John McDonnell

LONDON – Labour is targeting tax rises for those earning more than £80,000 to fund the NHS and public services, according to media reports.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is expected to announce a guarantee not to raise taxes for those earning less than £80,000 if Labour wins the general election next month, according to a report in The Guardian.

McDonnell will say that: “If Labour is elected next month we will guarantee that for the next five years there will be no tax rises for income taxpayers earning less than £80,000 a year, no hikes in VAT and no changes in your national insurance contributions either,” The Guardian reported.

“The Labour party is now the party of low taxes for middle and low earners, while the Tories are the party of tax handouts for the super-rich and big corporations.”

The Labour party said in a statement: “Only the highest earners will be asked to contribute more in tax to help fund our public services that have suffered at the hands of seven years of Tory austerity.”

Late last month, Prime Minister Theresa May refused to promise to not increase taxes if the Conservatives won the June 8 election. 

May said in an interview on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show said she would not promise a tax freeze unless she was “absolutely sure” it could be delivered. 

With the general election looming on June 8, Labour suffered a setback in a series of regional and local elections held this week, losing dozens of seats to Theresa May’s Conservatives.

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