Labour refuses to rule out possibility of mid-academic year rise in private school fees

28 May 2024, 20:32 | Updated: 28 May 2024, 20:43

Changes in VAT exemption for private schools won't happen before the next budget
Changes in VAT exemption for private schools won't happen before the next budget. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Labour has refused to rule out the possibility of a mid-academic year rise in private school fees.

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Speaking to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said the VAT rise on private school fees will not come in before the next budget.

However, she said she could not rule out the removal of the exemption being introduced in the middle of the next academic year.

“There will be no tax rises beyond that which Labour has already announced," Ms Haigh said.

“Rachel has been very clear there will be no income tax or national insurance rises – we have opposed and pointed out the fact the tax burden is at the highest rate since World War Two.

“We want to lower that burden on working people. Our plan is to grow the economy and fund public services in a different way. We have set out some tax rises for specific injections into the NHS.”

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When asked if it meant there would not be a planned private school VAT rise for the next academic year, Ms Haigh said: "I believe that would be right.

"There would have to be a finance bill alongside a budget-  but I would have to double check that with my shadow secretary colleagues, but that sounds like that would be right."

She went on to say that the party's main focus was on "economic stability" if it wins the election.

"I don’t know about the exact timings, but what Rachel said this morning is there wouldn’t be a budget because she’d want to give Office of Budget Responsibility 10 full weeks to assess our plans for government," she said.

"Rachel has been very, very clear that we are bound by our strict fiscal rules and that our number one rule is securing economic stability and that it why it’s important to give the OBR time to assess our plans."