General Election 2017: Greens to abolish cap on employees’ national insurance

The Green party is the latest political party to launch a manifesto ahead of the General Election. Its plans suggest that the wealthiest and high earners will pay significantly more tax if the party gets hold of power.

There was no specific mention of tax in the speeches by either of the co-leaders of the Green party when they launched the party’s manifesto today (22), which is in contrast to its manifesto which did have a number of tax policy announcements

At the launch, co-leader Jonathan Bartley said: “We are redefining the welfare state, striving to end inequality and committed to redistributing both wealth and power.” The other leader, Caroline Lucas, added: “We will transform people lives with bold policies like a basic income and shorter working week.”

Tax-relevant announcements

Personal taxation

  • Reform taxation to include ‘a wealth tax on the top one per cent of earners’
  • A phased in abolition of the cap on employees’ national insurance ‘so that the wealthiest pay more’
  • Invest in more staff at HMRC ‘so they can work more effectively’
  • Inheritance taxed according to the wealth of the recipient
  • Ensure that everyone ‘pays their fair share of tax’ and there is a crackdown on ‘tax dodging’
  • End the sale of personal data, such as health or tax records, for commercial or other ends

Business taxation

  • Reinstate ‘the higher level of corporation tax’ for large businesses (this is all the manifesto says but the party’s co-leader indicated in an interview that this would be a return to a 28 per cent CT rate for large businesses)
  • A Robin Hood tax on high value transactions in the finance sector

Indirect and property taxes

  • A trial of a Land Value Tax to encourage the use of vacant land and reduce speculation
  • Help first-time buyers by aiming for house price stability by ‘axing buy-to-let tax breaks’
  • Remove VAT from sanitary products

Welfare

  • Take steps towards the introduction of a universal basic income, including a government sponsored pilot scheme, as a means to increase security and avoid the poverty trap
  • Redress ‘pension injustice’, with a pensions system for everyone and action to enable older people to continue to be active members of society, the manifesto says
  • Redress ‘benefits injustice’ with a social security system ‘that gives everyone confidence they will get support when they need it, including disabled people’
  • Abolish the ‘bedroom tax’ (spare room subsidy)

Other relevant policies

  • Create over one million jobs through our programme of green investment and restoring the public sector
  • Phase in a four day working week (a maximum of 35 hours) and abolish exploitative zero hours contracts
  • Promote the roll out of high speed broadband
  • A referendum on the detail of whatever deal is negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU. Protect freedom of movement, press for remaining within the single market, and safeguard ‘vital rights’ for people and the environment
  • Cancel all airport expansion and end subsidies on airline fuel
  • Increase the minimum wage to reach a ‘genuine’ living wage of £10 an hour by 2020
  • Enable apprenticeships to all qualified young people aged 16-25 years-old

The manifesto can be viewed here.

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