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Election 2024: ‘Wealth creation’ top Labour priority despite higher tax call

Labour has been urged to consider bringing in “higher taxes on wealth” in a bid to raise revenue - despite Sir Keir Starmer insisting that his priority is “wealth creation”.
Labour has been urged to consider bringing in “higher taxes on wealth” in a bid to raise revenue - despite Sir Keir Starmer insisting that his priority is “wealth creation”.

Labour has been urged to consider bringing in “higher taxes on wealth” in a bid to raise revenue – despite Sir Keir Starmer insisting that his priority is “wealth creation”.

Former New Labour advisor Patrick Diamond, who worked for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in Downing Street, wrote in the Observer that Labour would have to “look at radical ways to raise money” in part in case the party’s plans for economic growth are unsuccessful.

Public policy professor Diamond and colleague Colm Murphy said a “newly elected Labour government should launch a commission on UK tax reform”.

They argued: “There is an overwhelming economic and ethical case for higher taxes on wealth and for taxing capital gains at the same rate as income, not least the soaring levels of wealth inequality in Britain.”

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They suggested existing “research indicates such a reform could raise at least £10bn a year and is relatively popular with voters”, while a tax commission could work with the public on what form any final decision could take.

However, the advice came as the Labour leader told the Times that wealth creation was his “number one mission” and pledged that he would lead from the centre ground.

Starmer said he believed the “only way our country can go forward” was for individuals and firms to make money.

He added: “I think it’s a good thing that people are aspirational. When I say our number one mission is economic growth, you could say our number one mission is wealth creation.

“Now that’s an odd thing for the Labour Party to say. It might have been in the past.”

Asked if he was ‘relaxed’ about people making money – in an apparent nod to New Labour svengali Peter Mandelson saying he was “intensely relaxed” about people getting rich, Starmer said: “Very. I’m not just relaxed, I’m relaxed as well as being doggedly determined.”