Just seconds after claiming Labour’s “enormous discipline” means its spending commitments “have all been costed“, Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry forgot what her party’s tax policies actually are. Appearing on Politics Live this afternoon alongside Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake, Thornberry insisted Labour “don’t make an announcement without being able to show where the money comes from” – only to then admit she “can’t remember” where they’ll find £22 billion for small businesses…
Thornberry: “The idea is that we redistribute taxation from the larger businesses to the smaller businesses, so what we’re going to do, we’re going to stick with the taxes for the larger companies…”
Hollinrake: “Which taxes?”
Thornberry: “… I can’t remember exactly which ones it is now. I think it’s the highest… higher business taxes, and so businesses of a certain size will continue to be able to pay that higher amount, and that money will be transferred to smaller businesses…”
She then claimed Hollinrake “really needed to pay more attention“. Apparently Labour are committing to higher businesses taxes now. Does Rachel Reeves know about this, or does she need to pay more attention as well?
All harmonious and good-spirited in the Tory party as the leadership election enters its final fortnight…
After their official formation at the end of October, Guido can reveal the Northern Research Group is kicking into gear to lobby the Treasury on specific ‘levelling-up’ policies to boost their patches. A new letter organised by MP Kevin Hollinrake sees 33 Tories call on the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay, to go further in ending “structurally biased” Treasury spending rules, which see the Homes England housing formula allocate the majority of its funding towards the South East of England. Spot which of the 41 MPs who backed the NRG in October have dropped off the list of signatories – keeping their powder dry ahead of a new year reshuffle?
The sizable group of backbenchers note that while Rishi promised changes to the Treasury’s funding rules (the “Green Book”) in his November Spending Review, “there is scope for the Government to go further in order to achieve its aims”, calling on Barclay to replace the Housing Infrastructure Fund and
“ensure that the necessary funding is explicitly directed towards the North so we can help to achieve the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.”
With the NRG formally caucusing the government, as well as the 109 MPs from the 2019 intake restructuring into a lobbying movement with an elected chairman, No. 10 is going to find itself struggling to give its rank-and-file MPs the attention they all want…