Policy in practice: pre-election 2024 – tax

27 June 2024

In the latest episode of our pre-election policy in practice podcasts, David Gauke and Bezhan Salehy discuss tax policy with a focus on business taxes.

They cover:

  • Labour's plans to raise revenue through targeted revenue measures;
  • business tax strategy; and
  • a focus on economic stability.

If you would like more information or want to discuss any of the topics in this podcast, please get in touch with David and Bezhan.

Episode summary

In the latest of our pre-election policy in practice podcast episodes, David Gauke, head of public policy at Macfarlanes, is joined by tax policy specialist Bezhan Salehy, to discuss the nuances of tax policy in light of the upcoming General Election. 

They begin by exploring Labour's tax plans in the context of the upcoming election, highlighting Labour's commitment to maintaining economic stability without raising major taxes like income tax, national insurance, VAT, or corporation tax. Instead, Labour's manifesto focuses on targeted revenue-raising measures, such as reforming the taxation of non-domiciled individuals (non-doms), imposing VAT on private school fees, and altering the treatment of carried interest in private equity.

The conversation then moves on to the potential challenges of Labour's tax policies, particularly the scepticism surrounding avoiding tax hikes or increasing borrowing. David and Bezhan examine Labour's proposed crackdown on tax avoidance. noting the complexities and potential push-backs involved. David emphasises that while it's politically popular to promise reductions in the tax gap, achieving significant results often involves targeting small businesses and self-employed individuals, which can lead to resistance.

Finally, the discussion shifts to Labour's business tax policies, including their plan to introduce a business tax roadmap to provide stability and predictability. Labour's commitment to retaining permanent full expensing and supporting international tax reforms underlines their intent to maintain a competitive business environment. However, the lack of detailed proposals on overhauling business rates indicates that significant consultation with businesses will be necessary to develop effective reforms.

If you would like a full written transcript of this podcast, please get in touch.