Elections

 


The five main Northern Ireland parties have all now published their manifestos. Recurring big themes in the manifestos are Brexit, welfare and corporation tax. There are 18 Parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland. The DUP has the most MPs in the House of Commons in the last session, followed by Sinn Fein (which does not attend) and SDLP.

With less than a week to go before the General Election, the CIOT/ATT External Relations team have reviewed the manifestos of the main parties contesting the election in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to see where each stands on tax issues.

UKIP launched its manifesto ‘Britain Together’ this week, with its leader Paul Nuttall calling the party ‘the guard dogs of Brexit’. 

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 were few surprises on the tax front in the Conservative manifesto published today. Existing fiscal rules were restated, existing plans for income tax and corporation tax cuts were confirmed and  two thirds of the 2015 ‘tax triple lock’ was dropped (the VAT element stays), giving a future Conservative government more flexibility to adjust taxes if circumstances require.

 

A Liberal Democrat government would raise an extra £15 billion a year in taxes, over and above Conservative plans. This would include an increase of one per cent in all income tax rates, raising corporation tax to 20 per cent and reversing a number of cuts made by the Conservatives since 2015. The party also proposes a far-reaching review of corporation tax.

A corporation tax rate of 26 per cent (21 per cent for small profits) and higher rates of income tax for those earning more than £80,000 a year are the most eye-catching tax proposals in Labour’s election manifesto, published on Tuesday. High earners will also be targeted with an extra levy on ‘excessive pay’ and a proposal to publish the returns of those earning more than £1 million a year. Businesses below the VAT threshold would be given a permanent exemption from quarterly reporting. Overall, Labour estimate their proposals would increase the tax take by just under £49 billion a year by 2021.

To support the tax and spending pledges made within its main manifesto, the Labour Party also published a separate (but linked) document to its manifesto titled Labour’s tax transparency and enforcement programme. The party claims that the programme ‘will be the most comprehensive effort ever made by any UK government to end the social scourge of tax avoidance’ while ensuring that high net worth individuals and corporations ‘pay their fair share’ of tax.

Plaid Cymru launched its manifesto today (16 May), with the party aiming to improve on its 2015 general election performance that saw it win 3 of Wales’ 40 Westminster constituencies.

A draft of the Labour manifesto draft was leaked to the media this week. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has since said that a final version has been agreed. The information below is about the draft version, so it may be slightly different to the final version expected next week. The CIOT will be reporting in detail on the main political parties' eagerly-awaited manifestos and their potential impact on taxation, when they are launched.