the law while selling ice-creams as part of a student summer holiday business venture that proved not to be legal.

Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, had his “ice-creams confiscated” by police while touting for trade on beaches in the French Riviera during his university years, according to a friend.

John Murray, a university friend of Sir Keir, said the pair, along with other acquaintances, travelled to the south of France as students after seeing an advertisement claiming they could earn hundreds of pounds per day selling cold refreshments on the French Riviera.

Mr Murray told Politico’s Westminster Insider podcast their experience did not live up to the billing, spending their time “almost as beach bums” and making about “four francs a day” from their small business.

During their stay in the picturesque region, he said the friends discovered the trade was “not legal”, meaning they were forced to dodge French authorities while selling their cold wares.

Mr Murray said: “The place was overrun with other beach sellers, because they’d all been suckered into thinking they’d earn hundreds of pounds a day.

“Then we found out it was actually not legal, so we spent our time kind of avoiding being arrested.

“To be honest, I did get arrested. But all that happened was you had your ice creams confiscated, got a receipt, then had to walk back to the beach without your flip flops.”

When asked if Sir Keir had also been detained, Mr Murray said: “I can’t say… I think he probably had his ice-creams confiscated.”

A Labour spokeswoman said: “We are happy to make clear that no arrests were made, or even names taken, and that the only loss of liberty occurred to some cut-price ice-creams.”


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Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
9 months ago

Yet more evidence, if any were needed that Starmer is a Tory!

A.Redman
A.Redman
9 months ago

Imagine if ever stories like this ever surfaced about BJ or the present PM.The Labour Party would be screaming from the the roof tops! As for yet another U turn on higher taxes for the top earners which was a major policy of their last pre election manifesto, words fail! Much like the weather , the public are never too sure what to expect from Labour!🤔
.

hdavies15
hdavies15
9 months ago

Keir looking after his own kind, no surprise there. I wouldn’t find it quite so objectionable if his regime set about dismantling the complex network of allowances and other mitigations that are in reality only available to those on the higher incomes. Also the HMRC failure to collect what is due under present rules is a matter of concern. One thing for sure, Sunak’s mob won’t do anything about these matters so Starmer could take credit from acting on them.

George Thomas
George Thomas
9 months ago

The good news is that Starmer has record for changing his mind so this might not stick as policy beyond next week. The bad news is that Starmer is currently listening to Lord Mandelson so any policy more center-right than left has best chance of staying. It looks like Starmer’s Labour will win, it looks like they’ll do some good things with housing and the environment (probably not enough but much more than Tories) but will otherwise be indistinguishable from the Tories. The right of the party (that which chases after Tory voters) will use this as evidence that left… Read more »

Robert Williams
Robert Williams
9 months ago
Reply to  George Thomas

Very well put, George, if I may say so. Is Keir Starmer prepared to do anything at all different in principle from the present appalling apology for a government? And why can’t he argue that taxes are not a burden but a necessity in a civilised society?

Riki
Riki
9 months ago

Different colours, Ever the same government.

Maesglas
Maesglas
9 months ago

Sir Flip Flop is at it again trying desperately hard to make sure that Labour policy is almost identical to the Tories. UK Labour are a party paralyzed by fear who seem to believe in nothing other than getting power. We need radical thinking and new ideas to get us our of the mess we are in. But Starmer is bereft of ideas. If he gets power it will be more of the same and I doubt that will end well for the next Labour government.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
9 months ago
Reply to  Maesglas

It wouldn’t be too bad if there were politicians in Wales who were using this to promote the idea of an independent Wales that could deliver that which Starmer has reneged on.

It would be good if there were some from Plaid and the more progressive elements of Indy supporting Labour and Greens could focus on those abandoned policies that could deliver what ordinary people need.

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
9 months ago

The Man in charge of the labour party is a SIR SAY no MORE

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
9 months ago

Keir Starmer has clearly forgotten that his page of 10 pledges is still online:

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
9 months ago

It’s almost as if Starmer doesn’t want to win the next election, useless Blairite

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