Labour Shadow Minister refuses to rule out capital gains tax increase

Labour Shadow Minister refuses to rule out capital gains tax increase
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 07/06/2024

- 13:52

Labour’s Shadow Armed Forces Minister has refused to rule out rises in capital gains tax under a Labour government.

Luke Pollard also revealed he has opted out of private health insurance which came with previous jobs and would not recommend a loved one use private health care to avoid long NHS waiting lists.

Speaking on GB News Luke Pollard said: “There's no complacency from Labour in this general election but I think it was good that Keir stayed to be there with international leaders. D Day is a really important date in our calendar, especially the 80th anniversary, because we're running out of D Day veterans; those people who stormed the beaches or who dropped in parachutes behind enemy lines: there's less and less of them every year.

“I think it's really important that we have an independent voice for our armed forces. We've seen over the last 14 years that morale is falling. We now have huge problems with retention and recruitment and that’s why we want to tackle that with an independent person able to inspect facilities, deal with complaints, to listen to those who serve and importantly, their families and to investigate things like kit, the poor state of military housing and then report directly to Parliament, not to ministers.

“We want to increase accountability because our armed forces are the best in the world but frankly the system and support they're getting at the moment isn't up to scratch.

“That's why we not only want to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent and give our troops the equipment they need to defend and deter any aggression, but we also want to make sure that we're renewing the contract between those who serve and the nation that's been so eroded over the last 14 years.

“Labour has been quite clear, and Rachel has been very clear on this, that we have no plans to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT.

“There are certain areas where we have already set out where we want to change the tax rates to support public spending, such as closing the loophole on private schools to support our state school sector, hiring 6500 new teachers, and making sure getting mental health support for kids in secondary school in particular.

“We've been very clear about where there will be a tax change, but I'm afraid the scaremongering that we're seeing from the government over the last few days is not consistent with what Labour policy actually is.

“Then Rachel Reeves will set out all the tax changes if we get elected in the budget. But we've been very clear that except in the circumstances that we've already set out, and that will be in our manifesto in the next few days.

“I haven't seen these leaks, but I think one thing about your question is right, we are, potentially, if we win this general election, inheriting a really poor set of public finances.

“We're inheriting public services that are on their knees, everything seems broken. That's something I hear on the doors when out canvassing quite frequently. That's why we've set out clearly what we can do and where the money is coming from to pay for it.

“I think trust in politics is really through the floor and big promises of big spending, I don't think we'll wash with the public. That's why we've been careful not to make any unfunded spending commitments. We've had £71 billion of unfunded spending commitments from the Prime Minister, but we're not doing that.

“We're saying clearly, we're making changes here, and it'll be paid for by this and that, I think, is the right approach to win the trust of people in this general election.”

Asked if he would advise a loved one who was on an NHS waiting list to go private, he said:

“No, I believe in the National Health Service. I always have. In every job that I've had, if it came with private health care cover, I've asked to be opted out of it.

“I believe in the National Health Service, because I believe you should be treated about your health, not about how much money is in your pocket.

“I support the National Health Service, and indeed, I've had a lump and a bump checked out in the last year. I've had skin cancer on my face and the National Health Service not only identified it, but they treated me with superb NHS staff working their socks off.

“That's one of the reasons why, as a party we're setting out, we need to take down that 8 million people on that NHS waiting list by 40,000 extra weekend and evening appointments every week.

“It will take an entire parliament five years to wear down that incredibly high waiting list that are getting worse and worse under the Conservatives. But I believe in the National Health Service, I believe that you should get your healthcare at your point of need, not about how much money you have in your pockets and that, I think, will support everyone to be able to get the healthcare that they deserve.

“I believe in the NHS, I believe that we've got a choice in this country about how you want to provide your healthcare. I think everyone should have access to a decent National Health Service in their area, not only for a big hospital with big cancer services like we just discussed, but to make sure they can access a GP and NHS dentists and primary care.

“NHS dentistry is on its knees under this government. That's why we've also set out plans to rescue NHS dentistry with more appointments, more dentists, and make it easier for people to see a GP. Because at every stage of our NHS journey here, there's a real crisis.

“It's not because people in the NHS aren’t working their socks off, they really are. It's that there hasn't been the investment or the thought that's gone into this by ministers.”


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