McDonnell promises reversal of Tories' tax cuts for the super-rich
We are the 99% - Take the wealth off the 1% Socialist Party placard, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
- Don't stop there - set the super-rich's tax rates higher
- Nationalise the banks and top corporations to prevent tax dodging
Tom Baldwin, Socialist Party national committee
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is promising to reverse cuts to corporation tax and capital gains tax, instead giving NHS staff a pay rise and hire 10,000 more police officers.
The Tories have handed big businesses tax cuts, while workers have been hit by rises in VAT and council tax.
The general election could provide a chance to end these 'Robin Hood in reverse' policies. McDonnell has said: "We've got to end the giveaways to the rich and have a fair taxation system."
While he hasn't said what rate a Corbyn government would set corporation tax at, this is a step in the right direction. He has also promised not to raise lower bands of income tax and hinted he won't hike VAT - attacks the Tories are not ruling out.
Corporation tax, which is charged on companies' profits, has been steadily cut under the Tories. It has fallen from 28% to 19%, meaning that - outrageously - the biggest businesses now pay less than the standard rate of income tax for workers. Under current plans it will keep falling until 2020.
The Tories want to use Brexit as an opportunity to turn Britain into something resembling a tax haven for their fat-cat friends. The contrast between their policies and those of Corbyn and McDonnell is clear.
However, even if a Corbyn government restores the 28% rate, it will still be well below the 40% charged when corporation tax was introduced in the 1960s.
He would also face the immediate problem of businesses using every trick they can to avoid paying tax. Already, uncollected, avoided and illegally evaded tax costs £34 billion a year. Undoubtedly firms will respond to any tax rise with threats to pull investment out of the country.
While the fat cats are in charge they'll do anything to make the most profit for themselves. The only way we can control these corporations is to own them ourselves.
The finance sector and top 150 biggest businesses that dominate the economy should be taken into public ownership, with compensation only paid on the basis of proven need, and run under democratic working class control and management. Corbyn should call for this.
We have the chance to change direction under a Corbyn-led government. But his popular, anti-austerity policies can only be realised if backed with a bold socialist programme, and actively fought for by organised workers.