Corbyn and Rayner lay out plans to raise corporation tax to reform our schools
SHADOW education secretary Angela Rayner strongly hinted yesterday that Labour would scrap university tuition fees or significantly reform them if her party wins the election.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Rayner said Labour would spend billions reforming education — currently suffering a major funding crisis — by raising corporation tax for bigger companies.
Ms Rayner said she didn’t want to reveal too many details about the plans for tuition fees as they would be published in the party’s manifesto next week.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged a major education funding shakeup following years of neglect and cuts.
Almost £5 billion will be invested in the English school system by 2022 under a new national education service.
One of Labour’s policies is to reduce class sizes for five to seven-year-olds to fewer than 30 children. All primary school pupils would also receive free school meals.
The education maintenance allowance (EMA) for sixth-form and college students, which was worth £30 a week in England when it was scrapped in 2010, would be restored.
Maintenance grants for university students would also be restored and adult course fees would be scrapped.
The plans will be funded from the £20bn Labour estimates will be raised by increasing corporation tax from its 19 per cent rate to 26 per cent by 2021-22.
Britain’s corporation tax rate was 28 per cent before being cut by the Tories after 2010.
The Tories accused Mr Corbyn of breaking a promise not to raise corporation tax for small businesses, but Mr Corbyn described the planned increase as “modest.”
Firms with profits below £300,000 would see their rate of corporation tax rise from 19 per cent to 21 per cent.
Launching the policy at a college in Leeds, Mr Corbyn said he was offering businesses a “new settlement.”
He added: “Our businesses both large and small will prosper on the back of education and skills and training finally being given serious attention by a very serious government.
“So it’s only fair that businesses should be asked to contribute to the plan by financing the spending we are setting out today.
“And we will do this by reversing the tax cuts made by the Conservatives and still keep UK rates of corporation tax at the lowest of the [G7]. “It’s what we term our ‘new settlement.’
“When it comes to small business, the backbone of our economy, a Labour government will restore small profits rates and make only a modest increase.”
Plans set out by Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond would see the corporation tax cut to 17 per cent in 2020 when under Labour’s plans it would be 24 per cent.
Ms Rayner said there was a choice to be made between funding education to drive innovation and give the country a leading role in the world or turning into “Poundland Britain.”
“If we put it into context, we’re not saying we’re going to suddenly [have] the highest tax rate, we will still be well and truly competitive going forward,” she said.