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UK Labour Promises Corporate Tax Hikes, Second Brexit Referendum

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The main UK opposition party Labour has set out its plans for tax reform, in a manifesto released on November 21.

The party said it would raise the corporate tax rate but not above the 28 percent rate in place in 2010, and introduce a windfall tax on oil companies. It has also committed to undertaking a review of the rules for taxi and private hire services "to ensure a level playing field".

The manifesto contains a pledge to launch "the biggest ever crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion and reform the inefficient system of tax reliefs." It signaled support for new tax rules for multinational enterprises and in particular tech firms.

The manifesto also commits to a review of the business rates system – the UK's commercial property tax – with a view to potentially replacing the system with a land value tax on commercial landlords.

On Brexit, the party said it will seek to conclude a new deal with the EU within its first three months in office and put this deal and the option of remaining in the EU to a public referendum within six months. The outcome of that referendum would be legally binding and implemented immediately, party leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

Individual income tax would be raised for those earning more than GBP80,000 (USD102,300) a year, and the burden maintained for those earning below this amount, the party said.

Labour has guaranteed that there will no increases in value-added tax, but said the sugar tax would be extended to certain milk-based drinks.

Labour has also committed to granting councils new powers to tax properties that are unoccupied for over a year.