LABOUR and the Tories clashed again on tax policy yesterday with one clamping down on dodgers and the other seeking to protect the inheritance of the wealthy.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls revealed Labour’s 10-point plan to claw back £7.5 billion lost through tax avoidance and evasion.
He promised that the first day of a Labour government would introduce an anti-tax avoidance Bill to help clamp down on the practice.
Part of the plan will be to analyse current measures taken by HM Revenue and Customs to see where they can be improved.
Measures in Labour’s proposals include rewriting the rules that allow private equity managers to pay less tax than ordinary working people and action to tackle tax avoidance by hedge funds.
The abolition of the 200-year-old non-dom status is also included.
Funds salvaged by the clampdown will be used to invest in the NHS, scrap the bedroom tax and cut tuition fees by £6,000, Labour says.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Tories promised to end inheritance tax on properties worth up to £1 million.
Labour called the proposal “a panic move” that would bring a tax cut of £140,000 to people owning £2m homes at a time when working people are shelling out more in proportion.
“Working people who are paying more in tax want everyone to pay their fair share,” said Mr Balls.
“And there shouldn’t be one rule for a few and another rule for everybody else. The Tories should back Labour’s plan and stop defending the indefensible.”
The inheritance tax pledge was a rehashed version of a policy the Tories tried to introduce in 2010 that was blocked by the Lib Dems because there was nothing to stop the most valuable estates — and therefore the wealthiest in society — from gaining.
“Labour and Conservative tax policy couldn’t be starker,” the Tax Justice Network’s Richard Murphy told the Star.
“One is centred around getting the wealthiest to pay their fair share, the other is yet another tax break for wealthy people.”