Labour’s former housing minister fails to rule out property tax rises

John Healey

Senior Labour MP John Healey has refused to rule out property tax rises if his party win next month’s general election.

Healey, who served as minister of state for housing and planning from 2009 until Labour lost the general election in 2010, appears to have left the door open to increasing property taxes after the Tories challenged the party to rule out a hike.

He said Labour’s blueprint for government “does not require us to start looking at raising taxes across the board”.

But Healey refused to rule out increasing certain levies, such as stamp duty and capital gains tax, after the Tories urged Labour to match their family home tax guarantee.

Labour has come under pressure to go further by matching the Tories’ family home tax guarantee, made up of pledges not to increase stamp duty, capital gains tax and the number of council tax bands.

Writing for The Telegraph on Thursday, Jeremy Hunt said: “I am throwing down the gauntlet to Rachel Reeves and Sir Keir Starmer to join us in this pledge.”

But asked about those specific taxes in an interview on Sky News yesterday, Healey said: “We will not raise taxes on working people. We will not raise income tax, we will not raise VAT, we will not raise National Insurance.

“Our plans – beyond the specific tax rises and changes that we set out to pay for our first steps – our plans do not require us to start looking at raising taxes across the board.”

Asked whether Labour could increase capital gains tax, Healey said: “Our plans do not require us to start looking at raising…” before being interrupted by the interviewer.

Questioned on whether Labour could increase stamp duty, he said: “We will not raise the taxes that are most important to working people.”

Asked again, he said: “I am not going to go through the list. The taxes that are most important to people – income tax, VAT and National Insurance – will not be raised under a Labour government.”

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