Socialist Worker

Ching ching! Tory leader challengers line up tax cuts for rich

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2658

 

Tory leadership candidates want a key to Downing Street

Tory leadership candidates want a key to Downing Street (Pic: Policy Exchange/Flickr)


The Tory leadership race is a battle between peddlers of class war against ordinary people.

But while the media swaps stories about who snorted or smoked what, the real reactionary agendas are hardly scrutinised.

Avoiding the major issues benefits the ­candidate that right wing ­newspaper owner Rupert Murdoch supports—Boris Johnson.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the legal limit for abortion should be reduced from 24 weeks to 12 weeks.

Asked if he could guarantee the legal limit would stay at 24 weeks if he became prime minister, Hunt said, “What I can guarantee is it will be a matter for the House of Commons.”

Hunt also wants to double ­spending on war and the military over the next decade.

Shovel

Meanwhile Johnson, the favourite for the job, outlined a plan to shovel huge amounts of workers’ money to the rich through tax cuts.

He hopes to raise the level at which people pay the 40 percent rate of income tax from £50,000 to £80,000 at an estimated cost of £10 billion.

This is essentially a tax cut for Tory party members, with those who grab stratospheric salaries ­gaining most.

Shifting the threshold in this way would not only slash taxes on incomes.

It would also mean more tax concessions for those who look forward to pensions of £100,000 or more a year.

It would be partly financed by increasing workers’ national insurance payment—effectively wage cuts.

Johnson added, “We should be cutting corporation tax and other business taxes”—another bonanza for the rich at the top of big business and shareholders.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab—the one who resigned over the Brexit deal he had negotiated—said he would take £500 million a year from the international aid budget.

He wants to use it to protect endangered species. Perhaps he means the Tory party.

Raab began his campaign by promising to cut 5p from the basic rate of income tax.

He would fund this by cutting back on public ­services and slashing jobs.

Raab argued for mass privatisation of state schools in 2013 and again in 2014, saying the ­government should open up the education system for companies to make money.

He has also suggested encouraging even more private companies into the NHS.

Michael Gove’s main policy ­offering is to abolish VAT and replace it with a “simple” sales tax.

Food

That’s likely to mean a lower rate of tax but on more goods—such as food which presently is not subject to VAT.

Gove also made a pitch for the bigots of the Democratic Unionist Party by saying he is “­unionist to my bootstraps”.

None of the vile reactionaries standing for the leadership offer anything more than a continuation and acceleration of the policies of austerity, racism and fewer rights.

The real issue is not which of them wins but how we can build a ­movement that can drive them out.


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