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What the Labour landslide victory means for your personal taxes

As the nation wakes up to a Labour landslide victory today, we take a look at what this means for individuals’ taxes over the coming years.

Labour's manifesto contained no tax surprises but did set out plans to generate £8.6 billion in extra tax revenue through a range of previously announced policies:-

  • Closing further non-dom tax loopholes and investing in reducing tax avoidance (£5,230m) (NB. Notwithstanding the description this includes broader measures to reduce the tax gap)
  • Applying VAT and business rates to private schools (£1,510m)
  • Closing carried interest tax loophole (£565m)
  • Increasing SDLT on purchases of residential property by non-UK residents by 1% (£40m)
  • Windfall tax on oil and gas giants (£1,200m)

 The party plans also include:

  • ruling out increasing rates of income tax, NI, corporation tax and VAT. 
  • Capping corporation tax at the current level of 25%
  • Retaining a permanent full expensing system for capital investment
  • Replacing business rates with a new system to level the playing field between the high street and online giants.
  • Publish a roadmap for business taxation for the next parliament.
  • Commitment to one major fiscal event a year – rather than the current mix of Spring and Autumn events.
  • improving tax compliance, modernising HMRC, changing the law to tackle tax avoidance, increasing registration and reporting requirements, enhancing HMRC’s powers, investing in new technology and building capacity within HMRC. 

Responding to the manifesto, Paul Johnson from the IFS described the tax and spending increases announced as ‘trivial’, warning Labour has left itself “no room” within fiscal rules for any more spending than planned by the current government.

It appears that Labour will maintain existing plans to keep income tax thresholds frozen if it wins the election. The freeze on the personal allowance is set to continue until 2028, under the “stealth taxation” developed by the current government over the last few years. IHT allowances are also frozen and CGT allowances have been cut. Labour have said that when the finances allow they want to raise thresholds, but the figures are very tight at the moment.  

The Financial Times reports that Labour has dropped plans to reintroduce the pensions lifetime allowance, with concern it would add uncertainty for savers and be complex to deliver. Labour have also said they cannot match the Conservatives’ 2p cut to national insurance because “the money simply isn’t there”. The Conservatives did challenge Labour to match their pledge to freeze the number of council tax bands. While a spokesman has said reforming council tax is “not something that we’re planning to do”, the current valuation of properties for council tax is much criticised as being over 30 years out of date and there is some logic in reviewing this.

Caveat: Bloomberg Economics has also produced analysis to show that substantial tax rises are likely to be needed to meet the “fiscal rules” set by the Tories but also agreed by Labour, that debt as a share of GDP should fall by the 5th year. They estimate that “further fiscal tightening” of around £45bn will be required by 2028-29, i.e. major tax increases or substantial expenditure cuts (a further period of “austerity”?).

As the dust settles, all eyes are now on Labour to see how they will use their huge majority to change tax policies in reality. 

Find out more about In Irwin Mitchell’s specialist tax team who are able to help advise any clients who want specific advice on actions they might take in response to these proposals. 

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