Tax proposals in the 2017 General Election manifestos

The manifestos issued by the three major parties as part of the General Election campaign set out various proposals for changes to the tax system. Understandably, the Conservative manifesto has less specific proposals than the other two, because the Conservative party has already had the opportunity in government to shape the current tax system.

The Conservative party is committed to ‘low taxes’, but it has fought shy this time of any specific commitment such as the ‘tax lock’ of the 2015 manifesto, which limited the new Chancellor’s room for manoeuvre when he wished to raise self-employed national insurance contributions in his first Budget in March.

Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are committed to increases in income tax. The Labour party would keep the basic rate at 20% and the higher rate at 40%, but would bring the threshold for the 45% rate down to £80,000 and introduce a 50% rate above £123,000. The Liberal Democrats would add one percentage point to all rates of income tax, including those on dividend income.

On the rate of corporation tax, the Conservatives remain committed to the already-planned reduction to 17% in 2010. The Labour party would raise the rate in stages to 26% (and introduce a lower rate for companies with smaller profits). The Liberal Democrats would restore the rate to 20%.

All three parties are committed to a review of business rates (with the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties considering the option of introducing a ‘land value tax’ instead), and all three parties have some new taxes to propose. The Conservatives would introduce a ‘social media levy’; the Labour party proposes an ‘excessive pay levy’ and an ‘offshore company property levy’. It also proposes introducing a new tax to fund a ‘National Care Service’ with options including wealth taxes, an ‘employer care contribution’ or a ‘social care levy’. The Liberal Democrats propose an ‘incineration tax’.

The table here provides a detailed comparison of the proposals. The manifestos themselves are available at the following links:

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