Wealth Tax

Treasury – in the House of Commons am ar 14 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

What recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a wealth tax.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Of course, the UK does not have a single wealth tax, but it does have several taxes on wealth and assets, and those generate substantial revenues. The Government are committed to keeping taxes low so that working people keep more of what they earn. The Government’s approach to delivering fiscal sustainability is underpinned by fairness, with those on the highest incomes paying a larger share.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

But the burden of tax is increasingly falling on working people’s incomes, while the richest 50 families in the UK have alone accumulated a combined wealth equivalent to that of half the population. Research from the University of Greenwich shows that a wealth tax could generate £70 billion for much-needed public services, so will the Government at least put forward a commission to investigate the matter and introduce a fair taxation policy?

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I am not sure whether the hon. Lady is lobbying me or Opposition Front Benchers with her comments, but she will be well aware that we do have a progressive tax system in the UK. It is important to remember that the top 5% of taxpayers are projected to pay nearly half of all income tax in 2023-24; and the top 1% as much as 28%. Compared with what we inherited from Labour in 2010, when the top 1% of income tax payers paid 25% and the top 5% paid 43%, the tax system is fairer and more progressive under the Conservatives.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Ceidwadwyr, Chelmsford

Those who live in homes with driveways pay just 5% VAT when they charge their cars from their home electricity, but those who live in terraced houses have to pay 20% VAT to charge commercially. Given that those who live in terraced houses are often less wealthy, will the Minister, whom I congratulate on his new role, meet me and other members of the Conservative Environment Network to look at how we might level out that anomaly?

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

My right hon. Friend is a great champion of such issues in her constituency and beyond. I am aware that she has already spoken to the Chancellor about this issue, but I would be delighted, as always, to meet her and discuss it further.

Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

The Government have done a lot to raise personal allowances, for which our party has advocated for many years. However, given that that is an improvement for people at the bottom end of the income scale, will the Treasury now turn its view towards hard-working, middle-income families, who also want a reduction in their tax burden?

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

We appreciate the support for taking 3 million of the lowest-paid people out of paying income tax altogether since 2010—an important and significant change. I understand the hon. Gentleman’s comments, but I cannot comment further, especially this close to a fiscal event.

Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Ceidwadwyr, North East Bedfordshire

I welcome my hon. Friend to his new post. Does he share with me the humour that Opposition Back Benchers have proposals for new taxation that the Opposition Front Benchers are trying to bat away, while those of us on the Government Back Benches are telling the Government to cut taxes, and our Front Benchers keep batting that away?

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I thank my hon. Friend for his comments. I am afraid that what we are probably seeing is “same old Labour”—we have heard this all before. What they are proposing did not work in the ’70s and it will not work now. We are very proud of our tax record, particularly taking the lowest paid out of income tax.

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Exchequer Secretary (Treasury)

I welcome the Minister to his place. The Government have the opportunity next week to right an historical wrong by abolishing non-dom tax status. The Chancellor could use that money to get our NHS back on its feet and to provide free breakfast clubs for all primary-age children, just as Labour has called for. Is the abolition of non-dom tax status under consideration, or has the Prime Minister ruled it out again, for personal reasons?

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The hon. Gentleman is well aware that there are real dangers that what he is proposing would make the UK a less attractive destination—that is a very important issue. The City pays for a huge amount of our NHS, for example, and non-dom taxpayers were liable to pay £8.5 billion in UK income tax in 2021-22 and invested more than £7 billion in the UK.