Labor is calling for an emergency budget to tackle the cost of living crisis gripping Britain.
Amid record petrol prices and soaring inflation, party leader Sir Keir Starmer has accused Chancellor Rishi Sunak of ‘doing nothing’ to meet extra demands on government budgets. households in the spring statement last month.
Pressure for an emergency fiscal event comes as the 1.25 percentage point hike in National Insurance, which took effect on April 6, is expected to be felt in monthly payroll packages landing this week .
Setting out his five priorities to help those feeling the pressure, Sir Keir said action should be taken to cut national energy bills, reduce business tariffs and scrap the NI increase which is designed to fund the reduction of the NHS backlog caused by the Covid pandemic.
The Opposition also recommended accelerating efforts to better insulate homes and tasking the National Crime Agency (NCA) with recovering the billions of pounds lost through fraud.
Sir Keir said: “The Prime Minister and Chancellor have spent the past few weeks fully preoccupied again with saving their own skins, doing nothing to cope with the spiraling cost of living.
“People work hard and earn less. This week, most people will see their wages cut even further by a pickpocketing chancellor who is content for his family to pay less, but tax you more.
“Labour has proposed reasonable, costed and practical measures that would provide immediate relief to workers across the country.
“The government should organize an emergency budget to enact them and fill the gaping chasm left by the spring declaration.
“People need solutions, not cynicism, and now is the time to act.”
Labor is pushing for a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas producers to cut household bills by up to £600.
A reduction in VAT on household energy bills and an increase and expansion of the Warm Homes rebate would also help counter rising gas and electricity costs, the party said.
For business, Sir Keir said if his team were in power they would cut business tax by giving small and medium-sized businesses a discount on their business rate bill worth up to £5,700 this year, funded by a tax on online retail giants.
It would also bring in a £600million contingency fund, boosted by the windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ profits, for industries and businesses most struggling with rising bills, such as steel and other energy-intensive sectors.
According to the party, their policy of ‘rapidly boosting’ home insulation would save households an average of £400 a year on energy.
And allowing the NCA to investigate the £11.8billion in taxpayers’ funds lost to fraud and error would mean “no more taxpayers’ money going down the drain”, they said. worth the assistants.