COR­BYN’S £83BN TAX ROB­BERY

His ‘Marx­ist man­i­festo’ is branded not cred­i­ble

Scottish Daily Mail - - The Brexmas Election - By Daniel Martin Pol­icy Ed­i­tor

FAM­I­LIES face a triple whammy of tax rises, price hikes and lower wages as a re­sult of Jeremy Cor­byn’s ‘colos­sal’ so­cial­ist spend­ing splurge, ex­perts warned last night.

Launch­ing Labour’s ‘man­i­festo of hope’ yes­ter­day, Mr Cor­byn said he would raise taxes by £83bil­lion a year, bor­row £400bil­lion and spend hun­dreds of bil­lions more on a 1970s-style na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of key sec­tors of the econ­omy.

The man­i­festo pro­posed 12 new tax rises – but ex­perts warned even these would not be enough to fund the plans.

Mr Cor­byn also de­clared war on as­pi­ra­tion – scrap­ping the right-to-buy for coun­cil ten­ants, end­ing tax breaks for mar­ried cou­ples, un­veil­ing a £725mil­lion hike in in­her­i­tance tax, slap­ping a swinge­ing tax on sec­ond homes, and putting VAT on pri­vate school fees.

The ex­tra­or­di­nary 107-page doc­u­ment was drawn up by Mr Cor­byn and shadow chan­cel­lor John McDon­nell, a self­de­clared Marx­ist who has boasted of his dream of ‘over­throw­ing cap­i­tal­ism’.

The pro­posed tax hikes are 71 per cent higher than those out­lined in Labour’s 2017 man­i­festo, which it­self was seen as the most Left-wing prospec­tus since Michael Foot’s 1983 man­i­festo, dubbed ‘the long­est sui­cide note in his­tory’.

Labour’s mas­sive tax grab would fund a huge pack­age of elec­toral bribes de­signed to re­vive Mr Cor­byn’s flag­ging elec­toral for­tunes.

The man­i­festo of­fered to pro­vide a huge range of ser­vices free of charge, in­clud­ing so­cial care, stu­dent tu­ition fees, broadband, TV li­cences for the over-75s, den­tal checks and hos­pi­tal car park­ing fees.

Mr Cor­byn and Mr McDon­nell say the ‘colos­sal’ tax grab would af­fect only big busi­ness and those earn­ing more than £80,000 a year.

But in­de­pen­dent an­a­lysts rub­bished the claim – and warned that Labour’s ex­tra­or­di­nary plans would hit mil­lions of or­di­nary fam­i­lies in the pocket.

The Institute for Fis­cal Stud­ies (IFS) warned Labour’s huge tax raid on busi­ness would be ‘passed on to com­pa­nies’ em­ploy­ees through lower wages, and cus­tomers through higher prices – and that means all of us’.

The in­de­pen­dent think-tank said Labour’s plans would push the over­all tax bur­den ‘well above lev­els sus­tained in the UK since the Sec­ond World War’.

The cen­tre-Left Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion added that Labour’s plans would ‘take the size of the state to a post-war high, out­side of re­ces­sions’. The or­gan­i­sa­tion pre­dicted that un­der Labour the state’s share of GDP would rise to 45.1 per cent within five years – over­tak­ing Ger­many. The warn­ings came as:

■ Labour con­firmed that it would na­tion­alise the rail­ways, wa­ter com­pa­nies, en­ergy firms, Royal Mail, and broadband arm of BT;

■ The party in­di­cated it would look to keep free move­ment of peo­ple even if Bri­tain leaves the EU;

■ Its man­i­festo axed plans for fur­ther rises in the state pen­sion age in the com­ing years, de­spite warn­ings it would cost tens of bil­lions in the fu­ture;

■ It pledged to scrap anti-strike laws brought in by the Tories;

■ Labour pro­posed a £9 bil­lion in­crease in ben­e­fit spend­ing, re­vers­ing years of re­straint;

■ Its man­i­festo promised a 5 per

‘Over­throw­ing cap­i­tal­ism’

cent in­crease in pub­lic sec­tor pay at a cost of £5bil­lion a year – a key de­mand of Labour’s union pay­mas­ters;

■ Mr Cor­byn said Labour would build another 2,000 on­shore wind farms – a rise of nearly 30 per cent.

■ Labour dropped Mr Cor­byn’s pledge to wipe out £120bil­lion of stu­dent debt;

■ Mr Cor­byn sowed fresh con­fu­sion over Labour’s Brexit pol­icy by re­ply­ing ‘both’ when asked if he wanted to leave the EU or re­main.

IFS di­rec­tor Paul John­son said it was ‘sim­ply not cred­i­ble’ to claim Labour’s plans could be funded just by taxes on the well-off. He added: ‘If you want to trans­form the scale and scope of the state then you need to be clear that the tax in­creases re­quired to do that will need to be widely shared, rather than pre­tend­ing that ev­ery­thing can be paid for by com­pa­nies and the rich.

‘It is im­pos­si­ble to un­der­state how ex­tra­or­di­nary this man­i­festo is in terms of the sheer scale of money being spent and raised through the tax sys­tem.

‘The Labour man­i­festo sug­gests they would raise all of that from com­pa­nies and peo­ple earn­ing more than £80,000 a year. That is sim­ply not cred­i­ble.’

Fact-check­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion Full Fact said it was ‘not true’ that Labour’s plans would not hit peo­ple on mid­dle in­comes.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion cited the plan to scrap the mar­riage al­lowance as an ex­am­ple of a tax raid on peo­ple on lower in­comes.

‘Scrap­ping the al­lowance will hit 1.7mil­lion cou­ples who ben­e­fit from a tax break worth about £230 a year.

The al­lowance is avail­able only to those peo­ple earn­ing less than £50,000 a year.

At a launch event in Birm­ing­ham, Mr Cor­byn said that Labour was of­fer­ing ‘real change’, with poli­cies that the ‘po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment’ has blocked for gen­er­a­tions.

Boris John­son, who will launch the Con­ser­va­tives’ man­i­festo on Sun­day, said none of Labour’s prom­ises was cred­i­ble.

He added: ‘What we want to know is, what is his plan to de­liver Brexit? ‘Un­til we get Brexit done, none of this car­ries any eco­nomic cred­i­bil­ity what­so­ever.’

Com­ment – Page 22

‘Pack­age of elec­toral bribes’

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