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Tax cuts for the rich have deprived the UK public of almost £14 billion – Barbara Keeley responds to Unison’s report

Tax cuts for the rich have deprived the UK public of almost £14 billion, according to a report by UNISON. Barbara Keeley MP said “Social care is in crisis and instead of funding this properly, the Tory leadership candidates are just competing for who can offer the biggest tax cuts.”

“Throughout this, the government continues to neglect the social care system that should provide vital care to elderly and vulnerable people.”

“Urgent investment is needed in social care and at the last election Labour pledged to invest an extra £8 billion to deal with this crisis.”

UNISON calculated that the savings for super-earners with incomes of more than £1 million a year have reduced payments to the Treasury by £13.98 billion, between 2013 and the current financial year 2019/2020. As a result the UK’s millionaires have paid £782,000 less tax on average over seven years.

While millions of people have struggled financially in recent years, the highest earners have enjoyed hundreds of thousands of pounds in savings as a result of a reduced top rate of income tax.

The government’s decision to cut the top rate from 50p to 45p introduced in April 2013 has benefited the rich, while local authorities have been starved of funds and services cut, contributing to social care problems faced across the UK.

And now Boris Johnson has pledged to raise the threshold for the 40p tax rate - which the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) estimates will cost £9 billion in lost revenue every yea – and Jeremy Hunt has proposed cutting corporation tax, which would cost the Exchequer £13 billion per year in the short term, according to the IFS.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The Conservative leadership candidates have got their priorities all wrong. The whole country knows social care is in urgent need of major reform, but sees politicians continually kicking the can down the street while offering tax sweeteners to people who are already more than well off.”