Where the Labour leadership candidates stand on tax

11 August 2015

George Bull 

With the contest for the Labour Party leadership hotting up, we’ve been taking a look at the tax policies of the four contestants. Based on the manifestos published by Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Burnham, and on speeches and interviews given by each of the four, this is what we have discovered:

Jeremy Corbyn (see manifesto here) Commitment to make the tax system more progressive.

  • Implementing stronger anti-avoidance rules.
  • Aiming for country-by-country reporting for multinational corporations.
  • Reforming small business taxation to tackle avoidance and evasion.
  • Enforcing proper regulation of companies in the UK to 'ensure that they pay what they owe'.
  • Reversing cuts to HMRC staff and at Companies House while also taking on more staff, to ensure taxes are collected.
  • Scrapping university tuition fees and restoring maintenance grants with a 7 per cent rise in National Insurance for anyone earning over £50,000 a year and a 2.5 per cent rise in corporation tax or slowing the pace of deficit reduction.
  • Large reductions in £93bn of corporate tax relief and subsidies.

Andy Burnham (see manifesto here)

  • Replacing university tuition fees with a graduate tax.
  • Opposes government moves to limit child tax credits to two children.
  • Supports 50p tax rate.
  • Wants to rebalance the tax system, including examining the case for a Land Value Tax to replace business rates, to ensure it supports growth and does not stifle those who are starting up or building their business.

Yvette Cooper

  • Opposes government moves to limit child tax credits to two children.
  • Supports 50p tax rate.
  • Backs a graduate tax.
  • All publicly funded social care services to pay the living wage, to be funded by closing tax loopholes used by large corporates and the hedge fund industry.

Liz Kendall

  • Supports position of not opposing George Osborne's tax credit cuts.
  • Thinks the party should not support a top rate of tax of 50p on a permanent basis.
  • More power and responsibility given to councils over business rates.
  • Opposed to Conservatives’ cut in inheritance tax – would spend the money on a revolution in early years services instead.

More is sure to emerge in the debates and statements over the next week, so watch this space…