Day One of Conference and Labour’s Made £165 Billion of Unfunded Spending Promises, So Far

Today Labour’s new shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves announced the party would scrap business rates to try and boost the high street – a policy that would reduce HMRC’s revenue by £25 billion. Asked about the policy announcement on Politics Live, Emily Thornberry suggested the digital services tax would be increased from 2% to 12% to pay for it – a tax increase that, even if it excluded tech firms scarpering abroad – would raise just £2.5 billion. Did Diane help with the sums?

Guido’s taken some time to look over Labour’s current tax and spend policies, and spots a rather large discrepancy between the two figures:


  • Scrap business rates – £25 billion a year
  • Green investment deal – £28 billion a year
  • Reinstate Universal Credit £20 uplift – over £6 billion a year
  • Supported Kevan Collins’s full schools catch up package – £15 billion

Opposing the government’s tax rises/spending cuts:

  • Opposed the health and social care levy – £12 billion a year
  • Opposed corporation tax increase – £48 billion* by 2025
  • Opposed maintaining income tax personal thresholds at the March Budget – raising £19.2 billion by 2025
  • Opposed public sector pay freeze – saving £4.7 billion a year
  • Opposed the temporary switch from a triple to a double pensions lock – saving £5 billion a year
  • Opposed cutting foreign aid to 0.5% – saving £4.5 billion a year
  • Opposed extending ability of councils to raise tax – saving £2 billion a year

Total: £170 billion

Labour’s proposed revenue raisers:

  • Scrap charitable status for private schools – +£1.7 billion a year
  • Increase tax on private equity firms – +£500 million a year
  • Increase Digital Services Tax from existing 2% to 12% – +£2.5 billion
  • Scrapping Boris’s trade yacht – £300 million one-off saving
  • Office for Value for Money – Unknown
  • Global 15% minimum rate of corporation tax – irrelevant as UK rate is higher anyway

Total: £5 billion

Maybe Labour in Communications was right – Starmer should stop announcing policy if he wants to get near No. 10…

*If you believe the Treasury.

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