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LABOUR’S left have demanded that Boris Johnson replace his punitive plans to hike up national insurance with a wealth tax to help fund a new national care service.
Ahead of a vote in the Commons on the Prime Minister’s proposals, Socialist Campaign Group secretary Richard Burgon put down an amendment today calling for a progressive tax on those with assets worth over £5 million.
The move was backed by 17 MPs including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and ex-shadow cabinet members including John McDonnell and Diane Abbott.
Calling on MPs to back the amendment, Mr Burgon said: “The wealth of the richest in our society has skyrocketed while millions of families are struggling to make ends meet.
“Now the Conservatives are planning to force working people to pay even more while letting their super-rich backers off the hook.
“We urgently need investment in our social services and we should tax the wealth of the super-rich to fund it, not pile more costs on to working people.”
At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Mr Johnson defended his proposals as “broad-based and progressive,” but Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer warned that they would hit younger, poorer working people harder.
“Under his plan, a landlord renting out dozens of properties won’t pay a penny more, while their tenants in work will face tax rises of hundreds of pounds a year,” Sir Keir stressed.
“A care worker earning the minimum wage doesn’t get a pay rise but does get a tax rise. In what world is that fair?”
The PM also refused to confirm that no-one would have to sell their house to fund social care under his plans.
The TUC and many unions including Unite also attacked the changes, with TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes blasting them as a “bonkers move from the nasty party.”
Welsh Unison called on the country’s Labour government to introduce its own national care service which puts the “quality of care and dignity and respect for care workers at its core.”
And Scottish Labour warned that the “double whammy” of tax rises and impending cuts to universal credit could see 150,000 families north of the border lose out on more than £1,000 a year.
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