Labour plans £8bn tax raid on non-doms, private schools and energy giants, as Starmer heckled in manifesto launch

13 June 2024, 12:52 | Updated: 13 June 2024, 13:37

Keir Starmer has launched Labour's manifesto
Keir Starmer has launched Labour's manifesto. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Labour have said they will raise £8.6 billion in new tax revenue if they win the election, mostly through closing the non-dom loophole, charging private schools VAT and business rates and levying a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

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Sir Keir Starmer launched his party's General Election manifesto in Manchester on Thursday with a promise to drive "wealth creation" and transform the way the economy works.

He called the manifesto "a rejection of cynicism", and a "plan for growth" as he vowed to "rebuild our country."

Sir Keir said: "If you transform the nature of the jobs market, if you transform the infrastructure that supports investment in our economy, if you reform the planning regime, start to unlock the potential for billions on billions of pounds worth of projects that are ready to go, held up by the blockers of aspiration, then clearly, that does so much more for our long-term growth prospects."

The Labour leader was heckled by a climate protester as he spoke - and responded that Labour "gave up on being a party of protest five years ago in favour of being "a party in power."

Read more: Labour plan to give all primary school children free breakfasts - but shadow schools minister doesn't know how many

Read more: Starmer vows ‘no return to austerity’ under Labour but refuses to rule out cuts to public services

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

Labour said they would raise the extra £8.6 billion in tax receipts by 2028-29.

According to the manifesto, closing further non-dom tax loopholes and reducing tax avoidance will raise £5.2 billion, while applying VAT and business rates to private schools will bring in £1.5 billion.

The oil and gas windfall tax will raise £1.2 billion and closing the carried interest tax loophole will add £565 million to the public coffers. A further plan to increase stamp duty for non-UK residents by 1% is expected to raise £40 million.

Other key pledges in Labour's manifesto include:

  • Create 40,000 more NHS appointments per week, double the number of cancer scanners and enable 700,000 more urgent dentist appointments
  • Issue no new licenses to explore new oil and gas fields
  • Set up publicly owned energy company Great British Energy
  • Commit to recognising a Palestinian state as part of a peace process
  • Bring railways into public ownership as existing contracts run out
  • Give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote
  • Ban "indefensible" hereditary peers from the House of Lords, and enforce a Lords retirement age of 80

Read more: General Election LIVE: Labour manifesto to put "wealth creation" at its heart with focus on economic growth

The Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet. Picture: Alamy

Sir Keir promised that there would be "no tax rises that we haven't already announced".

He told reporters: "Yes, we want to bear down properly on the non-dom tax status and make sure the super rich pay their fair share in this country.

"Yes, we want the oil and gas companies to pay fair tax on the massive profits that they're making. 

"Yes, we want to make sure that private equity loopholes aren't there again for the wealthy. "

"We will take all of those measures - but what you won't see in this manifesto is any plan that requires tax rises over and above those that we have already set out."

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer with deputy leader Angela Rayner
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer with deputy leader Angela Rayner. Picture: Alamy

He hit back at accusations that the Labour's plan was a "Captain Caution" manifesto, in contrast to the Conservative manifesto that Rishi Sunak "threw the kitchen sink" at.

"It is a serious plan for the future of our country," Sir Keir told reporters.

"Every single policy in this document... has been carefully thought through and tested to ensure that we can deliver it.

"I'm not going to do what Rishi Sunak does, which is offer things that he can't deliver because they're unfunded. People have had too much of that, they're fed up with that."

Keir Starmer speaks on stage at the launch of The Labour party's 2024 general election manifesto
Keir Starmer speaks on stage at the launch of The Labour party's 2024 general election manifesto. Picture: Alamy

Asked by LBC's political editor Natasha Clark if he appreciated a warning by Conservative Defence Secretary Grant Shapps that Labour could win a "super-majority", Sir Keir said: "I don't take anything for granted as we go to the final three weeks of this campaign.

"Yes, we are enjoying the campaign, I won't deny that," he said. "We've waited four and a half years, we've worked for four and a half years to get to this point, election year, the chance to do what we came into politics to do which is to change the lives of millions of people for the better with a Labour government."

People listen as Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks on stage at the launch of The Labour party's 2024 general election manifesto
People listen as Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks on stage at the launch of The Labour party's 2024 general election manifesto. Picture: Alamy

Introducing the manifesto, Sir Keir said: "I am proud in this place, in this city, to launch Labour's General Election manifesto.

"A manifesto for wealth creation. A plan to change Britain.

"Because today, we can turn the page. Today we can lay a new foundation of stability and on that foundation, we can start to rebuild Britain.

"A Britain renewed by an old argument, that we serve working people as their ambition drives our country forward."

Sir Keir said the Tories had "disregarded" some places as areas that could drive economic growth, saying that those residents had been "ignored by the toxic idea" that economic dynamism is "something the few hand down to the many".

He said: "Opportunity is not spread evenly enough. And too many communities are not just locked out of the wealth we create.

"They're disregarded as sources of dynamism in the first place. Ignored by the toxic idea that economic growth is something that the few hand down to the many. Today, we turn the page on that forever."

Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer. Picture: Getty

The Labour leader said all of his policies are "fully funded and fully costed", adding that it was "non-negotiable" after the chaos unleashed by Liz Truss's mini-budget.

He said: "I make no apologies for being careful with working people's money, and no apologies for ruling out tax rises on working people."

He admitted that there wasn't a "magic wand" and that the UK's problems would not disappear overnight if Labour were elected.

"But what we do have, what this manifesto represents, is a credible long-term plan," he said. "A plan built on a stable foundation with clear first steps."

He said that the start there would be "hard road" ahead but a Labour government would provide "light at the certain destination".

Sir Keir told reporters: "We did the work properly, our responsibility to give a clear direction to businesses, communities, everyone invested in Britain's future.

"We took that seriously. So yes, those five national missions, safer streets, cleaner energy, more opportunity, the NHS back on its feet. They remain at the core of this manifesto.

Manifesto will set out steps for day one of a Labour government, says Starmer

"But if they are to offer hope and clarity through these times, if they are to show, despite the hard road, the light at the certain destination then we must keep to that road. No matter the short-term ebbs and flows of politics, even in a campaign.

"That's what mission-driven government needs. A chance to stop us bobbing along until the next crisis blows us off course and instead make sure we can keep going through the storm.

"Stability over chaos, long-term over short-term, an end to the desperate era of gestures and gimmicks and a return to the serious business of rebuilding our country."

Caller is frustrated at those who claim Starmer is 'Tory-lite'

The Conservatives responded to the manifesto by calling it a "tax trap".

Jeremy Hunt said: "This is Labour’s Tax Trap Manifesto which contains only tax rises and no tax cuts.

"Under Labour’s published plans, taxes will rise to levels never before seen in this country."

The Chancellor added: "So what’s most important is not what’s in Labour’s manifesto, but it’s what they have kept out of it.

"They are refusing to rule out taxing your job, your home, your pension, your car, your business and they think they can get away with it without anyone holding them to account. Be under no illusion, from cradle to grave you will pay more taxes under Labour."

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