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Labour plans ‘fat cat’ tax to curb excessive pay

Jeremy Corbyn
Corbyn addressing Unison members in Glasgow earlier this year (photo by Terry Murden)

Labour plans to introduce a “fat cat” tax which will see big businesses, city banks and Premier League clubs paying a levy on big pay packages.

The party’s manifesto will include measures to curb excessive pay by charging companies a 2.5% levy on earnings above £330,000 and 5% on those above £500,000.

Companies would have to pay £4,250 extra for every worker receiving £500,000 in pay and perks. For a person earning £1m a year, that would rise to £29,250.

The party has already announced that it intends to hike taxes and borrowing to nationalise the energy, rail and mail services if it is elected on 8 June, according to a leaked copy of its manifesto. It is also targeting the water industry for a return to public ownership.

It is also ruling out any prospect of a second independence referendum for Scotland, a hardening of leader Jeremy Corbyn’s position from two months ago. It is thought Scottish Labour pressure has forced the change of view.

Regarding its tax plans, about £20 billion a year will be raised by reversing the cuts to corporation tax introduced by George Osborne since 2010.

Labour says its plans will cost £48.6bn which is covered by tax and borrowing. Income tax would increase to 45p for people earning over £80,000, and 50p for those on more than £123,000.

The party would return powers to the trade unions – including increased unionisation across the workforce and repealing last year’s Trade Union Act.

It intends to scrap the public sector pay cap, hire 10,000 police officers and ban “zero hours” contracts.

In a move mirroring Theresa May’s plans it would place a price cap on the energy suppliers.  It promises to ban fracking, maintain nuclear power, cut the voting age to 16 and increase tax for the top-earning 5% in society.

The triple lock protecting the state pension would be maintained, and the retirement age would not increase beyond 66.

University tuition fees in England will be abolished entirely, and town halls in England and Wales will be ordered to build 100,000 council houses a year under a new UK Department for Housing. Thousands of homes will be offered to rough sleepers.

The party pledges renewal of the Trident weapons system and suggests Labour will not leave the EU without a deal.

Labour insists every measure is fully costed – and the manifesto includes a firm commitment to get rid of the deficit and balance Britain’s day-to-day budget by the end of the next Parliament.

The party will raise borrowing by £250bn over the next decade.

The manifesto has been described as the most left wing in a generation.

Mr Corbyn told supporters that his manifesto would “transform” Britain. “It doesn’t have to be like this,” he said.

In response to the manifesto a Conservative Party spokesman said: “The commitments in this dossier will rack up tens of billions of extra borrowing for our families and will put Brexit negotiations at risk.”

The 43-page document also says Labour will ensure that 60% of the UK’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030.

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