The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has just delivered his long anticipated autumn statement.
This was his chance to use higher taxes on the super-rich to invest in our public services. Instead he announced plans for billions of pounds of spending cuts in the coming years.
This return to the failed austerity policies of the past will put the UK in a doom loop of longer hospital waiting lists, collapsing social care and an ever more frustrated public.
And this is all amidst the biggest drop in disposable household incomes on record and a recession.
There were some silver linings to the statement. The existing windfall tax on oil and gas giants was beefed up, even though loopholes still remain. However, the tax incentives given to oil and gas have not been extended to renewables.
Taxes on income from wealth, such as investments and dividends, were increased slightly. The top band for income tax now kicks in at £125,000, rather than £150,000.
But this misses the scale of what was needed to protect public services. A few weeks ago we showed how the Chancellor could have raised £37 billion from wealth taxes.
Instead, the current plans mean that we will be hit by another round of cuts to public services from 2025.
We still have time to stop the worst of the planned cuts from happening. Spending cuts are a political choice, a Guardian article quoting our research argued this week. They are unnecessary and reversible.
Hunt’s capital gains tweak shows we’ve clearly got our foot in the door on wealth taxes. It wouldn’t have happened without our campaigning.
That’s why we’ll keep pushing for the super rich to be taxed more – and for this money to go straight into our public services and to help struggling households.
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