Starmer hints at income tax hike, refusing to rule out 45p rate rise

Keir Starmer hints at income tax hike by refusing to rule out raising 45p rate if he becomes Prime Minister

  • Labour leader keeping options open including higher income tax rate
  • As millions to go polls, Starmer said he wants to bring in ‘fair taxation system’
  • There has been speculation Sir Keir will reintroduce Brown’s 50p top tax rate
  • Starmer said PM’s national insurance rise is ‘the wrong tax at the wrong time’

Sir Keir Starmer yesterday opened the door to raising income tax if Labour win the next general election.

He said in an interview that if he became Prime Minister he would bring in a ‘fair taxation system’ for working people.

The Labour leader ducked the question when asked whether this included an increase in the top rate of income tax, currently 45p payable on income over £150,000.

He did not reject the suggestion, saying merely that he would set out Labour’s full taxation plans before the election. 

Labour leader Starmer (pictured in 2020) ducked the question when asked if he’d raise taxes

There has been speculation that Sir Keir hopes to revive the 50p top tax rate imposed by the last Labour government.

His comments came a day after he vowed to target the middle classes with tax rises on shares and dividends if he wins the next election. 

The Labour leader described the Prime Minister’s national insurance rise as ‘the wrong tax at the wrong time’.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he would target ‘stocks and shares and dividends’, although he said it was too early to bring forward details.

Sir Keir (pictured yesterday) said he wants a ‘fair tax system that would look across the board at how people make their money’

Last month, national insurance went up by 1.25 per cent to raise £12billion a year for NHS and social care spending. 

Sir Keir said: ‘We would have a fair tax system that would look across the board at how people make their money, not just working people in work, not just business people paying national insurance.

‘Stocks and shares and dividends, we would look across the piece at a fair tax system to raise the necessary money.’ 

Asked how he would raise the £12billion, the Labour leader said: ‘We would be fair to working people. 

‘We would go aggressively after money lost to fraud, money lost to bad contracts.’

Labour yesterday appeared to be in a muddle over whether it wanted to cancel the 1.25 per cent national insurance rise. 

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves demanded an emergency budget to reverse the increase.

But when asked on Good Morning Britain whether Labour would scrap it if they won an election, Sir Keir said: ‘I don’t know what the state of the economy will then be.

‘We will set out our plans when we get to the election, in full. We’ve set out the principles that will apply – it will be a fair taxation system particularly for working people. 

‘But at this stage, two years out, I don’t know what the state of the economy will be.’

However, Miss Reeves said: ‘The costs of everything in the shops are going up, which is why we need an emergency budget and the national insurance contribution increase should be scrapped.’

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