LONDON — Labour would force workers who earn more than £1 million a year to publish their tax returns, the Shadow Chancellor has said.
John McDonnell believes that high earners must reveal how much they earn and how much they pay in tax, in order to reduce the scale of tax avoidance in the UK.
“There will be no place to hide for tax avoiders and tax evaders under Labour, McDonnell said during a speech in London on Thursday.
“Building on the successful Nordic model we will introduce legislation to make public the tax returns of those earning a million pounds a year.”
“Transparency and fairness his at the heart of building a decent and open society. We believe this will restore public trust in the tax system.”
McDonnell told the Guardian that while Labour would legislate to make high earners reveal their tax arrangements, the same would not apply to politicians. He would however, publish his own.
“I have a responsibility, if I want to look after the tax affairs of the country,” he said.
The Shadow Chancellor also set out Labour’s economic priorities ahead of next week’s budget.
At an event in Central London said that Labour would introduce a new hypothecated NHS tax to fill the gap in the health service budget.
Earlier this week McDonnell published an article claiming that there was a “soft coup” underway against Jeremy Corbyn, by elements within the Labour party who were conspiring with the “Murdoch empire.”
Asked why he had made the comments, McDonnell replied that he “was annoyed at the intervention by Tony Blair. I didn’t think it was helpful. Then Peter Mandelson informed us that every day he is engaged in some activity to undermine Jeremy.”
He said the party needed to come together.
“I know I’ve got a pugnacious approach. I need to learn a few lessons…”
“That means holding our hands out to people in Progress and yes to Peter Mandelson.”
McDonnell was asked about an article by the previously Corbyn-supporting Guardian commentator Owen Jones yesterday which called on the Labour leader to consider his position.
“With regards to Owen, I gave him his first job after university if you remember and basically what he said was there is a range of things we could be doing… and one of the options was to get out there, develop a real narrative, develop radical polices that excite people and let’s get out on the stomp to convince them. That’s exactly what we’re doing today. So thank you Owen for your advice. We’re following part of it.”
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