Green party unveils £50bn wealth tax in pitch to disenchanted Labour voters

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The Green party has pledged to impose a dedicated wealth tax on the most well-off to invest in health, housing and a decarbonised economy, as it seeks to capture the imagination of disenchanted Labour voters.

The party on Wednesday said it would introduce a wealth tax of 1 per cent on people with assets above £10mn, and 2 per cent on those with assets of more than £1bn, as well as aligning the rates of capital gains tax with income tax rates.

It also said it would charge the basic 8 per cent rate of national insurance contributions on the upper earnings limit, up from 2 per cent today, which it estimated would impact only 5mn people in the UK. 

These changes would raise between £50bn and £70bn per year in 2024 prices, the party said. It said it would raise up to £80bn from a carbon tax to be set initially at £120 per tonne of carbon emitted, while adding that it was “prepared to borrow to invest” further. 

“Our manifesto is based on investing to mend broken Britain and offer real hope and real change,” Carla Denyer, co-leader of the party, said at the party’s manifesto launch in Brighton on Wednesday. 

“At the heart of this would be a tax on the very richest, the top 1 per cent of people, requiring them to pay a bit more into the pot,” she said. “From the Tories and Labour, we’ve been hearing a race to the bottom on tax.”

The party has sought to expand beyond its core policy focus of the environment and climate to become a foil to Labour, stealing away leftwing voters who feel uninspired or unsatisfied with Sir Keir Starmer’s position on issues ranging from the conflict in Gaza to taxation and public investment.

The Labour party ruled out imposing a dedicated wealth tax last year and has also said it has no plans to bring capital gains tax in line with income tax rates. It has also said it will stick to tight fiscal rules on borrowing, including that debt must be falling as a share of GDP by the fifth year of the forecast — a policy also held by the Conservatives.

In the seven-way BBC leaders’ debate last week, Denyer accused Starmer of having changed Labour “into the Conservatives”.

The Greens are targeting four seats at the election on July 4 including Brighton Pavilion, which they already hold, and Bristol Central, where Denyer is in a tight race with shadow culture minister Thangam Debbonaire. They are also targeting Waveney Valley and North Herefordshire. 

But the party faced a setback last week when it was forced to block four candidates from running in the election after a dossier of information was released about allegedly antisemitic comments the individuals had made, shared or liked online.

The Greens said they would invest £50bn in health and social care to “defend and restore the NHS”, including a guarantee for an NHS dentist for everyone, and £29bn over the next five years to insulate homes. 

They also set out plans to bring water companies, railways and five retail energy companies into public ownership, and to scrap university tuition fees. 

On housing, the party vowed to create 150,000 new social homes every year by the end of the next parliament and invest £30bn over five years to insulate homes.

It also said it would stop all new fossil fuel projects and cancel ones that had been licensed recently, including Rosebank in the North Sea.


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