The Labour leadership candidate is on the prominent World at One programme on the BBC to discuss his manifesto. Only problem is, Burnham can’t discuss any details of his tax policy until later in the week. It makes for a rather strange interview – and is not exactly great for his credibility.
Burnham said he wants tax to shoulder more of the share of cutting the deficit than at present. (So which taxes should go up?) At the same time he is saying he would, or could, get rid of inheritance tax and stamp duty. (So which taxes should go up?)
Maybe it will be more clear later in the week. But with the ballot papers going out in a few days’ time there won’t be many more high-profile opportunities for him to make his case and prove his credibility.
Here’s a link to the Burnham website: I can’t see the manifesto anywhere yet.
Apparently the Burnham team sent out a copy of the manifesto yesterday: here is the tax & spend bit. It doesn’t exactly clarify the fine details:
Third, it will lay down a clear principle that tax should shoulder a bigger part of the burden of deficit reduction. Labour must make a moral argument for tax increases as the lesser of two evils when compared to huge spending cuts. There are a number of possible changes to the tax system to be examined and I will explore which is the most effective and appropriate to implement. We should stick with plans for a full National Increase and a more ambitious Financial Transactions Tax on the banks. We are exploring the introduction of a Land Value Tax, and a Solidarity Wealth Tax on the French model.
I would keep our commitment to increase National Insurance – this would be a sensible tax increase to help reduce the deficit. Far from being a threat to jobs, the greatest threat is from this Coalition government’s plans to slash public spending by 40 per cent, scrapping jobs, decimating our public services and increasing the bill for unemployment at the same time as reducing the tax take.
As well as the NI increase, I would be more ambitious on the financial transaction tax. It is only right that the banking sector, which benefitted from public subsidy and support to get it through the credit crisis of its own making, now pays back to help the country trough the recession.