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Starmer refuses to commit to unfreezing tax thresholds if Labour wins election | Politics News

Sir Keir Starmer has refused to commit to unfreezing tax thresholds if Labour wins the next general election, saying he won’t make promises he can’t keep.

However, the Labour leader was firmer in his position on inheritance tax, telling Sky News if the Tories reduce it, he will reverse that change because he does not believe “further tax cuts for those that are very wealthy” is the right way forward.

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He also warned the Tories he will meet their “fire with fire” as he expects Rishi Sunak will “go low” in a fiercely contested general election.

It comes after the prime minister indicated he will call the national vote in the second half of this year.

Sir Keir, who is about 20 points ahead in the polls, accused the Tory leader of “squatting in Downing Street” and called for an election “as soon as possible”.

When asked by our political editor Beth Rigby if a Labour government would commit to cutting taxes “on day one”, Sir Keir said his priority would be to grow the economy “because that’s been the single biggest failure of the last 14 years”.

He added: “We have said on taxes that we do want to lower the burden of working people, but that has got to be fair and it’s got to be affordable.

“And we’re likely to have a budget before the election, whatever the date is, so nobody quite knows the state of affairs.”

Pressed specifically on whether he would unfreeze tax thresholds – having criticised these as “stealth taxes” – he said: “I’m not going to make promises that I can’t keep.”

The government’s policy is to keep income tax and national insurance thresholds frozen until 2028, meaning millions of workers will be pushed into higher tax bands because of inflation.

Although Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has since announced a cut to National Insurance of two percentage points, the frozen tax thresholds mean the election will happen at a time when the tax burden is at a record post-war…

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This notice was published: 2024-01-04 15:26:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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