'It's unjustifiable': Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson blasts Tories for tax breaks on private schools

29 November 2022, 16:55 | Updated: 29 November 2022, 18:12

Bridget Phillipson explains why Labour wants to scrap tax breaks for Private schools

By Grace Parsons

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson says scrapping private school tax benefits is the obvious choice to raise money in the UK, calling out Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt for not already applying the policy.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson called out Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt for continuing with private school tax benefits despite the country being in an economic crisis.

The current policy means private schools do not have to charge VAT of 20 per cent on fees.

The Labour MP told Shelagh Fogarty: "I think it's unjustifiable to continue with those kinds of tax benefits when we know there is pressure on public finances...which has been made considerably worse because the Conservatives have crashed the economy. I see no good reason why Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have decided not to press ahead with this."

This follows the news that Keir Starmer's intends to retain Jeremy Corbyn's policy of scrapping charitable status for private schools in the next Labour manifesto.

Bridget Phillipson explained: "We will end the tax benefits that private schools enjoy be cause we want to put that money into delivering a brilliant state education for every child."

The MP for Houghton and Sunderland South highlighted the benefits: "With that 1.7billion that we could raise, that gives you 6500 new teachers in our state schools, better mental health support for our children...but also it would allow us to ensure that all children and young people get access to high quality career guidance and work experience."

Mother says scrapped tax breaks means she wouldn't be able to send her special needs child to school

Under the move, around 90,000 pupils could be forced to switch to state school as parents would be priced out of paying for private school.

When questioned about taking away opportunities for children, the Shadow Education Secretary said: "This is about delivering excellence for everyone...I've got big ambitious for all of our children...but we have to make sure that our state schools are getting the resources they need."

"93% of children are in state schools and if I were Education Secretary they'd be my priority," vowed the Labour MP.

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