THE LABOUR PARTY has confirmed its policy to restrict higher-rate pensions tax relief to fund job creation will be in its 2015 manifesto, and will run for at least five years if the party is elected, reports sister publication Professional Pensions.
Its pensions strategy comes after chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced last week that there will be no changes to pensions tax relief in this year’s Budget (PP Online, 7 March).
The party’s compulsory jobs guarantee would be funded for the whole of the next Parliament, rather than just a year, Labour leader Ed Miliband said.
Labour has previously voiced plans to restrict pensions tax relief for people earning over £150,000 per year to the same rate afforded to basic rate taxpayers to fund jobs (PP Online, 24 September 2013).
A bank bonus tax would fund the first year of the policy, while the restriction on higher-rate pensions tax relief would “ensure an annual revenue stream to fund the policy throughout the next Parliament”, Labour said.
Restricting tax relief would raise between £900m and £1.3m, the party said.
Under the policy, people under 25 who have been unemployed for more than a year, or over 25 who have been unemployed for more than two years, would be offered jobs which they would have to take or lose their state benefits.
No other policies would be funded through the cut to tax relief, Labour said.
Balls (pictured) said: “It’s shocking that the number of young people stuck on the dole for more than a year has doubled under David Cameron.
“If Labour wins the next election we will get young people and the long-term unemployed off benefits and into work.
“The government will work with employers to help fund paid work with training for six months. It will mean paid starter jobs for over 50,000 young people who have been left on the dole for over a year by this government.”
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