POLITICS

Labour 'Breaks' Flagship Manifesto Pledge Not To Raise Taxes On Those Earning Less Than £80k

A million couples claim an allowance due to be scrapped by Labour

06/06/2017 11:00 | Updated 06 June 2017
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Labour is set to breach its flagship manifesto policy of protecting those earning under £80,000 from tax rises - by scrapping a perk for married couples.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party will abolish the Marriage Allowance if it wins the election on Thursday - meaning an effective £250-a-year income tax rise for a million couples that claim the benefit.

The policy is only available to couples where total earnings are less than £56,500 – well below Labour’s £80,000 threshold.

Speaking on the campaign trail at a farm in North Wales, Theresa May accused Corbyn of breaking his manifesto pledge.

The Prime Minister said: “Jeremy Corbyn claimed that his manifesto showed that Labour would not put taxes up on ordinary families. 

“What we have seen today in the small print that is exactly what they would do.

“The Marriage Allowance does enable families to save, I think the figure is something like £230 a year - that would be a tax increase if that marriage allowance goes. Jeremy Corbyn has broken his promise on tax.”

The Allowance was introduced by the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government in April 2015 in a bid to incentivise marriage.

The scheme means that if one person in a marriage earns below £11,500 a year, they can transfer a proportion of their tax-free allowance to their spouse – providing they earn below £45,000.

This allowance was worth £220 in 2016/17.

HMRC revealed last year that just 1million of the 4.2million couples who could claim the benefit have done so.

Labour included scrapping the Allowance as part of a range of measures – including reversing Capital Gains Tax, inheritance tax and bank levy changes – which would raise £3.7billion for the Treasury.

The party’s manifesto said: “a Labour government will guarantee no rises in income tax for those earning below £80,000 a year, and no increases in personal National Insurance Contributions or the rate of VAT.” 

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