Keir Starmer has said he is “fundamentally opposed” to axing or reducing inheritance tax, as he made a landmark speech before a widely-expected general election.
The Labour leader vowed to challenge the Conservatives on their economic record, as he insisted Labour would not seek to solve the country’s problems “armed only with a big state cheque book”.
In a speech at a research centre near Bristol, Starmer hinted that Labour may have to consider hiking other taxes or restrict public spending if it puts cutting income tax or national insurance in its election manifesto, as is reportedly under consideration.
Asked if he would overturn a reduction in inheritance tax after a speech at a research centre near Bristol, the Labour leader said: “We’re fundamentally opposed to what the Tories are pretending they are going to do.
“They floated this last year, they’re floating it again now, I don’t know whether they’re going to do it. But I would’ve thought by now that they would’ve learned the lesson that further tax breaks for those who are the best-off with nothing for working people is not a good idea.
“I don’t believe in tax breaks for those who are already well-off when there’s nothing on offer for working people. So, I wouldn’t be doing what they’re floating.”
Won’t solve UK problems armed only with a big state cheque book’
Sir Keir Starmer has said he is “ready” for a general election in a new year’s speech in south-west England.
He argued that government must be ambitious to tackle future problems rather than trying to mop up issues “armed only with a big state cheque book”.
In a speech at a research centre near Bristol, the Labour leader said: “I don’t see our job as going back to some kind of golden age, I don’t think that’s how working people look at things at all.
“Government in this country is too centralised and controlling, and, because of that, too disconnected from the communities it needs to serve.
“Despite hoarding all that power, it also lacks ambition. A view of the potential of government that is content just to mop up problems after the fact, armed only with a big state cheque book, we’ve got to change this. It’s vital for taking on the profound challenges of our era.
“I promise this: a new mindset, mission government, an understanding that at the core of everything we do that it is our job to tackle tomorrow’s challenges today.”
Sir Keir Starmer said he wanted to fight an election on the Conservatives’ economic record.
He took aim at Rishi Sunak’s party, claiming its former electoral strength of economic competence had become a weakness after thirteen years in power.
In a new year’s speech, he said: “We don’t just expect an election on the economy. We want an election on the economy and we’re ready for that fight, ready to close the book on the trickle-down nonsense once and for all.”
He also pledged a “crackdown on cronyism”, with a message to fellow politicians: “To change Britain, we must change ourselves.
“Nobody will be above the law in a Britain that I lead.”
Sir Keir Starmer was pressed on whether Labour in power would unfreeze income tax thresholds, but declined to give a specific answer.
He told ITV: “I do want more people to have more money in their pocket. That’s a fundamental principle we start with.
“Now, the question is how do we get to that? I’m challenged on tax all of the time. The first lever that we want to pull, the first place we will go, is growth in our economy because that’s what’s been missing for 14 years.”
He added: “Any tax cuts have to be fair and affordable, and we have to be realistic about that. But I think the place to go is to growth on this. ”
£28bn green fund – dead?
Attacks on Labour’s plans to borrow £28 billion a year to invest in green energy are “misconceived”, Sir Keir Starmer has said.
Asked by GB News about where the funding would come from, the Labour leader said: “We have set out how that will be funded.
“The money that is needed for the investment that is undoubtedly needed, saying that the £28 billion will be ramped up in the second half of the Parliament, that it will be subject of course to any money that the Government is already putting in, and it will be subject to our fiscal rules.
“That means that if the money is from borrowing, which it will be, borrowing to invest, that the fiscal rules don’t allow it, then we will borrow less.
“It is very clear and that is why this attack is utterly misconceived on this.
“It is a very clear strategy and, frankly, I think most people understand the argument, it is an everyday argument that you have to invest in the future, and that is what we will do.”
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