Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of “hypocrisy” after he blocked the Government plans to relax the tax rules on pensions for the wealthy, despite benefiting from a generous pension arrangement previously.
It comes after it emerged the Labour leader has a unique pension deal from his time as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Labour is opposing Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget announcement to scrap the £1.07million lifetime tax-free allowance on pensions savings as a tax break for the very wealthy.
However, the Labour leader enjoyed a special “tax-unregistered” pension scheme which mean the lifetime allowance does not apply to his contributions from his time as DPP between 2008 and 2013, according to The Telegraph.
The Labour leader enjoyed a “tax-unregistered” pension scheme from his time as Director of Public Prosecutions
The newspaper said he was the only member of the scheme, which broadly matched the tax benefits for judges.
When he stood down, the Government passed secondary legislation ensuring his pension was uprated annually to keep pace with rising prices.
The paper said it understood Starmer’s civil service pension was not large enough to incur a tax charge under the pension cap system on its own, and he has not paid into it since 2013.
Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster on GB News, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, Steve Reed, said the real problem is Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget and not the Labour leader.
Labour oppose Jeremy Hunt's announcement to scrap the £1.07 million lifetime tax-free allowance on pensions savings
He said: "Last week Jeremy Hunt stood up and he raised stealth taxes on working people across the country, leaving them burdened with the highest rates of personal taxation for 70 years.
”While he was doing that he gave a billion pound tax bung to the wealthiest one per cent.
”It is the stark unfairness of what Jeremy Hunt did last week that is the problem, not arrangements put in place 13 years ago by George Osbourne.”
Sir Iain Duncan Smith said Starmer's special pension deal made a 'mockery' of their stance
He added that Labour “would repeal” the Chancellor’s changes.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said Starmer’s special pension deal made a “mockery” of the Labour’s position on the lifetime allowance.
He said: “Politicians who take policy positions should recognise that complaining that others benefit, while they themselves have also benefited, is as close to hypocrisy as it is possible to get."