Jeremy Hunt challenges Keir Starmer not to raise property taxes as row over public finances rumbles on

5 June 2024, 22:40

Jeremy Hunt has challenged Keir Starmer not to raise property taxes
Jeremy Hunt has challenged Keir Starmer not to raise property taxes. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Jeremy Hunt has challenged Keir Starmer not to raise property taxes if Labour come to power after the General Election.

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer unveiled a new Conservative pledge not to raise capital gains tax and stamp duty, or increase the number of council tax bands.

Mr Hunt called on Labour leader Sir Keir to match his party's "family home tax guarantee".

It comes after a day when Labour and the Conservatives have been rowing about tax, which the Tories believe shows a divide between the two parties.

Rishi Sunak repeatedly accused Sir Keir of wanting to raise households' taxes by around £2,000 in a debate on Tuesday night. Sir Keir said this was "garbage" and later accused Mr Sunak of breaking the ministerial code.

Read more: Rishi Sunak ‘breached ministerial code’ over Labour tax hike claim in leaders’ debate, Keir Starmer tells LBC

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On Wednesday evening, the Conservatives said that, if they won the election, they would not increase the number of council tax bands, re-evaluate council tax revaluation or cut council tax discounts.

They said they would keep private residence relief, so people do not pay capital gains tax on their main home when they sell it.

They also said they would not increase the rate or level of stamp duty, in a show of support for homeowners.

Criticising Labour, the Tories pointed to a paper Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves wrote in 2018 advocating council tax re-evaluations, which could result in higher taxes for many.

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Mr Hunt said: "We know that Keir Starmer is going to raise your taxes by £2,094 but he won’t tell you where that money is going to come from because he doesn’t have a plan.

“Rachel Reeves has previously called for a range of damaging new taxes on the family home just like Labour are looking at doing in Labour-run Wales; and that means she and Keir Starmer are coming for your family home. 

“Only Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives will protect your family home to give you peace of mind with our guarantee that there will be no rises in such taxes for the whole of the next Parliament.”

Labour did not address the claims directly, but a spokesman said: "We will not be raising taxes on working people. The Conservatives cannot be trusted on tax and taxes are at a 70-year high on their watch.

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Alamy

"These are more desperate claims from Rishi Sunak who lied to the British people before and is lying to them again."

It comes after the first televised debate on Tuesday, when Mr Sunak repeatedly accused Labour of planning to hike taxes for the average household by £2,000, claiming that analysis showed Labour has a £38.5bn blackhole in its spending plans

Sir Keir told LBC on Wednesday that Mr Sunak breached the ministerial code in doing so.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Alamy

He said of Mr Sunak: "He lied, and he lied deliberately. Because we have made clear that our plans our fully costed, fully funded, they do not involve tax rises for working people. So that’s no income tax rise, no national insurance rise, no VAT rise”.

Sir Keir continued: “The Prime Minister with his back against the wall, desperately trying to defend his awful record in office, resorted to lies and he knew what he was doing, he knew very well what he was doing. He lied about our plans and that is a true test of character".

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