No Need to Remove Additional Benefits
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has reversed course on a key promise to strip private schools of their charitable status, stating that it is unnecessary to remove the additional benefits associated with it. Independent schools currently enjoy perks such as tax relief on profits and business rates relief as charities. However, Labour still intends to impose VAT on private schools, a move that could lead to a 20% increase in fees paid by parents and generate an estimated £1.7 billion per year for investment in state schools.
Labour Drops the Policy
A spokesperson for the Labour party confirmed that it has abandoned the plan to remove private schools’ charitable status after concluding that the combined impact of imposing VAT and removing the benefits was too extreme. The intention behind the VAT imposition was never to attack private schools, but rather to secure funding for Labour’s announced policies, according to the spokesperson.
Former PM Supports the Measure
Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister, has endorsed Labour’s plan and stated that the VAT exemption for private schools should be reconsidered. He highlighted that most items do not enjoy such an exemption and that the issue had been examined during his time in government.
John Glen, Tory chief secretary to the Treasury, criticized Labour’s reversal, claiming that the party is inconsistent and lacks a coherent long-term strategy. He accused Sir Keir of focusing on short-term policies for media attention and flip-flopping on them.
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