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Labour’s Rachel Reeves clarifies ‘working people are people who go out to work’ | Politics News

Labour’s shadow chancellor has said “working people are people who go out to work” after the party has repeatedly said it would not raise taxes for “working people”.

Rachel Reeves was asked who exactly “working people” are after Sir Keir Starmer said they are people who are working but do not have meaningful savings.

Labour’s manifesto pledges to “not increase taxes on working people”, but who exactly that covers has not been entirely clear.

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Keir Starmer and Rachel  Reeves during their visit.
Pic: Reuters
Image:
Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves. Pic: Reuters

The party has committed to not raising national insurance, income tax, or VAT, but its leaders have refused to say if they would increase other taxes.

Asked what he meant by working people, Sir Keir told LBC on Tuesday: “People who earn their living, rely on our [public] services and don’t really have the ability to write a cheque when they get into trouble.”

Ms Reeves was asked to clarify that position, telling Sky News’ Breakfast with Kay Burley on Wednesday: “Working people are people who go out to work and work for their incomes.

“Sort of by definition, really, working people are those people who go out and work and earn their money through hard work.”

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Asked if that also meant people who cannot write a cheque if they get into trouble, she said: “Some people, who go out to work haven’t been able to build up savings.

“Many other people who go out to work, have had to run down their savings.

“But there are people who do have savings, who have been able to save up and those are working people as well.”

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Labour politicians have been criticised for not confirming or denying whether they would raise taxes other than the ones they have announced, including VAT on private school fees, removing non-dom status, and a windfall tax on energy companies.

But Ms Reeves confirmed Labour are not planning to reform council tax, telling Sky News: “No, we’re not planning to reform council tax.”

Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves during a visit to Ocean Gate, Eastern Docks in Southampton, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election Labour. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Image:
Labour has said they will not raise taxes for working people. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA

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Earlier this week, shadow minister Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News: “No increase in income tax, no increase in national insurance, no increase in VAT or corporation tax.

“We’re not doing council tax re-banding.”

But he would not specifically rule out a rise in fuel or stamp duty.

He added: “We have outlined that all our policies are fully funded, they do not require additional tax increases.”

Ms Reeves also ruled out an emergency budget soon after the election, if they win it.

She said they would “do things in a proper way”, indicating a budget would be announced sometime around September.

The shadow chancellor added: “The first piece of legislation that we would want to introduce in a King’s Speech would be a new fiscal lock, to stop from ever happening again the mini budget that we had two years ago.”

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